Self-confidence; a feeling of trust in one’s abilities, qualities and judgement.
I grew up in a family where the women were all short and chubby, but overflowed with sass and confidence. So naturally, I grew up thinking that was normal and never doubted myself or my abilities. That is, until I experienced bullying and the awful aftermath of depression. Both really knock your confidence and self-worth. I have never experienced anything as horrible as that part of my life but I recovered. And on that climb back up the ladder, I gained even more confidence in myself I never thought existed and I threw away all my insecurities and dependence on others’ opinions of me. I partially attribute my overwhelming self-loving ways to my boyfriend, Steven. He helped me realise that although I’m not the prettiest or smartest or funniest (which is a lie because I’m hilarious), I’m still a pretty decent human being and I should be proud of myself.
Although this issue is becoming increasingly more popular and various Facebook pages and Instagram accounts have been set up to encourage people to accept and love themselves, it is still a serious problem, especially in teenagers and young people. So I guess my aim with this post, is really just to make you all aware how important it is to love yourself and to help others to love themselves because there’s no better love than self-love! ;)
We’re Born Confident
Confidence is innate. In other words, everyone is born with it. Babies be poppin’ out the womb with not a single f*** to give. They don’t care about how chubby or skinny they are. They don’t care about being naked for all to see. They know they’re fabulous! And toddlers, we always wonder what their obsession with undressing and wandering around naked is all about, but secretly, we all wish we had their confidence to strut what our mama gave us!
So why is it, as a society, we have stripped each other of our confidence and self-esteem, only to criticise anyone who God forbid, publicly says they’re pretty or thinks they’re good at something? It’s a problem both men and women face and it’s not fair. It’s not normal to hate yourself, doubt yourself, or just feel like you’re not as good as someone. We’re all equals! We are all amazing in our own unique way and we should be embracing our quirks rather than trying to hide them from other people so they don’t think we’re weird.
Confidence is NOT Arrogance.
Many people confuse being confident with being arrogant and full of yourself. It’s not the same. Arrogance is when you think you’re better than other people for whatever self-obsessed reason. Confidence is different. Confidence is when you appreciate yourself; your strengths and weaknesses and actually like who you are and feel comfortable being you. That’s a pretty big difference but people are always judging others, calling them arrogant and vain because they’re insecure in themselves? It’s a shame really. The people who criticise are the ones who really need confidence.
Unfortunately, society sets these “ideals” for us and we’re expected to live up to their version of perfect. When we’re already perfect in our own way. I mean, if we were all meant to live up to the same expectation, then why aren’t we born identical? Why aren’t we clones of one person? Because then life would be more boring than watching paint dry. Just be yourself and love every minute of it!
Baby Steps to Recovery
I think the rule of 3 works great here. Do everything in three’s. I personally hate odd numbers (don’t ask why) but 3 seems like a good place to start. Everyday, give yourself 3 compliments. It’s better to split it up throughout the day unless you’re in a particularly complimentary mood. Leave yourself little reminders of how amazing you are. Sounds cheesy, but when you find one you forgot about, you’ll appreciate it! Also everyday, give 3 compliments to 3 different people. They can be your friends, work colleagues, family or a stranger if you’re feeling it. If you know someone is particularly insecure about something, compliment them on it.
For me, I found that spending a lot of time on my own allowed me to understand myself more. I discovered why I felt like I wasn’t good enough, or pretty enough, or skinny enough. It was because people had told me I wasn’t good enough. And I started to believe them myself. Then I realised… Why am I letting all these people tell me how I should see myself? Why does any body else get a say in my life? I’m the one who has to live with myself. And by spending time alone, I was able to build myself up, higher than I was before.
Okay, so we’ve established that confidence comes from accepting and appreciating yourself for all your wonderful traits and flaws, right? You may think this means you need to like everything about yourself. You don’t. No one is truly done bettering themselves, even the Dalai Lama! We all have things about ourselves we’d like to change. For example, I hate my thunder thighs. They’re huge and all cellulitey and gross. I also have a double chin, which is only more emphasised when I laugh. But that doesn’t stop me from laughing. It doesn’t stop me from looking in the mirror and thinking ‘daaaaamn’. I know that I could get rid of my excess flabbiness if I actually got off my butt to do more than get food, but I choose not to. Mostly because I’m too lazy. But I do want to lose weight (evidently not enough to do anything about it yet lol). You’ll probably have things about you that you want to change, and you can. It’s always good to continue to better yourself through self-improvement. It only adds to your confidence
Long story short, only you can raise your confidence and make yourself a better person because of it. But remember, it’s equally important to help spark the flames of self-love in other people too. Join the campaign on Twitter/Instagram using #ImConfident and show your inner goddess!
If none of this has convinced you, I will refer to the lovely Bruno Mars and tell you ‘you’re amazing just the way you are’ :)
Thanks for reading!
Rebecca Jane :) xo