The Great British Baking Show, first airing in the United States in 2014, has become a popular watch worldwide. The iconic judges, such as blue-eyed beauty Paul Hollywood and seamlessly never-aging Mary Berry, make the show as entertaining and real as can be. After watching all six seasons (yes, six) of the show, not only did I become a better chef, but more importantly, I became a better person. Here's why.

1. I have become more patient in the kitchen.

Nothing is as anxiety-provoking as waiting for the oven timer to go off after putting in a baked good. I get scared every time — and this is in the comfort of my own home, with no time constraints. On the flip side, the Great British Baking Show contestants are dealing with time pressure and fear of harsh judgement, all while being filmed for national television. I think I may have it a tad easier.

Though is may seem silly, watching the show has taught me the best way to cope with that stress is to sit criss-cross applesauce on the floor next to the oven with a cuppa tea in hand. Maybe say a little prayer, too. 

2. I have realized that compassion is key.

Adding salt instead of sugar, curdling the mixture, over-baking the cake — we've all been there in one sense or another. Mistakes happen, and while they aren't the end of the world, they aren't fun to experience. This is especially the case while baking in a tent with competitors and having (probably) the most coveted trophy in the world on the line. However, the Brits know how to deal with it! They only have proper bones in their bodies and often comfort their fellow competitors during trying times.

And while I learned that compassion in the kitchen is important, especially in times of stress, it is a skill that is key in everyday life as well. So, don't cry over burnt scones, just turn to a loved one nearby (maybe even a dog or cat) and let it all out. 

3. I now understand that a handshake from the Paul Hollywood can make one's day, week, or even life. 

Okay, I know this lesson is extremely specific but is has a greater importance I promise. In its purest form, the Great British Baking Show wouldn't be what is is without the famous handshake — a worthy recognition for a fantastic bake. Paul Hollywood uses this action as a way of saying "congratulations," without any words. Put simply, sometimes all we need is a little show of affection for reassurance. In this case, actions speak louder than words. 

So while we, the common people, cannot receive a handshake from this handsome hunk on a daily basis, there are plenty of supporters around us. I mean hey, a hug from mom is better than nothing, right?

4. Learning about yourself can prove to be a greater "win" than a trophy. 

Most contestants on the show come away with improved baking skills and the glory of saying they were on the Great British Baking Show. However, only one winner gets the coveted trophy. Luckily, even those who don't win can gain serious self-growth and increased confidence.

So while these all-star bakers come away with new knowledge, like how to make Mary Berry's famous bakewell tart or how to perfect Paul Hollywoods's classic cottage loaf, a #basicbaker like me doesn't pick up on it all. But, I always notice the way the bakers leave the show with a positive spin; saying they had the best experience of their lives and learned they can do whatever they set their mind to. These bakers have encouraged me to never give up on baking, or anything I care about, and to always feel like a winner, even sans-trophy.

5. I have come to understand you can never let your bakes come out with a soggy bottom.

Okay, yes, another extremely specific lesson learned. But, there is a bigger take-away here. A soggy bottom will result in a bake that is at-risk for collapse. Baked goods and people alike need strong foundations to be successful.

This can apply to many different situations. Whether you are about to embark on a difficult baking journey or simply setting off on your day, you need a positive attitude to achieve your goals. With a positive attitude, comes more confidence, and more confidence means fewer soggy bottoms. 

So What?

I owe so much of my self-confidence, passion and knowledge to the Great British Baking Show. It has given me happy cries, sad cries, mouthwatering treats and plenty of laughs. I am not sure what I am going to do with my life now that I have watched all six seasons, but I think I will start by sitting down by the oven with a cuppa tea, waiting on a treat for the time being.