Thursday, 6 September 2018

How to Feel Confident When You Feel Anything But

I know I'm not alone in occasionally suffering from the Imposter Syndrome or generally feeling like a big, fat, faker of adulting. My mum has always said to me, "Fake it til you make it!" which is a rule I do live by, since oftentimes when I'm in new situations I can be overwhelmed with thoughts of self-doubt and self-criticism.

Starting a new job, as I am doing, these same negative and harsh remarks make their way to the forefront of my brain and I begin to question EVERY MOLECULE OF MY BEING.

Not wanting to completely derail my first week of work when I should be excited and looking forward to new experiences instead of not being able to focus on things because the voice in my head shouting, "You can't do this!" is too distracting, I headed for Pinterest and researched some ways to make me feel more confident and comfortable in unfamiliar settings.

Clothes make the (wo)man
As in the old expression, "The clothes make the (wo)man." Originally it meant that, one could tell one's status by what someone wore and although this is still true, the idiom has also come to mean, dress comfortably and confidently and you will be comfortable and confident. That's why all those career advice articles tell you to dress for the job you want, not the job you have or that if you work from home, still put on real clothes, which will make you more productive than if you stay in your pajamas all day.  Also, after spending several years in uber casual clothes that are great for giving tours and getting physical, but not so office appropriate. I'm totally looking forward to a lady trouser in my future.

Positive Affirmations
Beyond the typical positive affirmations--my current fav, "I can do all the things", be kind with the way you speak to yourself. The world can be harsh enough, no need for you to pile it on too. Instead of criticizing, remind yourself that you are enough and that you got this!
A few years ago, I was starting a new position at work and I was feeling overwhelmed. A friend of mine told me that in Dutch, they say the word "sterkte!" to wish someone the strength to persevere whatever challenge they are facing. I really liked this and still say it to myself today.

Power Poses
Pseudoscience or not, I love the idea of practicing power poses to help boost my confidence. With fists on hips like Wonder Woman, I can't help but feel like I can conquer the world! Or at the very least, the small task in front of me. And even if it doesn't give me the little boost I'm looking for, body language speaks loud and proud and others will see you as confident. Just don't confuse the Wonder Woman pose with the Superman pose.

make a list
I have a bullet journal and one of my favourite things to do in it is to write a weekly inventory of achievements I accomplished that week. Sometimes the list includes major achievements like absolutely nailing an interview and other times it's the little wins, like woke up before 9am, that are celebrated. Creating a list of things you are good at and things you've accomplished is a good way to remind yourself just how much you rock.

Speak with Confidence
Rephrase how you speak, to instead speak with confidence. It's no longer, "I don't know", now it's "That's a good question, let me look into that and get back to you."

Rally Crowds
I once attended the London Marathon (merely as a spectator) and as runners passed by my friend and I noticed the name bibs on each participant. The crowds around us shouted and cheered people on, calling out their names even though they didn't personally know them. As an aside, I noticed a lot of Dave's running and called out to them each time with a hearty, "YEEEEEEEEEAAAHHH DAAAAVE!" Wouldn't you love to have a crowd should out encouragement to you everywhere you went?
When you need them, call on your personal cheerleaders, those people that are super supportive and say encouraging things to you and who have absolutely no doubt in their minds that you will be a success. It couldn't hurt.


These are some of the things I'm doing to trick myself into feeling more confident than I actually am just yet. Gaining real confidence will only come with time, as I become more comfortable with my surroundings, more familiar with the history of the organization and more informed about the industry.


Update: After posting this I discovered the newly launched The Insecure Girls' Club by the bad-ass blogger Liz Purvis. She's developing her club for women who need to be reminded "that you can be successful, outgoing, good company and confident and still be insecure at times...[the club is] a place for girls who want to kick ass, but still feel a bit wobbly at times." We aren't alone in our moments of insecurity even while being awesome and capable. Sometimes it's just nice to know we aren't alone, it's not all instagram perfection out there.



Do you 'fake it til you make it?'

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Thursday, 9 August 2018

Top Festivals in Toronto

Ohhh Toronto loves a festival. Summer is chockablock full of festivals celebrating food, music, drinks, art...you name it, there is probably a festival for it in and around the city. Here I've compiled my list of 5 favourite Toronto festivals and just so you know, not all of them are summertime deals.

1// Toronto Cider Festival
I'm not a beer drinker so all the craft beer fests usually aren't my scene, but put a cider on tap and I'm there! This end of summer fest has all the hallmarks of a great summer weekend at the cottage at the Toronto Waterfront on Sherbourne Common.

{Erin Out and About} Cider Fest

2// Toronto Light Fest
This winter festival arguably kicks off the year of fests by starting mid-January and running for several weeks at the Distillery District. It's an incredible installation of light based outdoor art pieces. Honestly, I really love this event. Cool public art is tops.

