1. the feeling or belief that one can have faith in or rely on someone or something.

  2. the telling of private matters or secrets with mutual trust.

  3. A feeling of self-assurance arising from an appreciation of one's own abilities or qualities

I like to share my life on the internet. It's something I've been doing for over a decade in some form or another, and something that feels inherently normal to me. Yet I've been tying to write something along the lines of this since September, and I've found it near impossible to finish.

I feel like you can look at the idea of confidence in different ways. When it comes to my appearance, I think that I've come to the conclusion that maybe I'm alright, you know? I mean, there's still the days where I'd much rather swap faces with Lily Collins but, on the whole, alright, sometimes good. And I'm ok with that. What I really seem to struggle with is the confidence to do things and talk to people and generally exist outside of my 'comfort zone'. 

So back in October, I did something I never have the confidence to do. I hopped on a train, headed to Cambridge, and met the lovely Alex, who then proceeded to take photos of my without my clothes on.

When I saw that Alex was taking bookings for her confidence shoots again, I knew straight away that I wanted to do it. And then I doubted myself. Because what would other people think, and how would I explain it and why on earth would I want to take my clothes off in front of a total stranger? Yet I just have been feeling extra brave that day, because I went ahead and sent the email anyway.

Fast forward two months and I found myself at Kings Cross Station, waiting for a train and feeling understandably nervous. But as soon as a got off the train the other side, spied Alex waiting for me in her car, and had done the introductions, all my nerves started to peel away.

An hour or so later, and I was all done. And the weirdest part was that it wasn't weird at all. Yes, it's a slightly odd experience taking your clothes off in front of someone you've never met before. But I just wasn't nervous, and not being nervous is something I'm just not used to.

I felt a weird sense of accomplishment on the way home. You see, for me, the whole point of it was to do something entirely outside my comfort zone. And I had. I didn't change my mind at the last minute, I didn't worry about it for days leading up to it, and I didn't panic. I'd done it.

And whilst I may have come to terms with the way I look, which sounds a lot more begrudging than I mean it to, seeing the photos afterwards made me look at myself a little differently. Good differently. I may have even had a tiny cry.

Obviously it wasn't a quick fix to my confidence issues. I still hate public speaking, and picking up the phone, and meeting new people, and sharing my thoughts and ideas, and a whole myriad of other things. But I suppose, if I can do one seemingly scary things, I can do more of them, right? 

Right now, I've still only told two other people this story. I'm not very good at sharing things. So I suppose hitting publish on this is the last part of my 'doing something outside my comfort zone' and just going ahead and telling everyone. 

And actually, it feels really good. 

If anyone else is interested in doing something similar, I can't recommend Alex enough. Not only are her photos beautiful, she's absolutely lovely, and seems to have a way to make the experience totally normal: