Disqus for Where Are My Knees

Brita Boost - Confidence without alcohol - Guest post by Maggie

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

I wouldn't say I drink for confidence, but I know unfamiliar social situations do feel a little easier when lubricated with a glass of wine (or two). While I'm happy to stand up and present to a room full of people, I find one-to-one interaction with strangers difficult. So sitting in the upstairs bookshop of School of Life, nursing an elderflower cordial, I couldn't steal myself to approach anyone and say 'Hi' even if we were all there for the same reason. Luckily the course leader Jean-Paul began to mingle among us, breaking the ice and making it easier to talk to my neighbours, indulging in the usual small-talk about jobs and the (really tasty!) refreshments, as well as our reasons for being on the course that evening.

The downstairs room we were lead to for the course itself was beautiful. A 2D black and white mural runs across the walls, depicting overflowing bookcases, a half finished game of scrabble and etc. Two rows of seats facing a screen showed we would be presented to, conference style, but the clipboard on each chair made me think there would be a bit of interaction expected too. There was a good mix of both Jean-Paul talked us through what is meant by confidence and we did some improv and exercises with the person sitting next to us (more talking to strangers!).

There was a lot covered and I don't want to give it all away, but I'll mention the points that stuck with me most:

      Externalise your pessimistic thoughts if someone else was saying them to you how would you defend yourself? Really handy if you tend to get down on yourself and say things like I can't do this. Instead you flip things around and say You can't do this and you begin to feel like you want to prove that negative voice wrong
      I very much fall in to the trap of the fixed mindset it's a bit like the comfort zone where you know what you're good at and all your aiming for is success, even if it's same-old, same old. Instead I need to adopt a growth mindset; where I try new things, learn from failure and success is measured in growth.
      My favourite inspirational quote from the night (and there were loads) was Just because some people can do something with little or no training, it doesn't mean that others can't do it (and sometimes do it even better) with training - Carol Dweck.

I found the whole event very useful if not just because I realised a lot of people struggle with the same lack of confidence, so I wasn't facing it alone. So next time I'm at a social event I'm going to shout down my inner pessimist and say hello to someone new with or without wine, honest!

*This installment of the Brita Boost Dry January series was brought to you by the very lovely Maggie. People chose to drink from some of these five reasons - taste, socialising, confidence booster, relaxing and for the buzz. This post focused on confidence and  you can read all the other posts in this series here.


  1. Great post! Some really interesting points. I feel the same way about talking to strangers etc so this was really good to read x