From people pleaser to self-assured

This Free to Spiel guest feature has been written by the lovely Katie, creator of @present_in_the_present on Instagram. In the piece, Katie talks about how in the past, she would use conversation to prevent being seen as awkward or boring. However, since embarking upon a journey of personal growth, Katie has transformed into being confident, mindful and grateful!

“…confidence is knowing who you are, following what you believe in, and being able to be yourself

When I was young, I was incredibly shy – my parents used to have to bring me to parties early so that I wouldn’t have to walk into a room full of people.

As I grew older, I became the opposite, making conversation with everyone and anyone. A lot of my friends over the years have said, “You’re so good at making conversation with new people,” but for a long time this was actually just a way to hide my inner shyness. By making conversation, I was avoiding my fear of silence, which I thought would make me appear awkward and boring.

Since embarking on my self-growth journey over the past few years, I’ve realised that confidence is so much more than being able to hold a conversation. I have stopped trying to impress other people and started to be myself and embrace silence. 

I’ve also stopped moulding myself around the person that I’m speaking to, which I used to do a lot. I’ve learned that confidence is knowing who you are, following what you believe in, and being able to be yourself – regardless of who you’re speaking to or what situation you find yourself in.

This has also helped me overcome my people pleasing tendencies – I no longer remain mute or give someone a dishonest response for the sake of saying what I believe they want to hear.

I always remind myself that I want people to be transparent with me, and vice versa. I’m sure both my friends and family would agree that I now say things ‘as they are,’ and that I can be relied upon for honest advice (even if it is too honest sometimes…!).

“By practising gratitude, I have trained my mind to always look for the good in situations

When it comes to positivity, I’ve generally always been a positive person.

When I was younger, I wasn’t allowed to be moody or miserable regularly – something that I now really appreciate! As an adult, the biggest contributor to my positive mentality has been writing and thinking about what I’m grateful for in life, which I do on a daily basis.

By practising gratitude, I have trained my mind to always look for the good in situations. It has also stopped me from adopting a victim mentality and complaining about the things that I have the power to change.

This isn’t to say that I’ve always expressed myself as a positive person on the exterior. In the past, so many people have told me that I have a strong case of ‘resting b**tch face,’ so now I actively try to smile regularly and speak enthusiastically. Since becoming more mindful about how I present myself and communicate with other people, I’ve definitely seen a huge shift in my relationships.

I’ve also made sure to set boundaries with people and really evaluate who I spend a lot of time with, which has been life changing. If you spend a lot of time with people who are pessimistic or make you feel rubbish about yourself, then it’s time to say BYE BYE – as difficult as this can be. Put yourself first and only allow people who have good vibes and energy come near you!

Thank you Katie, for sharing your story! Readers can connect with the author via Instagram (@present_in_the_present).

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