Featured Image: @claire_most
Article By: Melina Brum
Drop the photoshop — Try editing your negative self-perception instead of your selfie.
Self-assurance and confidence are qualities that are continually being pined after. Feeling comfortable in your skin can lead to feelings of strength, empowerment, and joy that most people desire. I firmly believe that lack of self-confidence is a form of pain, which no one deserves to suffer from. Speaking from experience, feeling unsure and unaware of your potential can be so damaging to your mental health. It is a sad reality for most young women around the world, but can easily be turned around with dedication and self-realization.
The first step to feeling more confident is deciding that you want to improve your self-love. The fact that you’re reading this means that you’re already dedicated to loving yourself a little harder, and that’s pretty damn wonderful. You’re on your way to being the confident queen of twenty-nineteen! Keep that mindset steady and include these following five steps into your routine:
1. Embrace Feelings of Self-Doubt
Yes, you heard me correctly. I am indeed telling you to befriend the enemy. What better way to cleanse yourself of insecurity than to confront it? To fully accept who you are, you must make peace with your weaknesses. If I were to sit here and tell you that self-doubt wasn’t a normal feeling and that you should avoid it, then I’d be telling you to suppress an entire part of yourself. You can’t put a band-aid solution on real-life feelings.
Sometimes confidence is about dealing with the hard stuff, therefore giving you a tougher shell of strength. It’s only natural to question your decisions, your values, your thoughts, and your entire life for that matter. If we weren’t questioning ourselves, then we wouldn’t always be evolving. Curiosity is a vital ingredient in the potion of self-improvement; so don’t beat yourself up for doubting your quirks sometimes. Next time you’re uncertain about yourself or your actions acknowledge the feeling, learn from it, and move along.
Remember that it’s okay to be wrong sometimes, it’s okay to feel empty, and it’s perfectly reasonable to want to be better. Be mindful of your negative thoughts but don’t become attached to them. As long as you keep in mind that you’re exactly where you need to be, then you will be just fine in your occasional moments of self-doubt. Feelings come just as they go.
2. Quit Talking Bad About Yourself
Do you ever find yourself making your flaws the brunt of a joke? Have you ever intentionally pointed out what you hate about yourself? Yeah I get it, we’ve all been there at one point or another, but I’m here to tell you to cut it out. It’s not funny to make fun of someone else’s downfalls, so why do you think it’s okay to do it to yourself? Of course, it’s expected to laugh at yourself sometimes, but don’t make a habit of pointing out your insecurities. Half of the reason why people lack confidence is that they don’t give themselves a chance actually to feel confident. As they say, we are our own worst critics.
Try the following at home: when you want to say something negative about yourself or turn your existence into a laughing matter, try to refrain. Act as if your mind and body are two different people; don’t let your thoughts be the bully. The number of harsh things we say about ourselves, we wouldn’t dare say to anyone else. Next time you want to vocalize any insecurity, find a way to cheer yourself on instead. You will see the less you speak down on yourself, the happier you will feel. When you stop drawing attention to what you dislike, the things you appreciate will stand out more. You are what you focus on, so let’s focus on the good rather than the bad and ugly.
3. Do Things That Scare You
Whether it’s public speaking, flying in an airplane, or meeting new people, there are thousands of things that bring most humans discomfort. A lot of these situations bring on fear but reap rewarding benefits when the task is completed. Think about all the times you have turned down opportunities because the thought of them made you feel uncomfortable. You are probably incredibly unaware of your limits because you have never extended yourself far enough even to reach them. Imagine how much you are capable of; you would never know based on what you have held yourself back from.
I know it’s much easier said than done, but it’s essential to break through the thick walls of your comfort zone. Exposing yourself to experiences and situations that you aren’t used to could potentially bring you to a new and improved version of yourself. Start small and let something that seemed a little scary become second nature to you. There is so much power in facing any element of fear, look at these experiences as an opportunity to grow and make you stronger. With more strength comes more confidence.
4. Write Down Small Accomplishments
Grab a journal, a piece of paper, a napkin, or even your hand. Whatever it is, write down a minimum of three things you have accomplished today. Accomplishments can vary from waking up this morning to graduating college. Big or small, an achievement is an accomplishment, and you should be proud of yourself regardless. If you’re breathing right now, you should toss yourself a high five.
It’s so important to remain optimistic in your daily routine. Don’t be hard on yourself for lying around and binge-watching Netflix. Maybe you were feeling lazy, so what? Highlight your ups rather than your downs. You are doing just fine and tomorrow is a new day with ample opportunity for more accomplishments. Be proud of yourself for where you are at right now.
5. Fake It Till You Make It
Confidence can be projected without necessarily being owned. I am not saying that your self-love should be an act, but you have to start somewhere. Our minds can be manipulated to believe whatever you’d like. What I’m saying is to convince yourself of the truth, because sometimes we have trouble believing it and need a little push.
You must always remember that reality is heavily based on perception. To clarify, we base things off of how we think they should be. These thoughts are merely according to our made up expectations (which are influenced by—somewhat unattainable—societal standards). If you shift your perception by making yourself believe that you’re everything you need to be, you’ll slowly find yourself stepping into the big picture you have drawn for yourself. You are worthy; you only need to believe it.
So throw on your empowering playlist, strut around town in your best shoes, adopt strong qualities you admire in other people, pretend you have all the answers and smile like the sun is shining from within you. Every morning try to look in the mirror and give yourself a pep talk, use words of affirmation and believe what you are saying. We have very little control over most things in life, but we do have control over our thoughts and eternal mindset.
Before you go, don’t forget to keep your posture strong and your body language welcoming, sometimes your presence speaks louder than your words. Cheers to a newfound confidence and an exciting new year.