My journey to becoming comfortable in my own skin and has been outrageously painful and excruciatingly long. I’ve lived most of my life with underlying insecurities wreaking havoc on my confidence and have really struggled to find myself. I’ll be talking a lot more about this in an upcoming story for Lucy’s Magazine (releasing next month), but what I want to talk about in the meantime is the life changes I’ve undergone that have sincerely made a difference in my self-confidence.
The fact of the matter is that no matter how much you work out, not matter how healthy you eat and no matter how well you wash your skin or dress or whatever, it won’t change how you feel about yourself if your mentality is wrong. These things are important and a part of the puzzle, but less so than you’d think.
You see, self-confidence is 90% mental. All those physical things will help, but you need to FEEL it. You need to THINK it. You need to rewire your brain to love yourself in spite of societal influence on what is beautiful and correct.
So, I’ve come up with a list of all the things I’ve done to rework my mindset rather than the physical.
I used to scoff at self-help books and thought they were silly, and when I say “used to” I mean, like, a month ago. I wish I would have discovered this book the second it was written because it’s literally changed my life. It outlines ways for you to love yourself and be successful in such a way that it’s impossible not to just do it. I’m treating this book like my bible and working through every exercise and keeping it with me at all times because I literally feel better about life on the days I read it. Just trust me.
I guarantee you’ve seen these fabulous cards on my Instagram or Facebook story numerous times. I start each day with one of them. Then I carry it with me and repeat the affirmation to myself anytime I think about it. It keeps reminding me continually throughout the day of something positive in life.
Guys, it’s not a dirty word. If we all talked about therapy and our relationships with our therapists, it would release the stigma and we’d all be better for it. If you can afford it or if your insurance covers it, I highly recommend seeing a therapist whether it be occasionally or regularly. I’m seeing my therapist Peggy on a weekly basis and using that time to talk about the things in my life that are mentally affecting my life or that I don’t understand about myself. Sometimes you need a professional to sort your shit out, and there’s nothing better you can do for yourself in your life than truly loving and understand yourself.
- Feed Yourself Compliments
Call me crazy, but I’m telling myself nice things ALL DAY LONG. When I look at myself in the mirror, whether it be getting ready or a quick glance in the bathroom, I feed myself a compliment. It doesn’t have to be about your appearance. It can be literally anything NICE about yourself. And I verbalize it. I always say it out loud, even if it’s just a whisper. Big points for yelling it though! It will feel strange at first, but this is a fake it until you make it situation. The more you compliment yourself, the better you will feel. Slowly it will turn from that silly thing you do to a confidence boost every time you look at yourself. I even do this when I see my reflection in a building walking down the street or when I accidentally open my phone to my front-facing camera. I mean, that’s really when you need that compliment the most because yipes!
- Positivity and Finding the Silver Lining
This is a practice I learned from the aforementioned book You Are a Badass. Any time I’m starting to rain on my parade, I try to remember to put myself in check and not dwell on the negative or the things I can’t change. Instead, I try to find a silver lining, no matter the situation. Here are two examples. I recently took on a photography client for the first time since leaving my career. I was sort of testing the waters. I found myself very stressed about the shoot and constantly dwelling on it. So, my silver lining was that this one client taught me something: I made the right decision leaving that career behind. Without that client I would not have known that for sure. You can also use this best practice for minor things. I was in a massive rush the other day, but I had to walk my dogs before I could leave for the day. My dogs were taking forever to go to the bathroom, and I was so frustrated. Then I calmed myself down by finding that silver lining. It was a beautiful day, and although I was running late, I could enjoy the weather and this moment with my dogs and that should be a good way to begin your day.
- Thinking about my Goals and Reassuring Myself I will Accomplish Them
Goals are something we tend to push into the back of our minds when the going gets tough. Say you want to go on a vacation this year, but everything is going wrong and you can’t seem to save money. Don’t push the goal into the recesses of your mind. Keep it as a reminder in your head so you’re still working toward it. Accomplishments are a huge key in confidence, so we can’t let those things we want so badly go by the wayside. Keep that thought. My new mode of operation in regard to goals is to remind myself of them at least once a day. Some of my small goals have already been accomplished. You see, when there’s a will there’s a way, and boosting those goals and considering them helps your brain work out how to accomplish them. Let your brain do the work.
- Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
You’re never going to be anyone else but you, and that’s a damn good thing! You’re absolutely unique. There is no one else on this planet like you. I mean, unless there’s a clone of you, but I bet different life experiences would even make you different people. Anyway, remember that there’s enough room for success for EVERYONE. One person’s beauty or success does not detract from your own. Support your fellow human rather than compare.
- Try to See Yourself through the Eyes of Others
Living my life out loud on social media has helped my self-confidence immensely. I posted a photo just today that was a perfect example. I was insecure about a fat roll in the image, but I posted it anyway. No one even noticed it. What they noticed was me. I’m awesome and there’s a ton of good shit about me. That’s what people see. Your friends, family and audience can be a great mirror because they see the best in you. That being said, don’t let an internet troll get you down. The universe will catch up to them.
I guarantee you’ll start to feel better about yourself in a week if you follow these steps. Then, once you’ve started to work on your mental health, the physical starts to become easier. When you feel good on the inside, things like working out, eating healthy, dressing-up, sleeping more, etc. magically start to fall into place. Look, I’m not self-actualized and am definitely a work in progress, but this has full-heartedly been my experience. This is exactly what I’ve done, and I’ve never felt better.
Lastly, THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN LIFE IS LOVING YOURSELF. In the words of Rupaul, “if you can’t love yourself, how the hell are you going to love somebody else.” She is mother fucking sooooo right. If you can love yourself, every other aspect of your life is forever made easier. There’s literally nothing more important. And if you love yourself, there’s nothing in this life that you can’t accomplish.
Tell me in the comments your self-confidence success stories!
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