Coping with Criticism and Building Confidence

Published by SuccessHackr

It’s always good to have someone that you look up to, that inspires you and guides you forward. This could be your mum, boyfriend, a past teacher- whoever. For me though, this person is Judi Dench. Why? Because she’s a total boss, obviously.

Be Dench

In 2012, rapper Lethal Bizzle introduced us all to the word ‘dench’ – a colloquial adjective that means the same as ‘sick’ or ‘awesome’, and which inadvertently involved our main girl, Judi. Urban Dictionary explains how ‘If something is well dench [you] can say that is well Judi Dench’- need I say more? Her strength in keeping face in such a highly critical industry for so long is the perfect example of unwavering self-confidence.

Reminding myself that this isn’t an article about Judi Dench (although, it can be?), acting is definitely a great way to build your confidence and learn how to deal with criticism. I was an incredibly shy and sensitive child, to the point where I had to undergo tests to see if I was autistic.

When I was 5 years old I went a whole year at primary school without saying a word to anyone, until the final day where someone missed me out in ‘pass the parcel’ and, overcome with horror, I screamed ‘HEY! It’s my go!’ in the face of the perpetrator. Totally unacceptable behavior; you never miss someone out in pass the parcel.

Push Beyond Your Comfort Zone

I was always taught as a child that you must constantly push yourself out of your comfort zone. Everyone lacks in confidence – some much more so than others – but it’s about being able to control your own fragility, and manipulate this vulnerability to your advantage: as it is both your strength and your weakness.

As I said, I was an exceptionally sensitive child, where if I got a question wrong in my homework I would shut down and cry for hours. At this point in my life I was yet to know of Ms Dench, and so it was Winnie the Pooh who got me through the worst.

I had a cup with Winnie on it, and he said ‘you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think’, and if you shook it (preferably without a drink in it) glitter would fall up it, like a snow globe. However, one day the glitter effect stopped – along with my dreams – when my mum put it through the dishwasher.

We’re always striving to be a multitude of things; but it’s hard to attain these characteristics when they’ve been hyped up and put on a pedestal. So let’s strip it down so that we can have a clear goal in mind- instead of this enigma. The technical description of self-confidence in The Oxford Dictionary is: ‘a feeling of trust in one’s abilities, qualities, and judgment.’ Okay, cool.

What is Confidence, Really?

A lot of our confidence is lost due to other people. It’s important to learn how to take constructive criticism, but there’s a line between offering someone your helpful advice, and between sharing an unnecessary opinion you know will only cause harm to that person. Don’t let other people’s envy ruin your confidence building; they’re envious for a reason, and people just love to tear you down.

In an article titled ‘What is Confidence, Really?’ by Huffington Post, the author discusses the importance of being ‘genuinely content with yourself and your present experience’. That if you think you act awkwardly or nervously; you only propel these feelings more because you’re thinking about them- you’re stuck in your head.

Confidence is about being 100% in the present moment and just owning that awkwardness- knowing that you’re the queen of awkward, and no one is to take your crown!

You can train yourself to be more present by focusing on the sights, sounds and smells around you- constantly using your senses to realign your thought process back to the present moment. Hmm, sounds familiar…

Meditate More

Meditation is one of those life skills that you can’t believe you didn’t do, before you did it. Once you’ve mastered meditation techniques this stuff is golden for reducing stress and helping you to regain control of your emotions.

All of this is great with keeping in check of how you’re confidence building is doing- without having to be a Fascist about it. It will also enable you to keep in tune with positive energies and, like, vibes, man.

Gaining confidence is a constant battle with yourself, but once you’ve got it, that baby is all yours. ‘Fake it till you make it’ is one of those sayings that actually holds a lot of weight to it. The point is, is that if you pretend to be positive and in control of your emotions, then in the end you can trick your mind with your mind (urgh, too much) and reverse the effect.

Persistence is key in acquiring confidence, and you’ve just got to know deep down what you’re capable of. Your calling is your meaning, and no one keeps moving forward without either of those things. Have a bit of patience with yourself; it takes time to get somewhere- and don’t ever, EVER let people miss you out in pass the parcel.

Dench, Judi Dench.



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