Not Your Regular Guide To Self-confidence

Disclaimer:

The featured image of this article is a pic of myself as a depiction of how confident I am…

 

LOL

JK!

 

I want to make it very clear that I am nowhere near perfect, my level of confidence is not yet 10/10 (getting there 🙂). The tips in this guide are based on my PERSONAL EXPERIENCE. I hope after you’ve read this guide, you’ll get something from it 🙂

If you have any comments, feel free to express down below.

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If you search “How to be confident” / “How to be a badass” on Google, the results will include top tips such as:

  • Stop caring about what others think of you
  • Put yourself first
  • Love yourself
  • You do you

 

I won’t disagree that all these “top tips” are good ways to improve your self-confidence.  However, it seems to me that no one really talks about how to do these things, how to develop a confident, assertive mindset i.e. how to stop caring about others’ opinions of you; how to love yourself, etc.  Really, mindset is everything.

 

After 21 years living in this world and still learning every day, I think I’ve found my way(s), my mindset.

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  1. Find your passion and work on it

This is probably the biggest tip I have. Once you’ve got this, you’ll find it much easier to follow other tips below.

One thing I’ve realized is that confidence does not come from within. It comes from your life experience: the things you’ve done, the events you’ve been through.

My initial step is to focus on yourself, find out what your interests are and work hard on them. I personally have an interest in creating content (photography, writing) and social media, therefore I have been an active member of my university’s student-led magazine and managing a travel photography account on Instagram. So if you spend time doing the things you’re passionate about, you are pleasing yourself. That’s the most important thing: make yourself happy.

The second effect of this first tip, is that if you work hard on your passion, you will eventually be skilled at it. And when you’re aware that you’re good at something, your self-worth is boosted.

And that is how you gain confidence.

I can guarantee 100% confident people are confident partly because they KNOW what they got. However, this is not to be confused with being cocky. Know what you got, be humble and be willing to learn more, that’s confidence.

 

I guess you could also argue that if other people know that you’re talented, you are then respected and it also increases your confidence. BUT, this doesn’t mean that you should do something that you think people will praise you for. Remember, do it because you’re genuinely interested in it, not because of others’ validation. It’s not about others, it’s about YOU.

 

It is best to start from this first tip.  I believe your passion is the base of your happiness and your experience and skills are the foundation of your self-worth.

 

  1. Your opinion about yourself matters (the most)

Many people are always concerned about what others think of them, without considering how they actually perceive themselves.

One example of this second tip can be linked to courtship… (lol) I’m not a relationship expert but again, this guide is based on my experience J

 

People have asked me how I can approach someone I like without seeming desperate. The answer is, I don’t even know if I seem desperate to those I approach, but I don’t view myself as desperate and that’s all that matters. It’s about self-perspective.

 

In my culture, I have always been taught and reminded that as a girl, I should subtly throw hints and wait for the guy to make the move. This is widely accepted as women’s “common and appropriate way” of flirting. I don’t mind it. What I don’t like is that when a woman actively pursues the man she’s interested in, instead of being subtle, she is viewed as “needy” / “a whore”, while a man will be celebrated and praised if he chases after a woman. This is obviously double standard and, I ain’t about dat.

I look at everything equally. If a man can ask a woman out, a woman can also ask a man out (in a heterosexual context).

 

Some common questions my friends often ask me include:

What if I make the move and he’s scared off?

-> If he can’t handle a very simple situation in which he’s the one that’s being courted, which he should appreciate, then he’s not mature enough. Would you date someone immature?

What if he’d rather women were passive and subtle during courtship?

-> He seems pretty sexist. Would you date someone sexist?

 

One thing I’ve noticed is that people tend to think that once you’ve expressed your feelings to someone, you’ll become vulnerable to them, you’ll lose confidence, like you’re in a weaker position and emotionally dependent on them. This is true. However, there are ways you can still be confident in these situations. The way I look at it is that feelings are precious and should be appreciated. Feelings are not something that have been robbed or stolen therefore there’s no need for you to be ashamed once you’ve confessed. You should be proud of yourself that you have been able to tell someone how you feel. By telling them, you have let go of all your fears of how they might judge you, but instead you have prioritized your own feelings over their possible judgments. In situations that I have told someone about my feelings, I view myself as bravely staying true to my feelings, rather than being “desperate”, that’s what matters the most.

