“Karleigh, you’re really cool. But you put yourself down all the time and it makes it hard to be around you.”
I slumped back in my chair and tried to hide the hurt on my face from my coworkers. It was at this moment that I realized I didn’t know how to accept the fact that someone would actually want me around.
I received this text over two years ago from a guy that I was seeing. However, I remember it like it was yesterday.
I didn’t realize just how deep my self hatred ran. At the time, I didn’t understand that I was even allowed to not self deprecate. I didn’t know that I was allowed to accept a compliment without rejecting it first.
I didn’t understand that my lack of confidence affected more than what I thought when I looked in the mirror.
Although it wouldn’t be for another year that I really started digging into personal development and figuring out why I was this way, this moment is what pushed me in that direction.
When you struggle with confidence, dating can become a Catch-22. On one hand, you want validation from men so you continue to go out. On the other hand, you don’t believe that they could ever actually like you, so you’re distrustful and don’t allow yourself to connect.
Does this ring any bells?
If yes, my heart goes out to you. I struggled with this for most of my life.
Whether you’re happy being single or want to actively date, you deserve to enjoy yourself. You deserve to be with someone who enjoys you as you are.
Normally on a date, I’m pulling on my shirt, sucking my gut in, worried about my double chin. I’m so obsessed with myself and how I look that I come off very self absorbed. Add onto that the fact that showing that I care makes me vulnerable to rejection. Coming off disinterested was easier than risking them telling me they didn’t like me.
What I also didn’t realize is that by doing that, it hurt the person I was out with. I was so worried about them thinking I was fat that they think they wasted my time.
I’ve been on some bad dates, don’t get me wrong. But the majority of the one’s I’ve been on have been pretty awesome. Looking back on it, I pushed away some potential relationships being so obsessed with myself.
When you’re not confident and struggle with worth, you don’t know how to properly communicate. You don’t know how to enjoy yourself and go with the moment. I didn’t realize just how much of an impact confidence has until I started looking back on these experiences.
Several months ago, I went on a date with a really cool dude. An hour went by before I even realized I hadn’t thought about my body once. That is huge. I just enjoyed myself, had fun and enjoyed the company. I wasn’t picking at my shirt, I wasn’t obsessed with my stomach, I just had fun.
Looking back, I see why that happened. This was such a big deal for me, I broke down every element that brought me to that point. I’m going to share with you some tips and tricks to really enjoy yourself on your next date.
And for the record – whether you’re single or not, these tips will help. Whether your next date is with someone new or a current relationship, these will help you.
- Choose somewhere fun
I personally don’t think that movies or dinner are the best places to have a date, especially if you’re in the online dating world. Pick a place that’s more interactive and a bit more fun. My favorite place to go is a gaming lounge about a half hour away from me. They have thousands of games ready to hop on and play. They have every console you can think of, as well as board games, card games, and overstuffed couches to get comfy on.
Instead of sitting across the table in awkward silence watching each other eat, you can have fun gaming together.
Gaming not your thing? Find something you enjoy. Maybe an arcade, the aquarium, a museum, a pottery shop where you can sit and paint. This will give you something to bond over as well as something to take your mind off of yourself. You won’t be obsessing over your insecurities. Instead you’ll be having fun with someone.
- Pick an outfit you love
I mean an outfit you LOVE love. Not just one you look good in, but one you feel good in. I used to insist on wearing super tight jeans and a fitted tee or blouse on a date. I’d force myself to leave my hair down and wear shoes that weren’t comfortable, but looked good. While yes, my booty looked good in the jeans, I was so uncomfortable. I would worry about my muffin top when I sat down, I couldn’t stop pushing my hair out of my face, and I was counting down the minutes until I could get out of the dang shoes.
I do not recommend this. Wear something that makes you feel hot as heck, but that’s also comfortable. My day to day wear is sweatpants and a hoodie – I like to be comfy. So my version of dressing up now is leggings and nerdy t-shirt. My ‘dress up’ shoes are a pair of high top Vans. I look good, I feel good, and I’m totally myself.
This takes an enormous amount of pressure off of you. Knowing that you’re going to love how you feel going into the date already sets you up for success.
Whatever makes you feel good, look good and expresses who you are, do that. Rock the heck out of it.
- Turn on the tunes
When you’re getting ready, turn on music that makes it impossible to stand still. I love getting myself hyped up before I go out. I dance while I’m putting my make up on, I shake my butt, shimmy my shoulders. It makes me feel sexy, so that’s the energy that carries with me to the date. When I’m in the car, I crank it up and have a full on dance party on the way.
This is such a great way to head to a date because you can’t be in a bad mood while rocking out. You’re going to show up with a smile on your face and a pep in your step.
I am obsessed with positive self talk. I hammer this point home to my clients, to my CBA members, everyone. It is so much more important than you’d believe.
Before you leave, look in the mirror and tell yourself just how amazing you are. Whether you believe it or not, hype yourself up. Tell yourself you’re strong, sexy, capable. That you’re worthy. This works best if you do this daily, but especially right before a date. It will start to create that narrative in your brain and you’ll feel even better when you go out.
You’re going to have fun. It’s going to be great. This person wants to go out with you, so stop wondering if you’re good enough or if they’ll like you. Whether they do or don’t doesn’t really matter. What matters is that you go out and have a good time. If you’re vibing, great. If not, that’s cool, too. It’s just about getting out there and enjoying yourself.
Dating in and of itself is ridiculously nerve wracking, but especially when you’re struggling with self confidence. You deserve to get out there and have fun, and I hope these tips will help you do just that.
Are you ready to really go after your confidence journey full force? If so, click here to be join my 5 day Confidence Builders mini course. This free course will start you strong on your confidence journey and give you tangible tips to take with you as you continue beyond the 5 days.