You may know Russell Brand as a cheeky British comedian, a vegan, advocate for the animals, and even a one-time husband of Katy Perry once upon a time. But did you also know he is a budding self-help guru? Being someone in constant desire for self-help (guilty), I discovered his YouTube channel and naturally binged his videos back-to-back…to-back.
One of his videos gave some particularly refreshing advice about self-confidence—a trait that is less pronounced in some people than others (guilty again). It’s clear that self-confidence plays a big role in our lives. Confidence can give us the strength to improve ourselves. Whether it’s pursuing the career of our dreams or asking out a love interest, self-confidence impacts how we carry ourselves day-to-day.
“It puts you at ease, when you deal with people who are genuinely, truthfully, confident.” —Russell Brand
This quote is funny to me, because I know precisely the type of person Russell is referring to and I also know precisely that person is not me. It’s a trait my best friend Lisa refers to as, “humble confidence.” We all know that person who is so secure with themselves that you feel assured just being in their presence. They have nothing to prove, so neither do you. It’s these people who make me wish I could brush up against their back and hope just some of their confidence rubs off on me.
Fortunately for me and people like me, self-confidence is something we can work on. As Russell says, “these are the people that have worked on themselves.” So what’s stopping us from becoming one of them someday?
Russell Brand’s tips for self-confidence
Stop the Comparisons
“True confidence is someone who embraces and accepts who they are.” —Russell Brand
Okay, I know we’ve heard this advice before. But let’s be honest, it’s much easier said than done.
Some of us have things we feel insecure about, specific things that we label as “flaws.” My biggest insecurities are 1) my skin, though it’s undoubtedly clear at this point, 2) my lagging self-confidence. So naturally, the people that I compare myself most to have perfect skin and express themselves very confidently.
In his video, Russell briefly compares himself with David Beckham. From an outsider’s point of view, it’s easy to see how illogical that is. In my mind, the two are incomparable. They are both completely different people with completely different things to offer the world. It’s easier to rationalize away someone else’s comparisons, than disregard our own absurd ones.
Why do we see the best traits in other people and the worst traits in ourselves? True confidence may come from accepting that we are not going to be the best at everything, and instead knowing that we have other great things to offer. David, is an excellent soccer player who has managed to stay in amazing shape all these years. And Russell, is a superb speaker and thought leader that many people look to for guidance.
Do what you love
“Find what it is you enjoy doing, devote and dedicate yourself to it.” —Russell Brand
As a person whose lack of self-confidence stops her from doing what she enjoys (oh the irony), this advice is exactly what I want to work on. When we work on our “craft” or whatever it is we want to do in our lives, that experience builds confidence in our capabilities. Our hard work and experience can be used as evidence to ourselves that we can achieve/work hard/improve/grow/etc.
As Russell says, it’s likely that we won’t be “the best in the world” at what we do, but if we try hard enough, we can be pretty damn good, and that can be good enough.
Improve what you can (while loving who you are)
“If you are not satisfied with what you have, what makes you think that you’ll be satisfied by more?” —Russell Brand
We do have the power to improve the things that make us feel less confident about ourselves.
For me personally, I know I can work to improve my skin’s health by adopting healthier habits like hydrating, eating healthy, and exercising. I can work on my self-confidence by challenging myself to express my authentic self more and more.
And that’s great, but I can also take a second to love and accept myself as I am.
Russell points out that even though we may improve something physically about ourselves, we shouldn’t necessarily expect that achieving it will provide a solution to our problems. And, while there are concrete ways we can improve ourselves, it can be harmful if we use that mentality on an endless journey towards perfection.
“Stop judging yourself, but do go work on yourself.” —Russell Brand
What is something you love about yourself?
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