I went to one of my oldest friend’s wedding this weekend. I had to do a reading. In church. In front of everyone. The last time I went to church was at another wedding two years ago. 

It. Was. Scary.

I have no idea why I find public speaking scary. It doesn’t really bother me in theory but I’m pretty sure you could see my ass shaking in anticipation as I walked up the aisle to the pulpit, hoping to God I didn’t trip over my 5″ wedges and show my knickers to everyone.

Obviously, it went fine. I’m actually a pretty good public speaker. I even had five different people I didn’t know come and find me after the service to tell me how beautiful it was. I made the groom cry (apparently that was a good thing).

Even though it went well, I surprised myself at how nervous I felt, as, deep down, I knew everything would be fine.

I have a secret to share with you. I’m not confident. Not in the traditional sense. My nature is one of worry and putting myself down. I work hard to catch myself doing it but that then leads to a series of, ‘don’t be so hard on yourself’, ‘see, you’re rubbish at being confident’, ‘you’re so useless’. So, all in all, not great.

There are ways of getting around not being 100% confident, which you could easily mistake for being 100% confident.

Here’s another little secret:

When you are following your heart, AKA trusting in your intuition, you are 100% confident in what you are doing.

You know this already. I don’t have to tell you that when you are doing something that you know with all your heart is the right thing, you don’t have to think about it, it’s automatic, almost like you have to do it.

Lack of confidence comes from not being 100% sure of yourself. If you can dig deep and find your truth, confidence is just a by-product.

So after all that, I guess you’re wondering how you find you’re illusive truth. I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to find it. It isn’t hiding. We’re not Freudian Psychologists demanding that you spend ten hours a day on a couch trying to figure out the inner workings of your mind. All you have to do is listen.

The easiest tool I know to help you get in touch with your deepest desires and truth is mindfulness. I chat on about mindfulness all the time but I don’t think many people know exactly what I mean when I say it, so here comes a really simple explanation:

Mindfulness is the practice of being present. Although this sounds like a lot of airy fairy nonsense it’s really simple and makes a big difference to how you see the world and your stress levels.

Have you even been to the gym or doing a sport or crossword puzzle (if that’s your thing – who the hell was I aiming that comment at?!) or anything that you’ve devoted your whole attention to? Have you ever felt ‘in the zone’? That moment where all your senses are heightened and everything seems so much more real and you’re on fire? This is being present.

All mindfulness means is being completely aware of what you’re doing when you’re doing it. So no daydreaming, no thinking about one thing whilst doing another. Actually focusing on one thing at a time and appreciating what you’re doing for whatever value it has.

If you’re in work sorting out the latest figures focus on the shapes the numbers make and how they all link in with each other, feel the keyboard beneath your fingers tips and the temperature of the air as you breath in.

I know this sounds really OTT to begin with but it’s not like I’m suggesting you do it all the time. Try it when you’re doing something mundane like washing the dishes or doing the ironing, even if it’s just for two minutes at a time.

What this exercise does is give your brain time to appreciate what’s going on in your life which means you get to chill the frick out and focus on now rather than what a mess you made of yesterday and how horrendous tomorrow is going to be. In short, confidence is derived from not stressing about the past or the future so if you stay present, you stay confident. This is the secret of how to be 100% confident.

Another thing you might like to try, which I’d love your feedback on, is the guided meditation below. Don’t be put off by the fact it’s a meditation, you close your eyes when you’re not going to be disturbed for ten minutes and listen to me. Trust me, my dog could to that (and frequently does).

Let me know how you get on!