Ever look back at old photos and start reminiscing about how you were so confident back then? I have and it’s a sad and diminishing feeling realizing that you no longer have that confidence. I let my insecurity and low self-esteem dictate my decisions and it really prevented me from reaching my full potential. The voices in my head succeeded in convincing me I’m not good enough and I accepted it instead of simply trying. Gaining back that confidence back wasn’t easy but I was desperate to feel that confidence again. Of course I still have moments where I doubt myself, but self reflecting has helped me the change my perspective. I listed below some of the things that helped me build my confidence again.
1) If You’re Unhappy Make A Change
I know it sounds simple but sometimes we can get in the habit of doing what’s best for everybody else than what’s best for ourselves. Sometimes we continue to do what makes us unhappy because we think it’s the only choice we have. Sometimes we get too comfortable with our routine and resort to what’s easy as opposed to taking risks. Life’s too short to be unhappy. You have to stop caring about other people’s opinions, take risks, and make changes to enhance the quality of your life. Only then will you truly know what makes you happy. If getting a nose job will make you happy then nobody has the right to judge you. If you need to set boundaries and take a break from people who have a negative impact on your life, then do it. If you want to make a career change at 35, then do it. Change is scary but it can also be very rewarding. Once you know what makes you happy you’ll never stop pursuing it.
2) Don’t Compare Yourself To Others
It’s hard not to compare yourself to others in this digital age. Life has become a competition of who has more likes or followers making comparing yourself a natural instinct. When we’re not comparing ourselves to everyone’s online version of themselves we’re comparing ourselves to the people around us. It also really isn’t helpful to free yourself from the comparison trap when some of the most important people in your life (like your parents) compare you to every successful person your age. Comparing yourself to others is only detrimental to your mental health. We’re already our own worst critics constantly doubting yourself only holds you back from pursuing your goals and improving. It’s unfair to compare yourself to to others when everyone has dealt with different circumstances and were raised in different environments. You have to change the way you think (which takes practice) and let others motivate you instead of discourage you. Let the success of other inspire you to continue learning and improving your skills.
3) Don’t Let Your Pitfalls Define You
There will be moments in your life that will completely destroy you, leave you feeling hurt, broken, and even numb. One of the most difficult things to do is not let these moments stop us from living our life to the fullest. It’s easier said than done but we need to allow ourselves to feel our emotions and learn how to manage them instead of letting them consume us. If we let our emotions and ego dictate our life decisions that can possibly go in a downward spiral. We need to process our feelings in order to practice acceptance. Everyone has a different healing process and it’s going to take sometime to figure out what that is. For some, it might mean going to therapy or going on a Eat Pray Love journey, journaling, or simply developing a routine. The hardships you experience only make you stronger.
4) Don’t Wait For Other People’s Approval
Never live your life for others. You could spend your whole life trying to make someone happy and end up wasting a huge chunk of your life being miserable. Learn to value yourself by becoming more self-aware and developing your self-worth. Don’t wait to be validated by someone, know your worth and what you deserve.
Don’t be that girl who only considers herself beautiful after somebody else says so. It’s always nice receiving compliments, but you shouldn’t be waiting to get compliments to know you’re beautiful. If you are what you consider beautiful then you have no reason to be insecure.
5) Develop Your Own Standard of Beauty, Success, and Happiness
I know it’s easier said than done, but all of our decisions in life are based on our morals and values. You need to figure out what makes you feel beautiful, what do you enjoy, and what makes you feel good. Tune out all the voices in your head, forget about other people’s opinions, don’t compare yourself to others, stop looking to social media and take time to think about what beauty, and success, and happiness mean to you.
Seeing flawless people on Instagram ( even though they use Facetune or filters) made me nitpick at every aspect of my body. I was furious that I didn’t have perfect skin. No matter what I did I couldn’t get rid of the blackheads on my nose and hated the look of my ears. My insecurities only grew from there but I started to make it a priority to notice when I do feel good about my appearance.
I associate beauty with my mom. I was always so transfixed whenever I saw my her put makeup on. She made it a priority to get her hair dyed every few months and get her eyebrows threaded on a daily basis. But seeing her get ready for a night out she would turn herself from looking like a tired mom of three into a glamorous yet sophisticated looking woman. Seeing my mom get ready to go out again is what made me realize that I love the transformative feeling of turning myself looking like an anxious unemployed millennial woman to a fierce-looking sass queen. It’s crazy how much a little makeup (or a lot), a kickass outfit, and some hair styling products can make you feel like a new woman. I may not look like an Instagram baddie or have the body of a model, but boy do I feel like I can take on the world.
I would consider myself successful once I no longer have to budget. It will be a time when I won’t feel guilty for buying a six dollar Caramel Macchiato and will have no problem paying off my credit card. It will be a time where I can spend money on my passions freely like buying lenses for my camera and travelling.
When it comes to happiness it’s important to just be grateful for what you have. Be grateful that you are healthy and alive. You will never receive more in life or accomplish anything if you’re ungrateful.
Feature Image via Addicted2Success