Today I am writing as part of the Love Yourself Linkup – an ongoing blog series that focuses on topics like self image and body image. A community of women post their thoughts on these topics and tell stories of personal experiences. We’ll share what inspired us, challenged us and more! Learn more about the Love Yourself Linkup at Anne the Adventurer. If you have a story to share too, join the conversation by writing and clicking to enter below!
I want to talk about two kinds of CONFIDENCE. CONFIDENCE in your decisions and CONFIDENCE in yourself. Confidence is a common topic among women-focused magazines, articles and speakers. I don’t think it can be “over-chatted”. So here goes something…
I once saw this drawing of a school of blue fish all swimming to the right and one small orange fish swimming towards them. The title was CONFIDENCE. I thought to myself, “I want to be like that.” I want to have the confidence to go against the crowd. To go against the crowd and pave my own way in this world… and be proud of myself.
The easy thing to do in this life is to go along with what everyone else is doing. No one questions you, no one else wonders why you’re doing it, because they’re doing it too. But, when you decide that the norm just isn’t good enough for you… you’ll stand out. And be ready – there will be questions, strong opinions and you might even lose a friend or two.
I am a “people-pleaser”. I have a hard time NOT doing what is expected of me or what one might consider right or “normal”. As I’ve grown into myself in the last few years, I’ve learned to make my own way and decide what is right for me. I’ve learned it’s okay to be different, to go a different path, to embrace my talents and strengths and enjoy it. I’m still learning to be confident in these new decisions and sometimes I still don’t own up to them, but I’m trying. I’m trying to be that fish. That pretty orange fish that swims the opposite way because that’s what she thinks is the best way.
Now there’s that other CONFIDENCE. Confidence in myself. That one is a hard. It’s hard because I’m constantly trying to build it up. Weekly, daily, sometimes hourly. I look in that mirror, that mean, mean mirror and I don’t like what I see. Is it just the shoes making me fat or am I really? Maybe it’s this hair do. Wait, what am I doing.. I’m not fat! I just ate a really healthy meal and did an incredible workout this morning. Okay, maybe that was yesterday, but I’m trying. “Focus” I tell myself, “You’re trying. Keep it up!” And then I put on my favorite dress that always makes me feel good and throw my hair up in a do with a pretty headband. Done. I WILL BE CONFIDENT TODAY.
Okay, so it’s not that easy. I may try on three more of my favorite dresses and still not be completely satisfied with the last one. That hair do may or may not have made me hit traffic on the highway because I redid it five times. But I’m out the door and I’m at work. “I WILL BE CONFIDENT IN MYSELF.” I might even say a quick prayer that I feel that confidence. And then I walk in the doors. “Cute hair!” one girl says. “Love that dress!” another says.
My brain starts to reel. “What? I’m totally a wreck. How can they think THIS is cute?! Well, maybe it is.. a litte bit.” And then it begins… that little remark from someone I don’t even know makes my day. I feel better.
What other’s think should not build your confidence, but it definitely helps. And you know what helps even more, being the one to give that compliment. Knowing you just made someone smile and feel good about themselves, will also help give you a boost of confidence.
Confidence in yourself, in your body, your outfit choices, your looks – it’s a constant battle, but you can do it. Every day when you look in that mirror, choose one thing you like about yourself. Focus on that one thing. Maybe your hair just worked with you that morning. Walk around with that one positive thought. Maybe nothing worked for you that morning. That happens. It happens more that I’d like, but then I think, “I’m here. I’m alive. Look at the sunshine through that window. It’s so beautiful.” I put those positive thoughts in my mind and then decide I’m thankful for those things. I’m thankful I have a husband who loves me and a future I’m excited about. That gives me the confidence to go on and continue on my day, confidently.
And that my friends, is my Love Yourself Link Up. Happy Tuesday and thank you for being patient as I jump back into the blog after a fun filled vacation! More to come in the next few days on that!
Click here to enter your Love Yourself link!