 

Another reason why some of my female friends hesitate in approaching a guy is that they are afraid of being rejected and that their self-esteem will be lowered. Well the truth is, no one in the world is going to succeed in everything they do in life. Don’t view rejections as embarrassments. You have to experience multiple failures before you reach victory. Your self-esteem should not be defined by your failures, but how you overcome them and learn from them.

 

If you fail, go back to the first tip, keep working on your passion, things that make you happy.

 

  1. “Fake it till you make it”

When you’re delivering a speech, or talking in a large group of people, you may not feel wholly confident but no one knows that except for yourself. So don’t let your ghosts frighten you and reveal your true emotions. Take a deep breath, smile, keep your head held high. That’s my tip in every social situation. And it works!

If you appear confident on the outside, the confidence and positivity will eventually spread inside you and you’ll find it easier to work your way out until you’re truly confident.

 

  1. Train your will and believe in yourself

People can disagree with your opinions and actions, and their disagreements may lower your confidence.  I think people have their reasons but you also have yours. You don’t live anyone else’s lives, you live yours. Take time to evaluate every possible decision you might make until you have chosen the best option and stick with it. So linking this point to the second tip I’ve made in this guide, for my girls out there, even though everyone around you may think that you’re “desperate for pursuing a guy or even just talking to him” (so lame I know), as long as you are 100% sure of your decision and know that you’re a confident woman for doing what you do, you win.

 

This tip may be a bit more difficult to follow, and you might take more time with it.  This is because your ability to evaluate situations lies in the depth and breadth of your experience. So let yourself experience different things, you’ll grow and become more and more confident in every decision you make.

As long as you have a strong will in what you do and believe in yourself, no one can sidetrack you and that’s when you know you are confident.

 

  1. Get inspirations

Surround yourself with people who are confident, assertive and empowering. Ask them how they do what they do, and do it in your own ways. You’ll eventually get inspired.

Save inspiring quotes about self-confidence in your phone, or stick them up in your room. A number of quotes that I find inspiring are:

“Life is too short for hesitation.” 

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”

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Those are my 5 tips to self-confidence. I have picked up these tips from the past years of my life and have mentioned these tips to my friends when we had conversations regarding self-love and self-confidence. I am happy that many people have found these useful. I myself am someone who had a lot of insecurities years back, and let’s say myself today versus myself only last summer are quite different people. So it really does mean a lot to me that in some ways I could empower people to stay true to themselves and be more confident.

The best way to grow confidence is to learn it by yourself. Develop your own mindset. However I do hope you can apply these tips to your lives somehow.

 

A lot of people say that I have this “I-don’t-give-a-fuck” attitude (lmao). Well I’d say you can never 100% not give a damn thing you know, because our behavior is affected by the people and the environment around us, more or less. But it’s true that the less you worry about others’ opinions, and the more you focus on yourself and your own happiness, the better life you’ll live.

 

Till next time,

ᴊᴜʟɪᴇʏᴛʜᴇ1sᴛ

 

SEEING BRUNO MARS IN CONCERT!

One of the best experiences that I’d die to live again!

I can’t believe just 15 hours ago, I was jamming to my favorite tunes with my bae singing and dancing in front of me.

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I’ve always known Bruno Mars as one of the greatest musicians in our generation, but I was never a fan and and his songs that I often listened to were mainly his hits.  I only started really following him at the end of 2016, when his latest album: 24K Magic came out with the title track with the same name that won my heart.

A few months ago, a friend of mine, who is a Bruno Mars fan, mentioned that she was going to see him in April.  She suggested that I join her and of course I couldn’t miss the chance to see my bae live!

A little preshow vlog:

The night I went to see his concert, 21st April, was his third night in London, and all I was praying for was that he would still give his all.  I know Bruno’s a professional performer and seems to be an always-in-a-good-mood guy (though I know not always), to give it all in every single gig is expected from him, but I was still a bit paranoid.

And I bet he did not let any of us in the audience down.

I knew I would not be obsessed with filming his performances – I wanted to be focused on his real acts, to really lose myself in the crowd.  I only film some bits of some of his performances to keep as a memory and to share with you here.

