I know I am not the only one who struggles with self-confidence. Growing up I was insecure about literally everything in my life. I always thought I was too short, too skinny, too weird. I had spaced out teeth, frizzy hair and a uni-brow for crying out loud. I dressed in hand-me-down clothes from my older sister and cousin, and well, quite honestly, had no idea how to “create” an outfit. (I still don’t really, I’m just winging this outfit thing in life). My mom is a lesbian, and that wasn’t really a cool thing a few years ago and kids made fun of my siblings and I for it. (I love you, mom(s) *That’s plural, I have two of them*! This shit made us stronger and we learned to joke about it!) Oh and do not get me started on makeup, shit, I’m a licensed cosmetologist and still can’t figure that shit out. I can do mascara on a good day. (Okay, I’m being a little dramatic, I’m not that terrible at makeup but don’t expect miracles out of me)!
“Confidence is silent. Insecurities are loud”Anonymous
Over the last few years, I would say since about 2015, I have learned so much about being confident in myself regardless of what other’s think. I learned that you do not have to be reliant on others to increase YOUR self-confidence. This is in your control, nobody else’s. And by this, I mean, you need to take control of your life and by doing so you will take control of your self-confidence. Here are some things that have helped me take control of my confidence. *By the way the first step is literally stepping out of your comfort zone, face your fears homie!*
Groom yourself and dress nicely. This might be completely obvious, but it’s amazing how taking a shower, shaving your legs, putting lotion on, doing your hair and makeup, putting on a cute ass outfit, and whatever other tasks you do to get ready, can change your mood instantly. When you’re dressed up, makeup looking hot, outfit cute as f*ck, you walk taller. More proud. Seriously, when I look in the mirror before leaving my house and I feel “cute” I notice a difference in how I carry myself as opposed to when I go to Walmart in my joggers and rubber boots (which is often). I hold my head high and I notice people looking my way. They’re probably thinking, “holy shit, that girl has her life together!”, when in all reality I’m a shit show. But hey, if other’s think that when they see me, what’s stopping me from thinking that? Nothing. Think it, be it. Fake it, ’till you make it!
Think positive. Kill those negative thoughts! I started replacing negative thoughts with positive ones. For example, when I notice a red spot on my face and get frustrated that I’m breaking out, I look at my eyes and think, “oh, shit look at how green those things are today!”. Consider that pimple forgotten. But in all reality you need to be aware of your self-talk. The thoughts you have about yourself or the things you do. When you start doubting something you are doing or how you look, change things to another perspective. When you are feeling “fat” because it’s that time of the month and you’re bloated, remind yourself that everyone gets bloated and feels this way, it’s not just you. Not to mention, nobody will even notice besides you. You are your biggest critique, you are your worst enemy. Stop that. REPLACE THOSE NEGATIVE THOUGHTS!
Act positive! Okay, now that you read the last post, and you are thinking positive it is time to act positive as well. You have to put those thoughts into action! This is the key to developing self-confidence. Thinking positive is one thing, but once you start acting on it, your life will change. You will change, one action at a time. You are what you do, and if you change what you do, you change what you are. Act in a positive way, always find the bright side to every situation. Good, bad, ugly. EVERYTHING. Instead of saying, “I can’t” say “I can”. Replace “I’ll try to” with “I will”. Think positive. Talk positive. ACT POSITIVE. You’ll soon start to notice a difference.
To find yourself, think for yourself…
Get to know yourself. Remember how I just said you are your own worst enemy. This is where we put that into consideration. When you go into a battle, the wisest general learns to know his enemy, extremely well. You cannot defeat the enemy without knowing them. You’re trying to overcome a negative self-image and replace it with that confidence… Your enemy is you. I cannot stress this enough. Get to know yourself. Listen to your thoughts. Write things down, the negative thoughts you have about yourself, analyze why you have such thoughts. And replace them with good things. Replace them what the things you like about yourself, your accomplishments, Dig deep within yourself, you’ll come out with even greater self-confidence!
Be kind and generous. I know, I know. Being kind doesn’t make the world kind. But know that being kind to others and generous with yourself and your time and what you have is a tremendous way to improve your self image. When you are kind to others, you see how it lightens their days, you start to feel good about yourself uplifting others. Make someone’s day better, and see your day change too.
Stop overthinking! Yes, I know. That is easier said than done, in fact I still overthink WAY TOO MUCH. But, I try to calm those fears with positive “what ifs”. What if I do amazing at that job interview. What if I get the job on the spot! What if I succeed in life! What if I make something out of nothing! Just look at all those what ifs!
Stand tall! I seriously have horrible posture, so it will sound hypocritical for me to give this advice, but I know it works because I try it often. When I remind myself to stand tall and straight, I feel better about myself. People who stand tall and confident are more attractive. And like I’ve said before, you gotta fake it until you make it!
Set goals, big or small! Most people would say to only set small goals or you will get discouraged, but the way I see it is; if you can fail and get back up again, you are a true winner. Set some goals and don’t stop until you achieve them! You will feel great about it when you achieve it, especially if you look back and see all the ups and downs you went through to get here!
SMILE! Seriously, smile. ALL. THE. TIME. Smile at that stranger walking down the grocery store isle. Smile at the cashier. Smile at the lady walking her dog past as you check your mail. Smile at the stranger pumping gas next you. When you smile at a stranger you never know if you just made their day. I remember a few days after my brother’s accident, I was at the gas station pumping gas and when I went in to go pay, and this lady held the door open for me and smiled. Through my bloodshot, puffy eyes, I smiled back. Her kindness uplifted me, just a little bit, but it was something.
Be grateful. I am a firm believer in gratitude. Being grateful for what you have in life, for what others have given you or have done for you, is a very humbling activity. It can also be very rewarding and positive and will help imporve your self-image.
Exercise. Okay, now I know I don’t workout as much as I realistically should, but I do love hiking and taking walks. I always feel so good after a nice long walk or a hike through the woods. Even if all you do is take a ten minute walk, you will feel better about yourself. Just throw some earbuds in and walk. Or shit, listen to nature.
Empower yourself with knowledge. Empowering yourself, in general, is one of the best strategies for building self-confidence. You can do that in many ways, but one of the surest ways to empower yourself is through knowledge. The Internet is a great tool, of course, but so are the people around you, people who have done what you want, books, magazines, and educational institutions. Pay attention in your everyday life, really listen to the people you talk to. Pay attention to the things they do.
“The hardest step she ever took, was to blindly trust in who she was…”
The most important thing to do to help boost your self-image, is to be you. 100% yourself. You cannot be confident in yourself if you are pretending to be someone you are not. Also, never, and i mean NEVER, compare yourself to other people. That Instagram fitness model who looks flawless? She put on make up, skipped breakfast and took 23,593 pictures and tried out another 267 filters before posting that “flawless” picture. In fact, she is probably thinking that same thing about the fitness model she follows! That girl in the magazine? She was airbrushed before the photo-shoot and they spent another three hours editing the photo in light-room and Photoshop. She looks at other girls in magazines and thinks the same thing. STOP COMPARING YOURSELF, those girls are doing the same to girls they idolize. But you know what, other ladies look at you and think, “wow she’s so pretty” or “she’s got her life together, I want that” people are constantly looking at you thinking you’re better than them. The truth is, we are all guilty of comparing ourselves to others, but we are all our own person. We are meant to all be different. Keep your head up, and when you see a fellow ladies’ crown falling, fix it for her. Help your sisters out, we are all in this journey of life together.
Stay beautiful homies, you are amazing.