*Brrring Brrrring Brrring* it’s 6:15 am and, once again, I awake to the sound of my alarm clock alerting me that toughest part of the whole day has arrived- and thus my morning begins.
After conducting my normal routine, I then go on to wear my favorite pair of joggers and hastily throw my hair into a messy bun. And just for the heck of it, I even fill in my brows and put on my favorite lip color, for an added boost of confidence. As I take my final glance into the mirror, I smile-halfway, still exhausted from the chaos of the morning, and quietly whisper to myself, “You are absolutely amazing,” before proceeding on with the rest of my day.
It may not seem like much, but you would be surprised how a single phrase similar to the one above, can alter the way you view yourself. There is a misconception about those who exhibit self-love. They are typically viewed as self-centered or narcissistic beings who believe their worth is of a higher status than the rest of society. However, that is not always the case. This mindset is unhealthy and can even be considered hazardous. If there is one thing that is crucial to learn as individuals during some point in our lives, it is to be fervently kind to ourselves.
Growing up, I didn’t really have much confidence. I always thought I was one step behind everyone else in everything. Being teased and picked on didn’t help the situation much either. I was an awkward kid, who loved to read and didn’t really have much sense of style or things that were “in.” And though insecurity is a natural thing during one’s transition through adolescence into adulthood, my insecurity increased in severity and eventually led to harmful thoughts and behaviors. Maybe if I looked like her. Maybe if I dressed a little more like that. Maybe if I wasn’t so weird, maybe then they would like me. But I failed to realize that no would ever accept me, if I didn’t even like myself first.
I always considered people who thought highly of themselves to be “stuck up.” I saw them as individuals who were just naturally confident and was rubbing it into the faces of those of us who weren’t. I was envious because I felt unhappy about myself. I very seldom felt good about my appearance or abilities, and when I did it was usually short-lived due to the comparisons I would make between myself and those around me. So I, like most others in my situation, decided to change myself externally. I began to mimic those surrounding me in order to be content. And although it is simple to change your hair, clothes, put on makeup, and change the way you act, it is quite difficult to copy someone’s confidence if you do not possess your own.
So how do you gain self-confidence on your own? It is actually quite simple, and you can achieve it in just a few steps.
Forgive yourself and your past mistakes:Too often we let our past bully us into thinking we are forever going to be a “screw-up.” When in fact making mistakes, both big and small, is really just a part of being human. We all have messed up and will continue to mess up. Life is a continuous process of moving on and accepting your past. The trick is to learn from it, rather than live life full of regret.
Stop trying to be perfect: Another beautiful part of being human is that we all are flawed whether internally or externally. We cannot be the best at EVERYTHING no matter how hard we may try. Accept that you have flaws, and if want, change them! Strive for improvement, not perfection.
Stop comparing yourself to others: This is one of the most important steps in gaining confidence. You will never be satisfied with anything you do if you always compare it to the things others do. Why? Because we know all of our flaws, we know all of our mistakes, and to ourselves we are far from perfect. However, we don’t often see that in other people. I find a quote that best puts it, “The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.”
Rid your life of negativity:Whether it is a habit, friend, relationship or even job- it is important to rid your life of negative influences in order to sustain your happiness and preserve confidence in yourself. How can you feel good about your life if you don’t enjoy the thing/ people in it? It is easier said than done. The process may be painful, however you can face the pain of change or the pain of staying the same.
Selfies and Affirmations:Yupp. You read it correctly, take a selfie. Feeling cute in that new shirt you just bought? Take a picture in it! You don’t have to upload it, do it for yourself! Make silly faces into the camera or strike your best top model pose, just have fun with it. We all don’t have to have “the look” in order to be consider beautiful. Which leads me into my final point- affirmations. Tell yourself all of the things you’ve been waiting to hear from someone else. Look into the mirror and tell yourself you are beautiful. Tell yourself you are amazing, smart, and talented, tell yourself you are worth something. Because you are. Even if you do not feel it is true, say it anyway. By doing so, you are training your mind to think positively about yourself which will lead to, you guessed it, self-love and confidence.
Loving yourself does not make you conceited. Loving yourself is key to being successful in anything you set your mind to. Remind yourself every day that you are incredible. Write it on a note and put it somewhere you’ll always see it. Look up quotes that make you feel good. Because you are amazing. And you are Bella. :)