The opening act, which was excellently performed by Anderson Paak and The Free Nationals, started at 8pm and lasted for about 45 minutes.  We all thought the main act began at 9pm, however, Bruno only showed up at 20 minutes past 9, which I’m not sure if he was late or actually on time 😂  What amused me while waiting was how diverse the age groups of his audience were – I saw young adults in their 20s like me and my friend, then many people who are more mature and middle-aged, who were dancing just as crazily and screaming as loudly as I was.

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The wait was definitely worth it!  When the lights were dimmed, the opening music was turned up, I could truly feel the excitement running through my veins.  The whole arena exploded because of the arrival of the King.

He is mastered at turning up the crowd.

I just love the way that the lyrics are written in Bruno Mars’ romantic songs; they’re sweet yet playful.  No girls can help it if they’re confessed to with his songs, honestly.  Personally, I like to listen to Treasure when I go out alone, because it can put me in such a good mood and make me feel beautiful and treasured.

That’s What I Like is one of my favorite songs on the album, not because of the lyrics though.  I don’t want to get too political here, but being quite an independent person, I usually don’t like the type of lyrics that lists all these materialistic things that “a guy can do/buy for his girlfriend if they’re together” (like I can take care of myself and buy all those things with my own money okay), and That’s What I Like belongs to that category.  Sometimes these songs are written in a mischievous way so I tend to not take it too seriously and would still jam to them, plus, I’d tolerate it because Bruno is such a sweetheart.

I could not wait to see Bruno singing Versace On The Floor on stage.  It’s one of my nighttime jams – I love everything about the song: the smooth lyrics, the slow and jazzy melody, and the way it is sung, which makes a pure intimate and provocative lyrics sound incredibly classy.  To see it live was like a dream come true.  Although Bruno was singing the song to 20000 people in the audience, it still felt like he was singing it to only me (yes I’m fangirling so hard right now).

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He said the lyrics to When I Was Your Man meant a lot to him.  I guess all of us in the audience could feel his pain through this song that night.  The moment he shed tears at almost the end of the song was when I realized that true artists are those who give their all in every performance and can gain the emotions conveyed through the songs they perform, and how much good music can move you.

He couldn’t not sing his old hits, could he?  I prayed that he would play Grenade, Just The Way You Are and It Will Rain, and he did the first two, which was already more than enough.

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Just The Way You Are was supposedly the last song of his main act, and Bruno and his crew did a little credit to his fans.  I could tell that this was a really close crew, everyone was not only people that he works with but also his family, and they all make up a fun clan that likes to have a good time.  Each and everyone of them deserves a huge applause, for their hard work, free spirits and amazing talents.

We all knew that Bruno was returning real soon with the encore, like, he couldn’t leave without performing Locked Out Of Heaven and Uptown Funk (I did not check the setlist before the show because I wanted it to be a surprise for me)!

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Uptown Funk perfectly ended the concert with Bruno saying goodbye to us.  The gig was 1 hour and a half and I enjoyed every minute of it.  Bruno brought all of us in the audience together with his tunes, the ways he owned the stage, communicated with the crowd, and randomly added different lines into the songs, like when he took out his phone as the prop during Calling All My Lovelies and pretended to call his girl, he went: “Do you hear that?  That’s the sound of the O2 Arena [the venue] in London tonight.” and “You want me to beg, don’t you girl?“, which completely got me.  I don’t think anyone does it better at saying such little cute and playful lines than him.

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Bruno played more songs than the ones I showed here.  I did not film them all, or even one full song, because after all, I was there to see him, to enjoy and dance to his music and just have fun, rather than seeing him through my phone screen while trying to get the best shots.

Bruno Mars is a true performer, and one of the best artists to see live.  Watching recorded performances cannot bring the feels wholly, and I didn’t want to expose too much of the gig.  Bruno is currently touring in Europe and will be visiting many cities around the world, so if you’re his fan, and he’s coming to your city, I’m sure you won’t want to miss the chance to be taken to Mars.

Text, photography and videography by ᴊᴜʟɪᴇʏᴛʜᴇ1sᴛ

All videos are of my own, only used for my personal blogging and not to be re-uploaded on any other platforms.  Contact me for any inquiries.

The Roads of Youth Discovery

Hi guys!

I’ve recently partaken in Snapshot Photography: Creativity Brings Joy – an online photography competition for Vietnamese students in the UK, organized by SVUK (The Vietnamese Student Association in the United Kingdom).  The themes of the competition are “The Vietnamese in You” and/or “The Vietnamese Perspective”.  More information about the contest can be found here: http://www.svuk.vn/snapshot-photography.html (The site is written in the Vietnamese language).

