Today, I decided to take a break from our normal fashion and personal style post. To be completely candid, one of the driving factors that encouraged me to write this post was my blogger boo, Ashley of Fab Ellis! Ashley has created a series called, Building Confidence Series: Accepting Who YOU Are. If you have not checked out the videos in this series, I seriously urge you to do so!
As a proud plus-size woman, too much of my early life was spent negatively obsessing over my weight, my facial features and never being called a "dime" (yuck). These feelings use to overwhelm me to the point of tears or even days of self-loathing. But, I have learned how to overcome these insecurities and I am going to share a few tips on how YOU can become FEARLESSLY confident!
After years of being teased, my mother and father always reassured me of my intelligence, beauty and kindness. No matter my adolescent mood swings or days of depression, my parents' unconditional love meant a lot to me ... it still does.
Unexpectedly, when I turned fourteen I lost both parents within eight months of one another. I was crushed, broken, lost and void for a long time. After meeting many awesome friends and colleagues in my adult years, there has only been one love of my life to set me free of all of my emotional burdens, and that is my son Emmanuel. After having him, I finally understood my life's purpose, my passions were reignited and my smile even brighter! No, the road as a mother has not been easy, but my baby boy soothes me and makes me feel like my decisions are golden.
Becoming a mother has been the best accomplishment of my life. With that, I wanted to share a few tips on how I have started to become the confident, self-assured woman I am today!
*Let me warn you, these tips are lessons my mother has taught me and they still apply today!
Surround Yourself Around Like-Minded Folks
Now when I say this, I do not mean surround yourself around people who are just like you. This may be a little overwhelming and counterproductive. With this tip, I suggest gravitating towards individuals who are positive, goal/career driven or open listeners. Your inner circle does not have to have all of these qualities and you shouldn't create a "friend characteristics checklist." Just like any other relationship, people you decide to bring into your circle will build and grow with you. As you transform, so will your friendships. True friends will help keep you level-headed, give you advice and talk you out of strange/painful/confusing situations, and in turn you will do that same.
Spend Energy on Your Passions not (Im)Perfections
It sucks that we live in an era where perfection is praised and being different is seen as strange or ugly! Instead of loathing your quirks and letting society fuel your anxieties, find constructive ways to embrace your quirks. Since my freshman year of college, I have continued to use blogging and journaling as outlets to overcome my shyness and fear of being too "unconventional." Using your passions and interests to overcome your personal reservations will help immensely when building your confidence. In doing so, you will find that there are plenty of other people who have similar interests to you. Even though self-esteem and confidence are aspects that exist within ourselves, our relationships with others play a huge role in our feelings and outlook on life. The two things I would love for you to take away from this tip would be: Words are just as powerful as relationships ... choose them wisely.
STOP Pretending and Just Be YOU!
Pretending to be someone else is boring and just exhausting. Trust me, I've done that and it only left me more frustrated and confused. If you are in a situation where others want to redefine who you are so that you make them feel comfortable, honey that is not the friendship/relationship you want to be in. People who are truly concerned about your emotional/spiritual/physical/mental being are the real MVPs. The significant bits of advice these trusted people will deliver are constructive ways for you to become an exceptional version of yourself.
If you are still struggling on where you should start, it may be useful to seek spiritual/therapeutic assistance. College was a huge transition for me and it overwhelmed me, so I took advantage of free counseling sessions on campus. It felt weird talking to a complete stranger about my obstacles and insecurities, but once I got into the groove of things it was comforting. In order to be truly confident, your mental and emotional state have to be healthy.
Do Not Follow The Pack, Create Your Own Lane
Your current feelings of sadness/confusion/fear happen as we experience different milestones that will build our character. Think about it, instead of spending that time focusing on how you could have done things by the book, why don't you pen your own tale? We only get one life to be who we REALLY want to be. Being fearlessly creative will help turn those fears into faith, sadness into success and self-loathing into self-love! So, go out there and kick some butt!
Will this post help build your confidence at this very moment, probably not. But, through this post I wanted to provide inspiration for women who have experienced similar low self-esteem issues, like me. Please remember, your current situation will not last forever. This is your time to create, speak, live and be free.
If this post has touched you today, please share it with someone who could use these words of encouragement.
Love you much,