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  • Writer's pictureAnnabelle Steele

Dear Diary Day...

Updated: Oct 16, 2021

Today is 'Dear Diary' day and I've decided to write my own reflective diary entry about the learning I have been doing this week. Yesterday I took part in a confidence workshop and it helped me to unlock what makes me feel confident / not very confident. The workshop encouraged me to think about how I can develop my confidence and practice feeling confident so that I can feel more comfortable in unfamiliar settings such as interviews, vlogs, panels.

Confidence is a journey it takes time.

I learned about what makes me feel confident and I discovered the fact that what I think should make me feel confident isn't necessarily what does make me feel confident. I also realised that I rely a lot on the opinion of others to feel confident, this isn't the best way to build confidence as it means that the person who you allow to control your confidence can also snatch it away at any moment. I learned that confidence needs to come from within and I need to practice becoming more confident! I looked at moments where I feel confident and tried to literally bottle up that feeling so that I can open the bottle whenever I need to and replicate the feeling of confidence.

In doing the exercises yesterday and through talking to the others taking the workshop, I found that in many walks of life I struggle with imposter syndrome. I don't think I'm the best author, teacher, or mum and I feel like I am a student or in training in all of these roles. Many people would see me as an expert but that's not how I see myself - maybe because I'm not used to seeing people that look or act like me teaching, writing books or being mum to three under three so I hold a sort of unconscious bias against myself that I need to shake off because I am just as good at writing, teaching and being a mum as anyone else.

While taking part in this event I made the following notes in response to the writing prompts:

  • When I feel most confident if I could give my less confident self a message it would be to keep trying and to try my best until it becomes second - nature.

  • My family being safe and happy is what matters most to me, I am also really aware that I want (NEED) them to be proud of me.

  • I feel most like myself when I am alone or when I am with people who are very close to me, I often feel like I have to be a version of myself that people expect me to be and that is exhasuting and makes me feel less confident about who I really am.

  • I need to constantly practice gratitude and also celebrate the small wins that I often forget - I have downloaded the app 'Presently' to help me to remember to do this.

As with many people my FEAR presents itself as procrastination, perfectionism and downplaying. For example... I am scared of putting my writing out into the public domain so I will procrastinate on starting a writing project. I use the excuse "it's not finished yet" as a reason to avoid sharing what I am writing and even after my writing has been published I downplay my success by calling it a "little" book or by telling people not to actually read it!

I need to stop doing these things and I need to be more confident and believe in what I am trying to achieve.

To avoid procrastinating I need an accountability buddy (apply below LOL) so there is someone keeping me on track and stopping me from avoiding moving forwards. I will keep a good news folder - so anytime something good happens I can log it and remember it so I can look back and be proud of how far I've come. I will also be open to rejection and criticism which will make it easier to move away from my perfectionist tendencies.

A big first step towards becoming more confident is by practicing confidence. In order to practice confidence, I have listed the moments when I feel most confident and I will plan time to prioritise more of these moments - most of these moments are when I am being creative or when I am doing things that I enjoyed doing as a child - helping people, offering knowledge, reading, writing, drawing, dancing.

Huge Thank - You to Sophie Carefull and BookTrust for the event and I am looking forward to attending the other online events this week.

Things to explore:

Paradoxical theory of change

Playing Big - Tara Mohr

Big Magic - Elizabeth Gilbert

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Sep 23, 2021

Hi Annabelle, I loved reading your reflections on the workshop and I'm so pleased to hear it helped you connect to the most confident part of yourself! Thank you so much for taking part so actively and for this write-up! You're brilliant. I look forward to reading more of your work soon! Sophie x

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