There is a special need to give a huge shout-out to my Mom, who encouraged me to take part in Snapshot Photography.  I was a bit hesitant at first, but then I thought: with a passion for world exploration and the eagerness to grab my bag and get on the road whenever there is an opportunity, I’m lucky to have had some interesting experiences in the UK and other European countries, as well as in Vietnam when I return home, and have earned myself a travel photography collection from the trips I’ve done, in which I pride myself; so why not giving it a shot?

I submitted 5 photos for my entry, and named it The Roads of Youth Discovery (Những nẻo đường tuổi trẻ in Vietnamese).  Believe me when I say it took me 284623836584293 years to try to pick only 5 pictures to send to the competition, and come up with the best possible captions that can together convey a message about the Vietnamese youth.  I shortlisted some pictures and sent them to some friends whose taste I trusted to ask for their opinions.  They were all very helpful (thank you Alim, Astir, Henry and Liam!), although I decided to not follow any of their preferences and was really satisfied with my own final decision.

The theme of my The Roads of Youth Discovery album is: “Living young is exploring the world”.  Through this album, I wish to bring a fresh perspective on the dynamic life of many Vietnamese students in Britain (including myself) outside lectures, work and busy exam periods, when there are also such exciting trips; as well as to express the thoughts of myself  – a Viet away from home – about the places I’ve been to.

The album has been uploaded on Facebook by SVUK and receiving huge amounts of love and support, which I’m very much thankful to see.  I thought it might be a good idea to post the photos in the album, accompanied by the English-version captions, on my personal blog.  If you come here from Instagram (welcome! 😘), you may have seen some of these photos already, but I guess on here it’s a bit more special in a way ’cause they are grouped together and you can see the meaning behind each of them.

Without more ado, I hope you enjoy the album!

The Roads of Youth Discovery
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Áo dài in Paris

This is one of my favorite photos in my travel photography collection.  It was taken during the Eurotrip I did in summer 2016.

As a Vietnamese girl, I’ve worn áo dài (a Vietnamese traditional costume) on tons of occasions before.  However, the experience of walking along the streets of Paris in my custom áo dài caused a special feel.  I felt extremely proud and emotional as I was bringing a part of my culture to a Western country.

Paris was where Euro 2016 took place, and at the time this picture was taken, some fans of the Spanish, Italian and French soccer teams gave me and my áo dài such sweet compliments and kindly/playfully asked if they could be in the same photo with me 🙈 This made me flattered and even prouder, as the Vietnamese culture was welcomed in various parts of the world.

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“Fall” in love with Surrey

This was taken on the beautiful and picturesque University of Surrey campus, where I’m currently studying.  The fall in Europe is so iconic with its own uniqueness with the pretty yellow, orange and red tree leaves.

Fall is also the back-to-school season, and such stimulating colors are the reminder of a new academic year, which also means that my time in the UK is one step closer to an end.  This acts as my motivation for me to study hard for my degree and do even more exciting things during this unforgettable student life.

There is only one fall season left until I officially finish my BSc degree in Media, Culture and Society at Surrey, the “golden fall” would be one of the best memories I have of my dear university.

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Saffron Walden – The dreamy village

Perhaps every Viet living far away from home possesses this deep homesickness with the images of the rustic and peaceful countryside.  As for me, after quite a long time spent in England, and the country has become my second home and part of my youth, the pretty little village houses here will be one of the things I miss the most when I leave.

Most people think of the UK as “the land of fog”, where there is hard winter.  This photo of Saffron Walden would speak the opposite, since even when on cold winter days of December, there are still moments full of warm and bright sunshine.

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A life with no holding back

The time in the UK has enabled me to land myself on beautiful lands.  One of the best trips I’ve done is the one to Gozo Island, which is famous for the unique Azure Window.  Until now, I can still recall the feeling I had when getting to see with my own eyes the “blue window” admiring itself on the Mediterranean sea; I was genuinely overwhelmed and proud of my decision to come here.

Over one month after I had visited Gozo, Azure Window fell down into the sea on 8th March 2017 due to a heavy storm.  The collapse put me in extreme sorrow, but at the same time made me feel fortunate that I did not hesitate over my time and was able to admire this famous sight for the first time (and also the only time).  Azure Window is no longer there, yet the memory about this beautiful blue window will forever stay in the hearts of those lucky enough to have been here.

