How to be more confident, don’t we all need to know this? Well last night the Fe-line women of Oxford got together to discuss this very topic at our Women’s group Word of Mouth. We were joined by two amazing speakers, Katie Waistell and Hannah Jago.
Hannah and Katie have both left abusive relationships and told equally moving and touching stories of how these relationships damaged their confidence and how they had to work hard to rebuild their confidence.
Katie has just released a book, How to Leave a Bully, which is a step by step guide of how to leave an abusive relationship. She talked about how her relationship had affected her self worth and inner confidence. When she left her husband she described how she was on fire and everything was hers, but this brought new challenges; being a single mum, dating and a new job.
Katie took the audience through how she found ways of dealing with her new life and facing her fears. Katie’s big tip for being more confident is be prepared and visualising a situation, imagine doing it several times from start middle to end. Katie’s other top tip is never lose your sense of self, she described that in her job she had to repeat to herself that she knew more about that job than anyone else and no one else could know as much as she did.
Hannah Jago runs her own business, Sago Jago. She has a similar story to Katie but after leaving her relationship she found solace in alcohol and used alcohol as a confidence replacement. Hannah has now been sober for two years and was able to reach this point by reintroducing what she loved into her life: music, art, and her business.
One of my favourite tips from Hannah was about not holding on to things and allowing yourself to let go. If you hold on to the negative things this will knock your confidence. Things will go wrong in life but let go and say: ‘today was not a good day, but tomorrow will be better.’ My other favourite part of her talk was she got an audience member to tell her what she was afraid of when speaking on the telephone. She asked her: “what is the worst thing that can happen?” When the audience member actually thought about it it wasn’t so bad!
Last night was amazing in so many ways. Firstly a group of women getting together and talking about their fears and working out solutions is an amazing step forward to feeling more confident. Secondly women like Katie and Hannah come across as very confident but they have had to work at it, analyse their fears and find their own survival tactics, confidence can be learnt, you can be more confident!
And thirdly I related with so much of last night because I also lost my voice in my late teens and early twenties. At this time of my life I had no confidence whatsoever and completely lost my identity. I had a very warped opinion of myself and was very very harsh on myself about the way that I looked. People say to me now “it’s OK for you because you are really confident,” but like Katie and like Hannah I have had to learn ways to build confidence.
For me Fe-line Women has been my saviour. I get to meet awe inspiring women who have taught me how to look at the world differently, told me to be kind to myself, told me not to see failure as a bad thing and told me I am good. I have been able to find my voice, literally (hiya everyone) and I am doing what I am meant to and I am good at it. Finding this strong base line has made me able to be more confident because if I fall, I know I have a strong group of people who will put me back on my feet and not kick me in the mud!
Love and finding your voice,
P.S The next Word of Mouth is 21st May (a week earlier than normal): Make the media work for you with Jo Thoenes from BBC Oxford and Catherine Warrilow from Seriously PR.
Welcome to part two of Brand new you, last week I talked a little bit about the importance of branding and how I set up the Fe-line brand. Today I want to take the concept of branding a little further and talk about my top tips for branding and some of my favourite brands.
Branding doesn’t have be something to be scared of or brushed off and thought of as not important. If your business is important your online and physical presence needs to reflect what you do and it is worth spending some time to think about what you want your business to represent. This needs to be reflected in all you do, website, print material, business cards, social media, even down to what you wear.
Top tips for getting your brand right:
Play with your brand until you find something that feels right for you and conveys the message that you want.
Be true to what you do rather than what you think you should be.
Set yourself a brand guide that outlines your mission statement, your brand colours and the fonts you are going to use. Refer back to this when you have anything produced.
Embrace the brand, I wear cat t-shirts, cat ears and brand colours because I want others to believe and embrace the Fe-line Women brand.
Create brand advocates in your staff, train them and tell them what your brand represents, get them to wear the t-shirt. Oh and make sure they have a copy of your brand guide.
Companies that work their brands really well:
Soap and Glory – I love this cosmetics brand and will always buy their cosmetics over others, because their brand talks to me. I like the quirky visuals and funny packaging. It is girly but it is a little bit naughty. I am a massive fan of the naming of their products, e.g. Some like it hot, their body scrub that heats up when you put it on your skin! It is amazing.
Company Magazine – I think the rebrand of Company Magazine is fantastic. I used to think Company was a bit trashy but now it is the only publication I have a subscription to. It talks about blogging, fashion and music, not celebrity gossip and how fat people are. There are a lot of inspirational articles and it makes me feel good reading it.
Tatty Devine – Tatty Devine are an independant British jewellery company that produce unusual perspex jewellery. What I love about their brand is when I wear their jewellery people know instantly that it is a piece of Tatty Devine. Their product and brand is so unique it is instantly recognisable. Harriet and Rosie who run Tatty Devine are a shining example of how to dress for your brand! If you are looking for a great necklace that goes with almost anything I can recommend their gold parakeet.
Fresh in Canada – Fresh is a chain of vegetarian restaurants in Canada that I love and miss. Fresh for me is an all round amazing brand, I love their look and I love what they do. The look of their website, restaurants, packaging and cook books says to me fresh and modern, which works so well because their name is Fresh, their products are really fresh and their mission is to be: “the source of modern vegetarian food.” So their branding represents exactly what their product is! Oh and their food is AMAZING, if you think veggie food is boring, then think again. Can someone please ship me a thai burger with sweet potato fries please!!
Love and logos,
P.S I have not been paid by these companies to put them on the blog, they are my genuine favourite brands that I have collected over the years.