Confidence talks in schools: 5 tips on becoming more confident

The New Confidence code

A few months ago a young girl wrote to me to say that she did not want to go to college. She said she had lost her confidence and wanted to know how to find it and be able to feel good again. I wrote back and explained that I was not a psychologist or psychiatrist and that she should seek help if she was really have having difficulties,  and I also told her of some of the tricks I used to boost my confidence. After a while, she wrote back. She was so  appreciative and said that she had used some of the tools that I had recommended, and that she had found someone at school that she could talk and was doing much better.

Some of us are genetically born more confident than others. From the moment we pop out of our mothers we just have it intrinsically within our make up. Some of us have had parents who have expertly guided us to become more confident. Through clever parenting and patience they have managed to turn their young into confident adults. Some parents,  often through no fault of their own, are unable to teach us the necessary skills to feel good about ourselves in life,  and of course some of us people have had parents and or caregivers who have managed to knock the confidence  out of us.

I remember seeing a group of young boys sitting on a big Cotswold stone wall in my home town of Witney. They were a good looking bunch and the dark haired lad at the end was actually from my class.  I was 11 years old and walking the scenic route home which took a little longer but allowed me to go to the tuck shop to buy my favourite sweets.. sherbet lemons.

I crunched down hard on the boiled sweet in my mouth and the powdery bit in the middle slightly stung my tongue. I looked up towards the boys as I became level with them and heard them whispering to each other.  The whispers started  getting louder and then turned into giggles and the giggles soon exploded into fits of laughter.

I began to feel my heart thudding heavily in my chest, my breathing became shallow and my step quickened. Had they been laughing at me? Was it something that I was wearing? The way that I walked. Was it the colour of my skin, or was it because of my thick black curly hair? My head started whizzing with which of the things they were laughing at. Should I change my hair, clothes, walk differently?… Where they definitely laughing at me?

This story was a regular occurrence. I had a non existent level of confidence, I was paranoid and insecure with little self-worth and self esteem. 30 plus years later and my levels of confidence have increased, I still struggle from time to time today, but through  things like experience, therapy, workshops and books I have accumulated a tool kit of exercises and habits which I can use to make my self feel better. Confidence is an interesting thing, it comes and goes at different times in life and with different situations.  We can go to brimming with it at one point in one area and then  barely able to string to words together with another.

It got me thinking. What if I could share my experiences of anxiety, low-self esteem and low self-confidence over the years What if I visited  teenagers and young  adults around UK schools, and  shared what I had learned and talked about these issues,  in the hope that what I have been through may resonate with them and even help them through some challenging times?

I love making TV shows, eating, hosting and judging but I also know that this is only part of my path. I know that the difficulties I experienced in my early and formative years can and should be channeled into some thing more positive. I believe this for anyone who has suffered. If you can find meaning in what you go through then this can help others and also bring about more healing and understanding for the self too. I know I went through these times so that I can use them to help others who may be suffering, to feel better and lead happier more fulfilling lives. I realise that this is part of my purpose.

This summer I tweeted asking people if they would like me to visit their school. I explained that I would be talking about confidence and self-esteem. I was inundated with schools and picked a handful to visit last week. It was such an honour to meet such bright, brilliant and inspiring young adults ( the talks were directed sixth formers aged 16-18).

The talks lasted around 18 minutes and were more a conversation from my heart than a lecture. They were then followed by a Q and A or an “Ask me Anything” where the students asked me fun questions which ranged  from what was my skin care routine was (which I will post another time!) to dealing with anxiety and stress.

My 5 points in the talk are:

  • Confidence is a muscle
  • Find a Confidence Confidante
  • Focus on your strengths
  • Positive self-talk
  • It’s okay not to be okay.

Listen to the talk here:

 Do have a listen and let me know what you think. I am going to spend the next few months talking to experts and doing lots of research on the topic and hope to do more talks in the January term.

Everyone suffers from low-self esteem and related issues at some point in their lives, whether it is to mark the end of a relationship, not getting into the university or of not being clear about our direction in life. I Love a good quote and this is such a good mantra … Confidence is not ‘they will like me’ Confidence is ‘ I will be fine if they don’t’.

For the 17 minute talk on my 5 confidence boosting tips for increased self-belief and happiness and the life lessons I experienced to learn Listen here

Big love

Lorraine xxx

Ps: If you find a typo let me know, thanks x

12 Comments

  1. Simon
    22nd October 2017 / 8:31 am

    You are a star LP!

  2. Lorenzo
    22nd October 2017 / 9:23 am

    Hi Lorraine, the first of all I say that my English is bad enough, mea culpa, in fact I’m translating much of this, I hope it’s fine and it’s nothing strange, I’ve been following you for years, using subtitles and things like that to understand you, I love it the way you have to work, how you deal with life and your projects, for some reason you generate a great energy in me, I would love to hear your auidios, but I lose by the language, I have seen that they are not my long ones, and I wanted to ask you a favor, and it is if you can put the audios in pdf even in English , and I am looking for life, I would love to be able to access the content, because at this moment I go through that situation of low self-esteem.
    I know your day is very busy but I would be very grateful.
    Thank you
    I send you a kiss and a big hug from Spain

    Lorenzo

    • 24th October 2017 / 2:37 pm

      Thank you so much! I will work on this. Have a wonderful day.
      Lorraine

  3. Jay
    25th October 2017 / 7:41 pm

    Hi Lorraine,well i’m 50 & your never to old to learn and I embrace your advice.I think we do have to take stock and focus in on our lives every so often.In these busy fast paced days we all need pep talks & coping strategies,so thank you keep up the good work x

    • 26th October 2017 / 6:21 pm

      HI there Jay,

      Thanks so much for your message. Yes we are never to old to learn. I am so glad that you will embrace the advice. Thank you again and have a great evening x

  4. Siân
    26th October 2017 / 12:56 am

    Hi Lorraine – this was awesome, I think confidence is everything, and once you have that inner self belief a lot of highs fall into place. Very hard to accomplish so what you are doing is amazing.
    We live in NY, would be great for you to come here too!
    I spotted a tiny typo in the 5th paragraph I think ‘They way that I walked‘ – but I knew what you meant anyway X

    • 26th October 2017 / 6:20 pm

      Hi Sian,

      Thanks so much for your message. Confidence is really important and you are so right things do begin to fall in to place once you have that self-belief in place. I would love to speak in NYC soon. Thank you for spotting the typo also! Lorraine x

  5. NMFB
    26th October 2017 / 8:57 am

    Thank you for a talk that teenagers and older people can relate to because as you rightly say lack of confidence and self esteem knows no boundaries. I can think of many people who would benefit from hearing your tips and I will share your page to help them access it. Great idea about the gratitude list, I myself am going to try it! Don’t under estimate the power of a celebrity to influence, get people to listen, to hear, to lead by example; I think more should use it in a positive way. It’s great to give something back. Thank you.

    • 26th October 2017 / 6:19 pm

      HI, thank you for your comments. I really appreciate your encouragement and your kind words. Have a lovely day and I Hope you find benefits from the gratitude list. Lorraine x

  6. Cristina
    26th October 2017 / 9:08 am

    Dear Lorraine,
    thanks so much for this post, I will try to implement your advices in my daily struggles. I have to learn how to talk in front of the public, without feeling like whatever I may end up saying is silly or worthless (ehm, possibly the positive self-talk needs some improvement) and I’ll start from your five points.
    A big hug

    • 26th October 2017 / 6:17 pm

      Hi Cristina,
      Thank you so much for your message. There is so much to gaining confidence and I do find that it fluctuates but I am so happy that you are going to try and implement the advice. Talking in public is often not easy for many people, but well done to you for doing it! And I bet what you are saying is priceless 🙂 Big hug to you x

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