Updated: Apr 17, 2020
When connecting people with insight and products that can genuinely help to make them feel confident, it is incredibly useful to have had the first-hand experience in what it truly means to have none at all.
Luckily for me, I have extensive experience in just that. Twenty-nine years to be precise.
When I look back, I see a long list of excuses I made for not participating:
The back injury that ended my rugby career
The IBS that made it so hard for me to attend university lectures
The hangover that led to me missing that Saturday afternoon catch up with so many friends I really would have loved to have seen.
In all honesty, every single one of those links back to confidence, or lack thereof. A more accurate term is social anxiety or just plain old fear of people.
Over the last three years, I have been on a journey that has transitioned this fear from a subconscious daily struggle to something that I now recognise and value. It is part of what gives me my unique perspective and makes me better at the role that I play in what we do as a business.
The recent increase in awareness of mental health is one that has been important to me. Not only is it a truly important to realise that what you are feeling is not just something you need to accept but also its OK to talk about it and also, so many others feel the same way that you do.
Instagram, articles, podcasts and books so many amazing, brave people are voicing their own experiences that are leading to the awareness that so many of us feel the same way.
Why do so many of us feel like this? Well once you learn that what you are feeling doesn’t just have to be accepted that’s precisely the question that you start to ask.
Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari taught me that it’s a reality of the human evolutionary state; it is a direct connection to our rise to the top of the food chain or more importantly the fear of falling off.
My mother sums it up in a simple way “Well Fred, the truth is, you just came out shy”.
My own conclusion, reinforced by learnings of the pain suffered by so many artists like Alexander McQueen brings me straight to the creatives ability to invent multiple painful scenarios, in seconds, before anyone of them has, or ever really will happen.
So what’s the answer?
KNOW THAT YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
Well, realising that others feel the same way that you do is a massive revelation. You are not the only person in the room who might be feeling nervous or self-conscious. You are not on your own, but that sensation alone might help you find common ground with others.
When you are ill, you go to the doctor. When your back hurts you go to an osteopath. When you feel like you are having more bad days than good, when you are creating hurdles for yourself, when you are finding it difficult to see the positive outcome, seek help for your mind.
My Life Coach, GQ’s own Jacqueline Hurst, is an absolute superstar. Find a solution that you are comfortable with, and that feels right for you.
PRODUCTS CAN HELP
That shirt, those sunglasses, the jeans you never want to part with or those sneakers that give you that extra bit of bounce. That eyeliner, that necklace, that three pieced suit. Investing in fitness and wellbeing that is right for you. Whatever it is that makes you feel that ten percent better. They are all part of the journey to getting to a better, more stable, happier place.
Follow your gut and invest in products that make you feel better that are created by brands that you can feel are trying to do good.
When we create our spaces, our base level intention is to help people connect with products that make them feel more confident and happier. We do that when we help people to find the amazing products that our clients have had the bravery, energy, focus and attention to translate from a dream to reality. When we play our role in connecting people with their products to help make people go from low to feeling good. Not just once but every time that they use them.
It’s a massive part of our mantra, and it’s an enormous part of what we think makes our abilities that much more special.
Understood, empowered and included. That’s the goal. None of these states can be taken for granted and for anyone who has had help to find them, it’s a great place to be.