Confidence. I have been thinking about this a lot lately. Real confidence. This is something that can be more rare than a pink polka dotted unicorn named Ralph (yes, Ralph). But why is this so hard to come by?
First of all, we are all our own worst critics. I was definitely a late bloomer. Always underweight in school with frizzy brown hair and braces, I was often passed over for more endowed girls that had already grown boobs to fill out their tight Abercrombie t shirts I couldn’t dream of affording. I usually looked a LOT younger than my age (which now I love) It taught me a lot, however, about valuing yourself. I had friends and an amazing boyfriend during that awkward time who appreciated my curly hair, my silly personality, and my skinny self. Being around others who accepted me and loved me right where I was at was a great first step in finding personal confidence in myself.
I spent the majority of my college years working at a little store called Victoria’s Secret. A place where you can leave feeling dynamite, or like you need to call up the plastic surgeon. I was so nervous when I first started there. What if the girls were mean? What if they all had better boobs/butts/faces than me. Maybe it would be hard to look at the models all day? But in the end I had the exact opposite experience. My time there taught me to be so confident and thankful for who I am and what I had to offer (and not just physically). There was always such a vibe of helping to make every person that came in feel sexy in their own skin. Whether it was a good fitting bra or a sexy smelling perfume or a comfy but sparkly hoodie, everyone around me was SO supportive of every other girl. I was floored.
I was equally floored by the reactions of customers coming in. Girls that I thought who had the most perfect body would have insecurities too, just like me! The beautiful manager with the seemingly perfect relationship had disagreements just like anyone else. Being a very green (and equally insecure) 20 year old these were huge revelations to me. No matter what someone else’s life looks like on the outside, you really have no idea what they are facing on the inside. This knowledge still gives me a lot of grounding.
Growing into an adult, I also learned that it’s ok to work with you you’ve got. Definitely take time to pamper yourself and make yourself into the best YOU you can be. Tired of my brown hair color, I started dying it. Not because anyone told me, but because it made me happy and fit my personality so much better. I feel more myself then ever. My style changes regularly, but is always something that makes me feel happy and confident. Wear amazing, well fitting clothes (you don’t have to break your budget!), and embrace your personal style. When you are happy and spending that time on yourself, it will reflect into other areas of life. As women we often put ourselves last, but why? We are worthy and deserve a great pair of shoes and a bubble bath now and again!
How do we find that line of being happy with yourself and a self obsession in a Kylie Jenner, selfie, instgram filter driven world? I think it is first accepting yourself for who you are. I have super long arms, legs, and even fingers! I will always have finicky, fluffy hair. I didn’t party in high school but I had amazing lifelong friends and over a 4 point GPA I wouldn’t trade for anything. Find those things that make you you and love them! Own them! And those who love YOU will love them too. Also remember not everyone will love and appreciate you and that’s ok too. We are all doing our best. Also, back on the Kylie Jenner thing… don’t go changing your entire being for others approval. When you look back your life will not be truly measured in instagram likes, but with you being proud of who you were and the choices you made.
Lastly, do what makes you happy. When you are happy with your choices you are happy with yourself, and consequently your life! I love a lot of things my friends don’t, and that’s ok because they make me happy. I love tent camping, beer, and country music. I equally love fashion, lattes, and all things vintage. I love (now) that I’m a little bit of a contradiction and that’s ok. Once I finally accepted who I am (even when it’s ever changing) I am much more confident. Making that choice has also helped me to cut out a lot of things and people who made me not so happy in who I am.
I hope this little touch on confidence helps someone out there. I wanted to write about it because we ALL have insecurities, we ALL have had people put us down, and we ALL just want to be loved. I know this is something that literally used to consume me when I was younger. I look back and wish I could tell that girl everything I know now, but I can’t. But I can share it on here.