Saturday, 17 September 2016

Anxiety or Confidence?





This is a blogpost I have wanted to write for months, but oh, I have never felt like I could (oh the irony). But the truth is, over the past couple of years I’ve never felt like I have ever truly been able to be myself in some (not all) situations, and I put this down to confidence. 

I would argue that every human feels anxiety on different levels and that obviously plays a hand in how someone handles themselves in specific situations, but does it effect confidence? Or is it a trait that we can physically cover up and have only effect us mentally?

I’ve spoken countless times about the numerous ‘things’ I’d love to achieve in my career, but whenever I go to talk about them, I automatically tell myself to stop telling the person whom I am telling (unless its my friends, lets be honest they’ve heard every idealistic career opportunity!) in fear that they will either laugh at me, tell me my goals are unachievable or indeed in fact maliciously comment on my life to others behind my back. (all of these things have happened to me on numerous occasions, and fyi, it doesn’t get any nicer to hear!) Of course, there are also the lovely people that surround you who tell you to follow your heart and not stop, as ultimately they will also be the ones who will hug you and hold you if these things do go wrong. Back to the point, whenever I speak of these things, I feel as if people are automatically looking at me and thinking ‘Oh she’s so up herself’. Is that anxiety? Or am I just over thinking things?

Then comes the time I was simply told to grow a back bone and stop being a pushover, so gradually I have (I’m still very much a wimp), however when I finally felt comfortable and like I was able to defend myself in some situations, I instantly stopped myself and could physically feel my body swallowing its pride, like a little snail that’d been poked back into its shell by the over active 5-year-old in the field. 

Posture plays a huge part of it. Naturally, I have very rounded shoulders, which will always give off the impression that I am nervous or uncomfortable in a specific setting (not ideal in auditions!). In numerous lessons/workshops we are told to have the ‘performers stance’ which often involves having your head held high and shoulders back. Walk with confidence and to quote a teacher, ‘the world is your oyster.’  Why is it that in front of some people (specifically teachers in the past year!) have I felt truly comfortable speaking my mind with a situation, yet some people who I am equally as/ if not more comfortable around I literally cannot string a sentence together? Is this my brain playing mind games? Or am I simply not being the confident in my body to then be confident in that situation?

Finally, I want to talk about body confidence. I mentioned in my girl power blogpost that I think its absolutely fine for anyone to idolise another human for the way that they act, look or live, as long as you also respect or love yourself in the process. Now, this leads me to the heated debate and something that I could passionately talk about for hours,

‘Can skinny girls have insecurities, or are they all confident?’ 

Honestly, I don’t think there will ever be a right or wrong answer to this question. Having heard a fair share of ‘body shaming digs’ in my time, my personal favourite being, ‘If you had eaten that cake your thighs would have stayed together and protected your jeans from ripping.’ I think ‘skinny’ girls (urgh I hate that word) will always face the brunt of something. Likewise, ‘bigger’ girls will also face horrible whispers and insecurities, sadly its something that national newspapers and media like to report on- the way we look more so than the way we act or what we do. I am a healthy(ish) UK size 10/12 and I don’t plan on changing. My fitness game is constantly changing due to the nature and amount of dance activities I do. I am sensible the majority of the time with the food I eat but allow myself the bad stuff more often than I probably should. And god forbid, because I have blonde hair and I am ‘pretty’ (pretty said openly as its obviously open to opinion, and not in mine.) I can’t hate anything about myself because I am stereotypically perfect. STOP. 

We all have things we want to change about ourselves, and some days we will feel more comfortable and confident in our skin than others. If buying an oversized jacket to hide the shape of your body is what you want to do to feel confident- do it! If you want to wear a full face of heavy makeup because you feel more comfortable as opposed to wearing a bare face- do it!

We live in a world full of unprecedented judgment that often focuses on the negatives or little things in a person rather than the bigger issues. If we as a human race drew the negativity over the lip colour someone was wearing and turned that energy towards politics or educational benefits- maybe, just maybe, everyone in the world would feel a little bit more comfortable and confident with being themselves.

I want to be able to walk to down the street confidently and not feel like I am being judged for the way I look or the make-up or clothing I am wearing. I want to be able to bump into an old friend and say ‘Yeah I’m currently studying dance, still singing and continuing with auditions whilst also working on other things’, without judgment. 

In fact, scrap that last sentence, 

‘My name is Beki Blank, I am 19 years old and I have many dreams, and I plan on making a career out of all of these dreams. I’ve loved to sing ever since I was a little girl, from listening to Steps and S Club 7 on repeat at a very young age combined with my growing love and interest in Musical Theatre. But its not just singing, as I’ve also loved writing from a very young age, and I am still writing the book I initially dreamt of four/five years ago on a bus on the way back from London. In the past three years my brain has turned from the ‘half intelligent and a little creative’ way of thinking into solely creative thinker. Everyday I come up with a new idea for a blogpost or a project, or even visualising how a chapter of a book may look on paper one day. Whenever someone has asked me what I wanted to do in the future, I’ve often said Musical Theatre just for easiness. I don’t know what I fully see myself doing in the future, and that’s not because I don’t know. It’s because I honestly I see myself doing so much. If its creative, I’ll be happy. Singing. Dancing. Writing. Acting. Directing. You name it and I’ll be happy. And I know that this isn’t the easiest of industries to get into, I’m not even going to attempt to deny it, but if I don’t say these thoughts now, I may never get to say them.’ 

I hope you can confidently say your dreams, speak your mind in a calm and caring fashion and fully find a way of loving and accepting yourself,

Beki x

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