What all people in the world desire is to be beaming with self-confidence. However, due to external voices and impossible beauty standards sometimes we get down on ourselves thinking that we’re not good enough if just one part of our appearance or personality doesn’t fit the artificially imposed norm. Fortunately, things are actually changing in the fashion industry and the blogosphere, diversity is in full bloom and we get to finally relate to women of all types of beauties, skin colours, body shapes and sizes.
Still, when those external factors have gone on for so long, they become internalized and therefore hinder our road to self-confidence. We know the road to feeling like a goddess isn’t paved with roses, but it’s not paved with thorns either. There are simple things you can do for yourself that are bound to give you the boost you deserve so you can shut all the voices, coming both from the outside and within and finally feel more than comfortable in the skin you live in.
They say no man is an island, but for the purpose of this ‘ritual’ start by seeing yourself as the only person on the planet. Stand in front of a mirror and look at yourself, really look at yourself. Start noticing and even noting down all the beautiful aspects of your face and body. Star from your unique eyes, and then move on to your hair, your beautiful skin. Find what you love about your body, and don’t compare it to anyone else’s – it’s just you standing there, taking note of all the positives.
Then, when you’re done seeing all the beautiful features, try to find the beauty in what you’ve considered flaws so far – freckles, your unique jaw line that you didn’t use to like but now find interesting and something that gives you character. If you need to, write all the positives down, and when the world tries to get you down, use the list as a ‘cheat-sheet’ to remind yourself of just how stunning and one-of-a-kind you are.
Hey, if there are things you don’t like about yourself, join the club – everyone, even those considered the most attractive people in the world have insecurities, not to mention us mere mortals. However, instead of putting yourself down and resigning with your shortcomings, try to see them as not flaws but things you can work on. You have a few extra pounds – start eating healthier and give exercising a try. Just walking for an hour every day can do wonders for your body, so it doesn’t even have to be strenuous exercise to give results. Aside from the confidence you’ll gain, you’ll also improve your level of self-esteem; not because you lost weight but for the mere fact that you did something to make the change happen. You moved from stagnation to action and that is something to be proud of.
Besides, working out makes you feel energized and invigorated, which will give you the boost and the incentive to change for the better every day. Soon enough you’ll be happy to go shopping, finding things that flatter your figure and trust us – that is a major mood booster. So, when you finally see the results you worked so hard for, why not show it off by buying some of the iconic 80’s/90’s high waisted bottoms or one-piece swimsuit you’ve been checking out for weeks? It’s just the thing you need to boost your confidence and improve your self-image. Seeing yourself in clothes and even a touch of makeup that does your body justice, as superficial as it may sound, can make your level of self-esteem sky-rocket, at least according to professor Karen Pine.
Sometimes, you have to fake it ‘till you make it. If you weren’t born with buckets of confidence and belief in yourself, while you work on truly gaining those qualities pretend like you already have them. Walking with your head held high, speaking assertively even when you don’t feel that way inside will help the assertiveness and the confidence become real. It’s actually not pretending – think of it more as simulation and practice – the more you exude self-confidence and self-esteem, the more will you begin to truly feel it. Own your personality, speak your mind, and don’t be afraid of confrontation – in a calm and civilized manner. You are not a doormat. You’re strong, so start acting like that and you will become it.
Most people foster this misconception that self-esteem stems from great physical appearance alone. Yes, appearances matter, especially in today’s world, but if there is nothing underneath that beautiful shell, your self-esteem is fragile, like glass. This is why you need to build yourself up internally as well as externally in order to get that full circle and become the person you will admire like you look up to those around you.
Aside from letting your good personal traits become dominant and drowning the negative ones, you need to increase your self-worth with knowledge, skills and hobbies. These don’t have to be major accomplishments – you can take up cooking, blogging, photography or anything else you feel inclined towards. Take up a hobby and really commit to it – become the best you can be. You don’t have to become a professional painter or the best photographer in the world; the simple fact that you’re doing something that both fulfils you, brings you joy, not to mention adds value to your personality, is enough to make your self-esteem twice, thrice as big.
As promised, none of these changes is big; they just require consistency and perseverance. You need to believe you can do these things – that’s a prerequisite. After that, everything else will fall into place.