The Journey to Confidence

I was so intensely concerned about my outer beauty for so long that I would tear myself down at every chance that I got. And I never even felt somewhat proud of myself until I followed the cliche and searched within myself for things I liked. 

We live in an era where there is beauty everywhere. From nature to city skylines to our friends on Instagram– it’s impossible to escape the glory of how pretty everything is. We are currently in a time where everyone is documenting the beautiful things about their lives and sharing it with others, and that’s amazing. I am a firm believer that we should be unyieldingly grateful for all of the beauty the world has to offer. But, if you’re anything like me, sometimes you have trouble not comparing the beauty of your life to the beauty of others.

There are so many girls that should be models, scenic photos that look straight out of a Sandals commercial, and daily vlogs that could rival movie trailers. And, personally, I want so badly to be part of it. I wish I was like those girls who are perfectly tan and skinny, wearing designer clothes and smiling without a care in the world. I even wish that I was girl who could proudly add a selfie on her Snapchat story just because she felt pretty in it and didn’t mind sharing. I wish I was that girl who just leaks with confidence.

But I’m not. I’m this girl, and I have no confidence at all.

From the time of when I was a little girl in grade school until now, I have always compared my image with others. I was never skinny enough. My hair has never been long enough. My face was not symmetrical enough. And I definitely was not pretty enough. And it’s nothing that anybody did. It’s just I would always want to be like other girls. Like my friends who were always rail thin. Like the girl who was never afraid to go up to the boy she liked. Like my older sister who was the coolest person on the planet.

And that constant stream of comparison ruined my mindset. I didn’t think I was as pretty as other girls, so I told myself they didn’t want to be my friend. I didn’t think I was as smart as my best friend, so I never rose my hand in class. I kept on telling myself that I wasn’t enough of something so that I ended up amounting myself into nothing. 

I would stand in front of the mirror and try to search for things to like about myself, and I couldn’t. I was so intensely concerned about my outer beauty for so long that I would tear myself down at every chance that I got. And I never even felt somewhat proud of myself until I followed the cliche and searched within myself for things I liked.

I discovered that I am smart enough. I pushed myself to be proud that I knew the answers to hard questions. I allowed myself to be happy with my test scores. I stopped comparing myself with others at school and started focusing on beating the goals that I set for myself, and it worked. My confidence in my mind manifested into being confident socially. I started talking to people and learned that I was kind of good at it. I learned that  I am actually a decent public speaker and I can use my skills with writing to make me more entertaining during conversations. I found bits and pieces of myself that I liked.

But the problem lies in the fact that the only things that I like about myself are on the inside. And that shouldn’t be a problem, seeing as we have always been told that “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” and “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.” But it’s different.

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There is something different about being confident in your character as a person and being confident enough to wear a swimsuit and not want to cry. Both of these types of confidence are extremely important, but when you’re lacking one it can just make you feel empty and ashamed.

I believe that everyone is beautiful and we should all be proud of our skin. But for some reason I struggle so intensely with being positive towards my own body. I always want to hide myself and not be noticed. I worry that people make snide remarks about my appearance when I’m not around. I’ll cry if I look in the mirror for too long.

I hate it. I hate it because I wish that this was an issue that I could fix. I wish that I could smile and not feel the urge to cover it up. I hate that my brain always wants to compare myself with others. I hate that I can’t just wake up and be completely confident in myself.  And I’m trying to fix it, I’m trying to build confidence in myself.

But it’s not an easy solution. Whenever I get compliments, my mind always bites back with the rude thought that someone is just being nice. When a guy flirts with me, I always think that it is some type of joke. It’s hard to build confidence when every step towards it actually pulls you two steps back.

I wish I had a nice conclusion for this post. Maybe a few helpful tips that can build confidence or maybe even a riveting plot twist where some incident in my life made me wake up with more confidence than I could ever imagine. But that’s not the case. I’m still on the long and difficult journey to loving myself, and I’m not sure if I’ll ever be fully happy with who I am but at least I’m trying, right?

