If you follow me on Instagram, you may have see my recent poll called “What do you struggle most with?”. A large number of you voted for confidence as opposed to happiness, so let’s talk confidence!
There are so many topics that you can dive into when it comes to discussing confidence. When picking the following areas, I connected them with my personal experiences and feelings in hopes that you may be able to relate to one or two.
Confidence Starts when Comparison Stops
One of the biggest and most influential things to your self confidence is comparison. Comparison is a little voice in your head that see’s the best in everyone else and the worst in yourself. Comparison is like a tick, and if you allow it to consume your thoughts and actions it will suck all the life out of your confidence. Being a girl, I can be the first to admit that it is the easiest thing to compare myself to other girls. We see photos on social media, or even people at their best and think “If only my body looked like that”, “If only I had longer hair”, “If only I went to the gym 7 days a week like her”, “If only I had a dream career like that”… and the comparison goes on and on. The problem with this is the following:
- When you compare you lose sight of your own worth.
- When you compare you neglect to realize that we are all created different for a reason, how boring would it be to all be exactly the same inside and out?
- When you compare, it starts to consume your thoughts and you will fixate on the wrong priorities in life.
- When you compare, you can’t appreciate your own accomplishments.
- When you compare, you become insecure in yourself.
How can you overcome comparison? By choosing to become aware of who you are, what success you have, what your strengths are, what you do best and letting that provide joy and meaning to your life. You define you, not anyone else. With that said, step one would be to start catching yourself in the act. The next time you are comparing yourself, stop, and evaluate. Acknowledge what may have triggered this comparison in the first place. Was it jealousy or insecurity? Learn to appreciate what another has, even if it is different from your own. Sounds silly, but let me give you a real life example of what I mean.
So a girl walks into a room that you have never met, you immediately notice that she is pretty, has perfect hair, is skinny, and her makeup is on point. If your mind tells you to immediately tear her down, this is a sign that we are insecure in ourselves and must point out her “freckles” to make ourselves feel better about our own looks. What should realistically happen is you either compliment her or just let her be. I have been there and torn another person down in order to make myself feel better and trust me, you gain nothing. It makes you bitter and “ugly” on the inside, plus why can’t we all appreciate the beauty in others?
To tie it all together, just make it a golden rule not to compare yourself to anyone, for any reason.
Confidence Comes From Within
It is true, confidence really does come from within. Some people will urge you to “fake it til you make it” which is all good, but it is not a permanent solution. You must truly believe in yourself on the inside and the outside in order to be confident. Personally, I have struggled with external confidence, and I am sure that I am not the only one. I would find myself comparing my appearance to friends, celebrities and even random people, then thinking to myself how I should look more like them and less like how God made me. Naturally I have insanely curly hair, I am talking Shirley Temple Curls you guys! I know, I know, I have been told all my life that “people pay good money to have their hair curled”. Well that is great for THEM, but I have always wanted stick straight hair. I am sure I have even prayed for straight hair at some point, because I was so unhappy with what I was given. Shame on me for not being grateful that I even had hair. The point I am trying to make is everyone has something about them that they do not like or are insecure about. Maybe it is your crazy curly hair, your height, weight, eye color, nose, etc. Whatever your insecurity is, take it head on and embrace it. Embrace the fact that no one is perfect and you have to learn that you really can’t change everything in life to fit a perfect image that you have let the world tell you, you need to look like. It is so funny to me, because without reality tv, without makeup, without social media, we would all suffer a whole lot less with insecurity. Especially those that are materialistic and external.
Insecurity can exist on the inside
So maybe you are one of the few that are completely satisfied with how they look. Or perhaps you have over come the obstacles of vain insecurities on self image, but you still feel insecure about things internally. There are a few reasons that you may feel insecure on the inside:
1)You feel like you do not measure up.
2) You feel like you do not have many true friends or a good circle to rely on.
3) You may not be as in tune with you Faith as you once were
4) Maybe life has been overwhelming lately and thrown curve balls that have just made you lose purpose for your life.
I have been there, and I do not want anyone to feel bad for me or take pity on me because I am truly blessed and have nothing to complain about. I am telling you a little story so you can relate to struggles in small and big things.
So I graduated High School in 2013 and immediately went to college to pursue my Associates Degree. During this time I was working full time and taking four classes a semester. This was all new to me and I was ready to take on the world (so I thought). One semester in, I realized that being an adult also came with an immense amount of responsibility. Thankfully I lived at home with my parents and did not have the stress of rent/heavy bills. I was suddenly struck with the reality of real time management, I truly think this is when I had my first experience with Anxiety! I could not just wake up whenever I wanted, have complete financial freedom, and being an adult was not the glamorous life I had dreamed of. Fast forward 4 years, and I am about to graduate with my Bachelors Degree (go me!!) and the thing I have struggled most with through the years is comparison. I would constantly see old friends that had graduated High School with me already getting their degrees last Summer. I would think “what am I doing wrong, they must be smarter than me and have everything prioritized right in life”. I was wrong, sure I dropped from 4 classes a semester to three while still maintaining a full time job, but the people that I was comparing my education level of success to were no where near where I was in life. We all came from different situations, some of them never worked a day in their lives, some of them came into college as a sophomore due to credits, and almost all of them were in a different program of study. The point is, what does it really matter if you graduate a year after someone else? You have a completely different plan for your life than they do, and everyone has a different way to achieve their goals in life. Instead of being grateful of my situation that I was able to attend a University, I was worried about keeping up with my peers and what others had thought of me. I was letting them control my confidence and how I measured my own success.
By strengthening my Faith, having a great support system during this time (Shoutout to my Fiance and close friends), and focusing on appreciation of my life I have truly conquered internal confidence, and you can too!
My whole life I have never struggled with being over weight, but let me tell you right now that it has nothing to do with how confident you are in your image. I may have been thin, but nothing has brought me more physical confidence than having a workout regime that is specific to my goals. It is so important to workout for YOURSELF and to feel good. Whether you workout at home, run outside, join a gym or take a fitness class, do something to better yourself and maintain your overall health. Without overwhelming you with a ton of health benefits that working out has to offer, I will stay on track with Confidence. When you are consistent, eating right and setting personal goals for your body you will start to notice how confidence slowly peaks in your mind. You start to like the results you see, such as muscle definition, maybe you are becoming stronger (strength training) or more flexible (yoga/pilates), whatever motivates you… there lies your confidence. My recommendation to you would be to set realistic goals and achieve them at your own pace. You should only compare yourself to YOU anyways!
Last but not least, Social Media can play a huge role in your confidence. I think it is important to not fixate on the images we see on our screens and focus on what really matters. I cannot even begin to imagine how many photoshopped highlight reels young women are looking at today. Something to keep in mind, is that social media is truly a highlight reel of the “best pieces of life”. It is not reality, but it is a create place to come together and share photos and creations!
On that note, I wish you all a wonderful rest of the week!
Dress: (Similar) HERE & HERE