Anxiety Week: How I'm Boosting My Self-Confidence
By Milly Hailstone
There are so many things in this world that I want to do, and yet I often tell myself, “Oh, you’ll never do that.” In a whole world of no, I want to start saying yes - so, why do I continually self-sabotage? I need a reality check and a self-confidence boost.
Stop Saying "I'll Do It Tomorrow..."
Like now, for instance, I had wrist surgery two weeks ago and my arm was in plaster for three weeks before that. During this time, I told myself I was ‘too sick’ to go to the gym despite noticing an increase in my weight. I know I can still do some cardio like the bike or the cross trainer - so why am I holding myself back? I want to be fit and healthy, but instead, I find myself wrapped in a blanket watching Netflix every day. My actions just aren’t matching my thoughts and dreams for myself.
I’ve had plenty of time to think lately, as I’ve been off work to due my injury. I’ve drawn many conclusions and thought about my lifestyle choices at happier times in my life. Times when anxiety didn’t cloud my mind, times when I was confident, outgoing and an extrovert.
I took a trip down memory lane, remembering things that I've loved throughout my life and things that I didn’t. My biggest discovery was that during my childhood and early teen years I LIVED to play sports. It made me happy, excited, and extremely confident… a person that I’m not today.
Once I hit 14 or 15, I decided to quit sports, study fashion and chase boys. If only I’d had someone to tell me that boys are trash and that sport would be a lot more fulfilling than any guy I’d meet at an under 18s club night...
Is Sport My Answer?
I now realise the difference in my lifestyle. When I was younger, I always had a release, an escapism, and a group to which I belonged. This was always a sports team. Whenever I was on the field, it was just me, my teammates and the game. There was no money worries, work-dread, or anxiety. Instead of suppressing pent-up rage, I could exercise it on the football field in a safe place.
I had a natural place to blow-off steam, bond with others and relish in my competitive nature. Not to mention, I was super fit, in-shape and healthy. Compared to my cosy desk job and lack of active hobbies, this is a far cry from the life I live today - but, it’s something I need to get back into.
So, I saw the film Whip It! the other day and I discovered the awesome world of Roller Derby. I’ve dug a little deeper and it looks amazing. It’s a full-on contact sport, ripe with aggression but also a sense of camaraderie that could only exist in a predominantly female sport. Unluckily for me, Roller Derby doesn’t exist in Lithuania, though there is a league in Latvia (5 hours away) and even Team Baltic - who just competed in the World Cup… who knew, right?
I contemplated starting a league right here in Vilnius, but where the hell to start? I don’t even speak good Lithuanian… So, now I’m debating whether to go back to football, which could be awesome because there are pro-leagues here, or take up something brand new. I’ve heard women’s hockey is pretty popular.
Next time you find yourself in a bubble of self-doubt, burst out of it. You can do this, you need to do this. Forget fear and anxiety, be the person you always were and always will be. If you feel like your life is missing something, think about what used to make you tick and start doing that feel good thing again.