As the new year begins, everyone shares their new year's resolutions about losing weight, getting fit this year, and getting a better x, y, or z... but in my opinion, many of these resolutions end just as fast as they begin, because we return to our busy lives, and we get distracted by life around us. Of course I hope that everyone is able to be the best, healthiest, version of themselves, but I have come to realize that for so many of us, we end up unhappy if we don't lose those 5 pounds we gained during the holidays, and we have gotten into the habit of saying "If I had x, I would be happier" or "If only I could have x". I think we would all be so much happier in life if we learned to be confident with what we have, not just what we are hoping to eventually get.
Body image and overall confidence are linked in our minds. It makes sense. Magazines show happy, smiling women with ads about weight loss, detox diets, and even things as simple as a makeup product. We have been trained by the media to associate a specific product or image with our happiness. Companies have trained us to think that if I buy their new product, I will look better, and will then be more confident about myself. This is genius of companies to do, but is it really beneficial for our self esteem and confidence? I vote no, not at all.
Rather than saying "I will be so happy if", I would love to hear people start saying "I am so happy that I have". By focusing on what we do have, we can learn to appreciate what makes us unique and what makes us who we are. We need to be confident in ourselves and what we are comprised of, rather than finding confidence and comfort in the brands, styles, price tags, and sizes we wear.
I have not successfully achieved this level of confidence, but it is something I struggle with and strive to work on each day. Like most things, confidence is not something you can create overnight, it is something that needs to be practiced and reinforced, so I wanted to provide you with some helpful advice I have found lately that may help you in your own personal search for confidence:
1. Reflect on what areas of your life make you feel most confident. Are they categories that can be bought, or categories that are unique and special to you?
2. Honesty. If you are uncomfortable in your own skin, bring it up with a close friend or a family member. Sometimes, one of the best feelings in the world is getting something off of your chest. Ask that person to be your personal motivator. On days that you are lacking confidence, have them send you some words of affirmation. You might be surprised when the compliments they give you are about things you never noticed about yourself.
3. Work together. Find someone close to you that might want to work on being more authentic and confident in their skin, and challenge each other. Make weekly goals and achieve them together. Whether it's not wearing makeup or wearing your hair natural one day a week to practice appreciating your natural beauty, you will find that these goals are much easier to accomplish when someone is going through it with you.
4. Stay true to yourself. If you like an outfit, but haven't seen anyone else wear something like it, wear it! If you want to work out in just a sports bra and shorts, even though everyone around you has a shirt on, do it and own it! Life is too short to worry constantly about what people around you are doing. I would much rather be the person who people talk about, than the person who people never noticed.
Thanks for reading and I hope this reminds you that you are not alone in the search for confidence, and it is a journey!