People often regret things that they have not done more than things they have done.  There are so many wonderful things out in the world waiting for you, therefore when opportunities come, especially when you’re still young, don’t hesitate but go out there and explore, so that the years of your youth will become even more meaningful and memorable.

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“Let’s go far away, to come back home.”

Whenever I go traveling around Vietnam, I always feel proud as my country also has many of these amazing sights, which are no less magnificent and unique as other places that I’ve been to.  Lying in the middle of the far-flung Red Sand Dunes in Mũi Né, Vietnam, I felt myself full of energy and youth spirits.  I am lucky to have a valuable experience of studying and working in a developed country, to integrate with many different cultures across the globe, to see the world on my fascinating trips, through which I get some of the Vietnamese cultures exposed to the outside world, and capture many wonderful moments where I somehow still see the soul of Vietnam around.  Then everytime coming home, I feel myself growing up more, appreciating my Vietnamese root more and becoming far more grateful to my parents for this incredible opportunity they gave me to explore the world.

There you have it!  I hope you can feel my burning youth spirits through the The Roads of Youth Discovery album.  With the love and support I’ve been receiving for this album, I am so glad to hear that it, in some ways, was able to inspire others to get out there, see the world and discover themselves.  It makes me feel so useful, and “inspiring”, just like part of my motto: Be fearless and inspiring.

Again, I am thankful for all of your support for my entry in the Snapshot Photography competition.  It is not too important whether I win the contest, what matters is that via this platform, I have been able to share with you what I do as a way of youth discovering, which is traveling.

I would also like to note that traveling is not the sole way to explore oneself, but taking a new sport, writing, learning a musical instrument, reading a new book genre, etc. could all literally do the same thing.  Traveling has rendered me a lot more confident, independent and organized, and allowed me to learn new things around myself that I’d never paid attention to before.  Choose something that you’ve always wanted to do but never got the chance to get around to, and try to commit to it; I believe doing new things can help you realize some aspects of yourselves that you’ve never known, strengthen your life skills and even uncover your hidden talents.

#Getoutthereandseetheworld.

Text and photography by ᴊᴜʟɪᴇʏᴛʜᴇ1sᴛ

Featured image taken by Astir Le, retouched by ᴊᴜʟɪᴇʏᴛʜᴇ1sᴛ

Visit https://www.instagram.com/julieythe1st/ for more of my travel photos.

If you would like to use my photos, please kindly contact me for permission.

Update & Come-back 2017

Aaaaand I’m back after half a year not blogging!!!!

 

I have been writing actually, it’s what I like to call “a novel”, but more precisely certain bits of it, because I’ve been so busy and not yet had a chance to write the whole thing from the beginning – no matter how badly I want to.  I’ve already got a storyline, the official cast, etc. and etc.  Will I be able to finish it? We’ll see.  But I’ll probably upload some finished parts of the novel every now and then, provided that I am satisfied with what I’ve written so far.

 

Update: I’ve “moved house” from TheFearlessInspiration.wordpress.com to this site – julieythe1st.com.  The reasons are:

1. I’d like to stick with the brand ᴊᴜʟɪᴇʏᴛʜᴇ1sᴛ;

2. There were some technical issues with the categories, pages, navigation etc. with the previous site;

3.  A fresh start-all-over won’t hurt nobody/I personally am in love with the feel that this new theme gives 😏

 

Anyways, I have made a new section – Playlists, which will be where I post about my monthly favorite music and/or a list of songs that I would recommend having a listen to.  Do have a look at my next post here: March 2017 On-repeats 🙂

 

I’m glad that I now have a bit of free time to blog again, the past weeks with tight deadlines have been insane for me (STUDENT LIFE!).  I’ll probably blog more often in April, as we Surrey students have one full April to enjoy our Easter vacation, and I’m traveling to Amsterdam and Paris, which I’m super super excited about.  I’ve been to both cities before but this time it’s going to be a total different experience for a solo traveler like me as I will be traveling with a group of friends (hoorayyyy).  So stay tuned for more travel photos, and possibly food too!

 

See you in my next post,

ᴊᴜʟɪᴇʏᴛʜᴇ1sᴛ