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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