The only advice for confidence-building that I can give you is if you’re on the battle to be more confident like me, then try to help others on their journey too. Don’t be afraid to tell others that they’re beautiful, or to leave a kind comment on someone’s page. It never hurts to be kind to others. Especially because it’ll make you happier to know that you have the potential to make others smile.

I hope this wasn’t too heavy. This post was more so something that I really felt the urge to get off of my chest. Let’s spread some good vibes and comment below with an aspect of yourself that you’re proud of. Also, be sure to like and follow.And, as always, stay rad. 

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How to Find Happiness

We deserve to be happy. But it’s easier said then done when the world is in the current state that it is. Happiness can seem so unachievable at times, so how can we be happier? 

Happiness. I’m sure the webster dictionary defines it as a feeling of joy that one may feel, but we often don’t talk about how even though everyone likes to pretend that they are experiencing happiness, it is not as an abundant of a feeling as we are led to believe. No single person is happy at any given moment, I mean, even babies cry and they hardly have any stressors in their lives.

We all strive to be happy, and I think that’s a great thing. We deserve to be happy. But it’s easier said then done when the world is in the current state that it is. Happiness can seem so unachievable at times, so how can we be happier?

It’s not simple. There is not one certain thing that will make every person on Earth instantly happy. Some people feel rejuvenated by self care and some people hate it. I wish that there was a life hack that every person could take part in that would instantly make the world a happier place, but there isn’t one because every person is different.

But there are a few tricks that every person should try so that they could make their days feel a little brighter. I encourage everyone to try at least one of them and see how it feels.

1. Clean Your Living Area

Wow,  I turned into my mother by just typing that. And I know it sounds cliche and like a waste of time, but believe me— this works. Whenever your living area becomes extremely messy and chaotic it can make you feel like your life is messy and chaotic too. Also, if you have anxiety, sometimes you can feel overwhelmed by your surroundings and a great way to not feel like everything is closing in on you is to allow yourself to have more space. So, get up, and organize at least one part of your living area. It might be an annoying process while you’re doing i, but afterwards you will actually feel proud of yourself. Plus, no one can get onto you for having a messy room.

2. Set Goals for Yourself

Now, this one can seem a bit daunting. When people hear the word goal they think of long term things like becoming a billionaire or starting their own company from the ground up. But your goal doesn’t have to be that intense. You can have the goal of finishing a puzzle by the end of the week or, hey, the goal to clean your room! Goals don’t have to be elaborate and life-changing, they just have to be something that you have the urge to want to complete. Setting a goal for yourself can also give your life purpose. If you’re having trouble getting out of bed everyday, you can combat this by waking up and thinking “I’m gonna take one more step to finishing my goal today.” Having a goal, no matter how big or how small, makes your life feel meaningful. And the feeling of happiness when you achieve your goal is indescribable.

3. Cross Something off Your To Do List

Okay, so this might sound like setting a goal, but it’s not. This can be something that you’ve needed to get done but just haven’t had the motivation to do so. It can be washing the dishes or going to see that movie you’ve been wanting to see. Just do something minimal that you’ve been meaning to do and then allow yourself to be proud when you finish it. Not only will it make you feel more efficient, but it will also alleviate some of the stress that you’ve built up by not doing the thing that you’ve wanted to do.

4. Socialize with friends

For me, this is one of the most difficult but rewarding things to do. When I’m having an episode of sadness, I often want to shut in on myself. I won’t want to hang out with a friends and I even have trouble texting them back. And it’s not because I️ don’t want to be around them, personally I believe I have some of the best friends on the planet. It’s just I sometimes hit this mood where I can’t reach out. But after I force myself to find a way to slide into their schedule, I couldn’t be happier. Being around people that love you for you and want to laugh with you is honestly one of the best ways to combat sadness.

