Do you ever look at someone and wonder how they are so confident and happy in their own skin? I know I do and I can’t help myself thinking: how on earth do they do it? As I’ve got older I’ve realised that confidence comes with age. I’ve been through the nerves of making friends at high school, acne, bullying, first date anxiety, feeling fat downs and being too scared to wear a certain outfit. Confidence for some people comes naturally, but for others it’s a work in progress. But, I truly believe that confidence all fizzles down to one thing: owning it.

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‘Owning it’ is simple: the feeling of being totally content and happy with who you are. May it be your actions, your pudding choices or your first day nerves. Whatever it is, grab it by the balls and own it. Engaging with your surroundings is vital, as soon as you stop caring about what other people are thinking and you tune into your emotions you can command your surroundings and totally kick some arse. Honouring yourself is key. It could be as simple as standing in front of a board meeting and admitting you’re really nervous about public speaking, but once you’ve off-loaded that nugget of nerves you can go on to totally rock it. Or wearing the clothes you really love. When you start wearing them with pride, you’ll radiate self-love and that confidence we’re all striving for.

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Your actions determine your confidence. Hiding behind a mask is not going to radiate self-love. This doesn’t mean being an extrovert. Be an introvert or extrovert, whatever makes you comfortable, just rock it. For me, the difference between a confident and an unconfident person is how the confident person responds to their ambitions and dreams. The confident person doesn’t let themselves be held back by fears or insecurities, they grab opportunities by the balls. The more we act, the easier it will become next time.

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When I was 16, I turned up to a party wearing a magenta dress with a sheer back and a sheer panel down my ‘cleavage’. Something I would NEVER dream of wearing. I spent my whole night worrying about what my dad would say when he picked me up, whether I looked flat chested, whether the colour too bright and on and on. If I’d have been sensible and worn something I was comfortable in, the night would have been completely different. I would’ve enjoyed myself instead of worrying what everyone else thought. Sixteen is difficult: you’re coming of age, your body is changing, you’ve discovered boys (or girls) and A Levels are right around the corner. There’s a few things I would love to go back and tell my 16 year old self:

1.     You want to be mainstream? Be mainstream. It’s totally ok to listen to Spotify Hot Hits and love One Direction. Stop worrying about making yourself different to everyone else and get on with the things that matter.

2.     Put. The. Tweezers. Down.

3.     Mistakes are painful and failing hurts.

4.     If and when you find something that excites you – roll with it.

5.     I know it’s hard to hear and you won’t believe me, but you don’t know everything.

6.     Don’t be the mean girl.

7.     You are NOT fat!

8.     Look after your skin: drink water, wear SPF and don’t squeeze your spots.

9.     Most people are too worried about what they’re doing to be worried about you.

10.  You don’t always need a plan. Chill out, take risks, don’t follow the crowd.

You do you. No explanation and no apologies.

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