hello wonderful readers! I’m sorry that I have been so silent lately. as I have mentioned in some blog posts before, my creativity has been lacking – so, in attempts to get ideas and opinions of what it is exactly that readers want to see, I asked my Instagram followers send me their ideas.
one of the responses I got was about gaining confidence. this is a popular but hard topic to write about because I feel like finding confidence in yourself is not a cut-and-dry template for everyone. it takes identifying your insecurities, why they are what they are, and doing whatever necessary to cut them down.
the submission specifically said “how to believe you’re beautiful to have a happy life + gain confidence.” my first comment on this is that it’s backwards, and I’ll explain why.
there is a very common way of thinking that you have to feel beautiful before you can be confident – and I know this because that’s how I used to think. there was a point where I had chronic, cystic acne and I was nearly 30 lbs overweight. in other words, I didn’t feel very beautiful. there are always going to be things about ourselves that we don’t like and compare to others who we perceive as beautiful – if we sit around and wait for the day that we have virtually no physical imperfections in order to be confident, we’ll never feel confident.
if you’re looking for a fool-proof solution, I’m not sure there is one. however, here’s how I personally started creating my peace with myself.
I’ll be the first to admit that in the days of social media, specifically instagram and snapchat, it can be really hard to find confidence because we have constant opportunity to compare (see post: insta-anxiety). we have to be able to acknowledge and admire someone else’s beauty without discrediting our own. when I was initially looking to try and stop comparing, I turned to my bible. I recited some of the most cliche verses ever, but I’m telling you – it helped me start getting me in the mindset I needed to feel confident in myself.
oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
you formed me in my mother’s womb.
I thank you, high god—you’re breathtaking!
body and soul, I am marvelously made!
I worship in adoration—what a creation!
you know me inside and out,
you know every bone in my body;
you know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
the days of my life all prepared
before I’d even lived one day.
– P S A L M 1 3 9 : 1 3 – 1 6 (M S G) –
granted, whether you feel like you can use this as step one is determined by if you even believe you were created by a God, but for those of you that do, I believe it is so so so crucial to remember that you were designed and you were made perfect in the Father’s eyes. the God I know and love does not make mistakes!!!
I personally believe confidence is a choice, even if it means faking it until it’s genuine. find the things you love about yourself and use them to build yourself up instead of taking what you dislike and ripping yourself down. a negative mindset rarely leads to a positive one – nor does negative self-talk often lead to a positive, desired outcome. we all have things about ourselves physically and/or mentally that we don’t like and that we want to work on – and that’s okay! but when we make a point to work on those things, we need to do it from a place of wanting to improve ourselves for the better and believe that we can do whatever it is we’re setting our minds to because we love ourselves and want to be the best we can be, rather than from a place of hatred.
an example from my own life is when it’s come to wanting to alter my physique. years ago I would go to the gym because I hated the way I looked from my weight gain, so I would force myself to work out and exhaust myself. wanna know what happened? I got burned out. I started to avoid the gym because I had attached a negative feeling towards it and I never reached my goals. however, this year, when I started making a habit out of the gym, it was for different reasons. yes, I have pounds I want to shed but ultimately the gym has become about wanting to create a stronger version of myself – physically and mentally. I use it to better my health, feel better about how I look, decrease my anxiety, and spend quality time with myself + allow myself to clear my mind and shake off the stresses of the day.
confidence breeds joy
whenever you feel confident and find yourself in a mindset where you don’t feel the need to compare or to internalize insecurities as much, you will naturally feel happier. at least, that’s what happened in my experience. I wasn’t as phased by words or opinions because I knew my strengths, and more importantly, I knew my weaknesses. when you’re confident, I think it gives you the strength to acknowledge your weaknesses + the drive to work on them. when you can see yourself for who you are, you don’t feel blindsided when someone else points something out. or, when someone attacks something you know is a strength, you can let it roll off. when you love something about yourself, you’re not really going to care what someone else thinks.
joy exudes beauty
truthfully, the people I always end up finding the most beautiful are the ones that appear joyful. however, keep in mind, happiness is an emotion, joy is a lifestyle. there are times when you don’t feel happy, but it’s still possible to have joy (see post: the happiness mindset). one of my favorite quotes says,
a person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. you can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.
– r o a l d d a h l –
the times I have felt the best about myself physically were the times when I felt the most joyful + hopeful, and just about everything to do with both of those was knowing I was made without mistake. it came from knowing I am a strong, capable woman and that I don’t answer to man but to God. it came from knowing my purpose was in Him and that I am not defined by my insecurities or wrongdoings – I am defined by being His child and never losing sight of it.
theodore roosevelt explained it best when he said comparison is the thief of joy. we’re human, so sometimes comparison is normal. but spending our days thinking about the things that we’re not will rob us of the joy that I personally find to be the key aspect of true, radiant beauty. I hope this helped someone who has felt like they needed the encouragement.