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Stars who have struggled with their confidence

24 April 2018

Let's chat about confidence, shall we? A special episode of Life Hacks recorded at the Radio 1 Academy saw Cel Spellman and Katie Thistleton take a deep dive into the c-word. What is it? How do you lose it? How do you gain it? Isn't confidence just the same as self-esteem?! So. Many. Questions.

On hand to answer some of those pressing questions was none other than Radio 1's resident GP, Dr Radha: "Self-esteem is very different from confidence.

Self-esteem is very different from confidence
Dr Radha

"Self-esteem is our opinion of ourselves and who we think we are, whereas confidence tends to be related to your ability to do something and that will vary according to what you’re doing.

"So you can have very good self-esteem but your confidence in certain situations will change."

Gotcha. With that in mind, let's take a look at the stars who have been candid about their ever-changing confidence levels and how they deal with it...

Zayn Malik

"This time around I feel a lot more confident" - Zayn Malik on his new grown-up record

As the world prepares to hear his brand new record, Zayn Malik gave Grimmy a call!

He was one fifth of the biggest boy band on the planet, with millions of adoring fans and plenty of No.1's to his name, before breaking away and becoming a solo superstar. All things considered, you'd think that Zayn Malik had bucket-loads of confidence, right? Wrong.

I think my confidence has definitely grown in the last year and a half
Zayn Malik

Speaking to Grimmy on the Breakfast Show earlier this month, Zayn chatted about how he's grown in confidence over time and how that's affected the music he's putting out into the world:

"I think my confidence has definitely grown in the last year and a half. Just working on a lot of personal issues - y'know, leaving the band and not knowing what was going on for a while and putting out a record and not being as prominent as I wanted to be.

"But this time around I feel like I am more confident and I really believe in what’s going on, so I want to convey that to my fans."

Demi Lovato

Confidence plays a part in all areas of our lives, from the professional to the personal, and Demi Lovato has been frank about how her lack of confidence in her appearance has wreaked havoc on her body image.

By taking care of yourself, you're doing things to help your confidence and your health
Demi Lovato

“I have never been confident enough in my own skin to feel sexy,” Lovato told Billboard. “Now that I’m feeling great and I feel confident, I’m proud of the skin that I’m in.

“I’m wanting to share that with the world and show everyone how you can go from being very insecure with body image issues to feeling so proud of your body that you want to show it to the world."

Demi's 2015 track, Confident, is a testament to that evolution (and, it should be noted, an absolute banger) but maintaining that feeling is a full-time job. How does she do it? Two words: self care.

"It's really important to just really take care of yourself. And by taking care of yourself, you're doing things to help your confidence, your health," Demi told CBS. "And ultimately when I take care of myself I just feel better overall. Whether it's my diet, exercise or just trying to keep a positive mind. Things like that can make a huge difference."

Selena Gomez

Selena Gomez was just 10 years old when she made her acting debut (in Barney & Friends alongside Demi Lovato, FYI) and she's been perfecting her craft ever since. Have her years of experience instilled confidence in her? It would seem so...

Even in auditions I feel like I’m way more confident than I would’ve been in the past
Selena Gomez

"On a personal level, having done this since I was seven, it’s probably the most comfortable I’ve ever felt," SelGo told Harpers Bazaar earlier this year. "Even in auditions I feel like I’m way more confident than I would’ve been in the past.

"I’m not focused on the things that I used to be like, 'Do I look old enough? Do I look sexy enough? Do I look cool enough? Am I nice enough, graceful enough?' Those sorts of things would come into my mind, but now I feel a little more liberated."

But just because Selena feels confident in one realm doesn't mean that the feeling is transferrable to another. Despite consistently conquering the charts, Selena has reservations about her music that stem from her uncertainty:

“My next album has been forever in the making. When people ask me why, I’m honest about it: It’s because I haven’t been ready. I mean, point-blank, I don’t feel confident enough in where my music is yet. If that takes 10 years, then it takes 10 years. I don’t care. Right now I just want to be super intentional with all of the things I’m doing.”

Louis Tomlinson

Louis Tomlinson lifted the lid on his time in One Direction in a surprisingly honest interview with the Guardian back in 2017.

It takes time to build up a great level of confidence
Louis Tomlinson

"In the first year [Zayn and I] were both the least confident" the Back To You star revealed, but he finally got a grasp on his confidence just as the band parted ways: "In the last year of One Direction I was probably the most confident I ever was. And then it was: ‘OK, hiatus!’”

In interviews since then, Louis has attributed his belief in himself to the support he receives from fans.

“I think everybody lives with their own insecurities whatever they might be and however they might be magnified," he told a Scottish radio station.

“It takes time to build up a great level of confidence, but one thing I will say is - the reason why I have the confidence to do the X Factor or even when I did Ultra festival: the fans give me that feeling.

“They give me that confidence that regardless of what happens they’ve got my back. It’s a no brainer.”

Dr Radha says...

"Confidence is interesting because we go along in life doing quite well and then maybe something happens or we fail at something and our confidence will drop.

"Confidence is one of those things that goes up and down all the time, so if you’re an athlete or a sportsperson and something happens to you then your ability to go out and try that again with that fear and knowledge can have a big impact on how you see yourself."

In short: it's totally normal for your confidence levels to fluctuate but, as these stars have proved, perseverance is key. For more help and advice, head to Radio 1's advice pages...

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