{Erin Out and About} Toronto Light Fest

3// Historic Distillery District Christmas Market
I love all Christmas markets, but the ones in Europe are really where's it at. Short of a flight to Germany, the Distillery District for the month of November becomes a Christmas wonderland and the closest thing to a true and proper Christmas market on the cobbled streets of the former Victorian Distillery.

{Erin Out and About} Christmas Market

4 Taco Fest
Unlike the other fests on this list, this is the only one I have yet to repeat. June is a busy month for festivals and sometimes you just have to pick and choose how you spend your time. But I love tacos and a whole festival dedicated to them is a-okay in my books.

{Erin Out and About} Taco Fest

5 Brunch Fest
This festival also in June gives you your fill of breakfast themed foods. I recommend going to a early session to avoid lines and missing out on some favourite brunch items.

{Erin Out and About} Brunch Fest

A festival is only second to a really good farmer's market, but what have I missed? Any honourable mentions that should be noted?

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Saturday, 4 August 2018

Most Romantic Place in Canada: Bauline East

When I travel, I don't really think about the romance of a place. Sure I've been to Florence and Venice, Quebec City and Paris, which according to some travel websites are v. romantic places. Usually when I book a trip someplace it's usually from a pure desire to see something new and experience life in a different space. Also with an eye on the cultural food.

So last summer when a good friend and I decided to meet in St. John's, Newfoundland (a half way point between Toronto and the UK). We spent a few days in the city doing a whistle-stop tour of the major tourist sites and some more hidden spots (totally fell in love with this place). As an added treat after spending time in the big city, I booked us into an Airbnb off the Irish Loop in an area called the Bauline East. We rented a vehicle and hit the road, taking a leisurely ride to our one night jaunt.

{Erin Out and About} Bauline East, Travel Link Up

{Erin Out and About} Bauline East, Travel Link Up

{Erin Out and About} Bauline East, Travel Link Up

We knew we were staying in an old Newfoundland barn, a structure big enough to store supplies, hay and a cow for the winter, now renovated to comfortably sleep two with a seating area and small kitchenette. But when we arrived we were both hit with the romanticism of the colourful structures on the property, the proximity to the private cove, and the general setting and peacefulness of it all.

{Erin Out and About} Bauline East, Travel Link Up

{Erin Out and About} Bauline East, Travel Link Up

{Erin Out and About} Bauline East, Travel Link Up

{Erin Out and About} Bauline East, Travel Link Up

{Erin Out and About} Bauline East, Travel Link Up

{Erin Out and About} Bauline East, Travel Link Up

{Erin Out and About} Bauline East, Travel Link Up

As we cooked our moose meat burgers, steak, scallops and roasted veggie meal--a veritable feast--on the barbecue provided, we kept turning to each other and asking, "Can you believe this?"

After our gourmet dinner overlooking the cove, we sauntered down to the beach where George (the super friendly host) had arranged a fire pit for us. It started to lightly rain, but we persisted and out lasted the weather as the moody clouds rolled in but rained no more. We made friends with our bunky neighbours and sipped Newfoundland blueberry-partridgeberry wine (I wouldn't even change this detail of our night if I could relive this experience). Eventually the fire died down and we slipped back to our barn for a deep slumber.

{Erin Out and About} Bauline East, Travel Link Up

{Erin Out and About} Bauline East, Travel Link Up

{Erin Out and About} Bauline East, Travel Link Up

{Erin Out and About} Bauline East, Travel Link Up

The next morning we awoke to gorgeous bright light and sounds of sea birds and waves hitting the rocky shore. For breakfast we sipped warm hugs of tea and munched on fresh summer fruit on our tiny porch facing the water and the August morning sun. It was here that I declared, "I've found it! This is where I'm going to come when I write my novel."

{Erin Out and About} Bauline East, Travel Link Up

{Erin Out and About} Bauline East, Travel Link Up

{Erin Out and About} Bauline East, Travel Link Up

{Erin Out and About} Bauline East, Travel Link Up

{Erin Out and About} Bauline East, Travel Link Up

We were slow to pack our bags and did it quite begrudgingly, I might add. We drove further along the Irish Loop and did some sight seeing in the area while seriously discussing cancelling our flight back to Toronto and spending the rest of our lives in this precious barn. I would have done it too, if we weren't heading to the wedding of a dear friend back in Ontario.

{Erin Out and About} Bauline East, Travel Link Up

Given an opportunity I would return here any day, just looking for an excuse...hang on, let me grab a pen and get started on that book!

At the beginning of each month, I like to take part in the monthly travel link up hosted on the incredible blogs by AngieEmma, Polly and guest host Bejal at Be-Lavie. You can join in too by leaving a comment below, checking out other posts on the link up, or adding your own post to the widget now until August 7th.


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