5. Get Organized!

I’m aware of how cliche this is. Believe me. But for some people this actually works. Doing things like sorting their clothes by color or purchasing a planner can cause for a person to be really satisfied with their lives. The feeling of being in control of the small things in their lives makes them feel more in control of their bigger struggles. And hey, it never hurts to at least try to organize your life.

6. Compliment Others

This is something that often isn’t talked about when giving advice on how to instill happiness in yourself. I mean, you’re trying to make yourself happy, so why are you complimenting others? Well, I’m a firm believer that smiles are contagious. If you take the time to make someone else smile, then you can’t help but to smile too. Also, what’s the harm in telling someone your honest and kind opinion. If you think a girl has a pretty necklace, tell her! If a guy has some cool hair, tell him! Don’t be afraid to pass out respectful compliments to people, because their smile will make you want to smile.

7. Give Back to the Community

This is my number one method to make myself happy. As I mentioned before, the world can be a dark place. Or so it seems. We see so much focus on the bad that we forget to notice the good. Heck, we forget to be the good. So, if you’re feeling down, find a local charity to contribute to. Help others and dont expect to be rewarded for it. Just contribute to the community and then you will feel happier. Not because you did your good deed for the day, but because you will be able to see firsthand that there is a lot of faith to still be had in humanity.

8. Make Time for Yourself

Sometimes you can stretch yourself too thin. You might have a thousand different obligations and your brand new planner can be already filled to the brim with tasks you have to accomplish for other people. Life can be extremely stressful, especially if you don’t make time for yourself. So the best way to combat this is to find the time to relax. Even if it’s just for five minutes everyday, try to block out a time where you can just breathe and praise yourself for all of the things you’ve accomplished. Because you deserve it.

9. Find a new hobby

Sometimes life can feel like you’re stuck in a rut. You fall into this routine of normalcy that can make you feel a little lackluster when you wake up each day. The things that once brought you joy have became part of your daily motions and you feel yourself losing passion for the the things you used to love. A great way to combat this feeling of being stuck is to add something fresh and exciting to your routine. Taking on a new hobby can rejuvenate your daily routine and make you excited as you go through your day. Whether it be to try your hand at drawing or practicing yoga, find something that you find mentally stimulating. Finding a new hobby can be the trick that you’ve been searching for to relieve your stress.

10. Be a little selfish

I know, this seems odd to have in the same list that recommends you do some community service, but bear with me. Oftentimes, we stretch ourselves too thin. If you’re anything like me, you’re so busy saying “yes” to others that you forget to say “yes” to making yourself a priority. Sometimes we can do so much for others and forget to do anything for ourselves until we feel empty. So, my advice to you is to be a little selfish. Make yourself a priority. And I’m not saying to only do things with your benefit in mind, but instead make choices that you know won’t cause you too much stress. Ask for help if you need it. You don’t have to spend your whole life being the person who does everything for everyone else. You’re allowed to take a step back and say, “Hey. I do a lot for others. I deserve to do something for myself.” Because as soon as you recognize your own need to take care of yourself, then you can start on the path to making yourself happy.

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I know that I said it before, but please keep in mind that there is not a ritual that exists that can instantly make every person happy. Depression cannot be cured via a bubble bath. You can’t achieve life satisfaction by buying a planner. Being happy with the state of your life cannot be accomplished in one day. You have to work towards happiness.

You can find happiness by taking part in some of these things, or even finding your own thing that puts a smile on your face, but it’s a lifelong journey. You’ll face trials in life that’ll make you feel upset. You’ll have times where you want to give up on everything. But keep in mind that without the ugly parts of life, you wouldn’t be able to have the beautiful parts too.

So take care of yourself, do things to make you smile, do things to make other people smile. Because you deserve to be happy.

I hope you enjoyed this post! Leave a comment below about which method you use to lift your mood, I’d love to try it! Also be sure to like and follow if you enjoyed this. And, as always, stay rad. 

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