“I wish I looked like that.”
At some point or another, we’ve all felt like we aren’t enough. We go online and look at images of beautiful people wondering what it would be like if we looked like them. We criticize our appearance more than we should, instead of focusing on everything we have to offer.
Our lack of confidence has either been nurtured since we were kids, or it was triggered by an event we went through. Maybe you got bullied when you were little. Maybe you were the friend that every guy wanted to hang out with but not date. Maybe you were the friend that fell into the background while your ‘pretty’ friends gathered all the attention. Point is, we all have a reason why we feel the way we do. Usually, we tend to pick out one of our flaws that keeps us awake at night, whether it is our weight, our skin or our height. For some reason, that one flaw is a huge deal to us but not to anyone else. Why is that?
Let me tell you about my personal battle with self-confidence…
Ever since I was a kid, I felt insecure about two things: my weight and my skin. When I moved to the United States, I went to a school where all the girls were pretty much half my size. To make things worst, my mom used to dress me in polo shirts and khaki pants, which weren’t exactly ‘trendy’ at the time. I felt like a hippo compared to all my friends, which led me to become self-conscious about everything I ate and wore.
As a result, I took out everything that had fat from my diet, which made my hormones a bit crazy. It wasn’t until later that I realized that the lack of nutrients in my body were causing my acne. What I ended up doing was creating more issues for myself than I already had. The thing is, I was never fat and my skin really wasn’t as bad as I thought it was. Was I on the thicker side? Yes. Did I get a pimple here and there? Yes, but that was due to puberty and hormone imbalance, which were two things I had no control over.
At the time, my self-confidence issues led me to rely on others for validation. I can’t tell you how many times I put myself in a position where I was sucking up to others just so I could fit in. I became consumed with trying to be like everyone else instead of letting who I was shine through. You see, I had created this image in my head about what I was supposed to look like instead of embracing who I was. It wasn’t until much later that I learned to love myself.
By trying to please everyone else, I lost myself. It wasn’t until I chose to get out of an unhealthy relationship and completely isolated myself from my group of ‘friends’ that I realized what I had to offer. I did that by taking a hard look at myself so I could come to peace with who I was. I had to be okay with the fact that I was never going to be shaped like the other girls. I had to be okay with the fact that my skin was more sensitive and prone to acne than others. It was a process of acceptance I had to go through in order to grow. It took me a couple of years to realize what I just said, so I’m not going to pretend that accepting who you are is an overnight miracle. It’s a day-by-day effort. I still have to wake up in the mornings and tell myself that I am good enough.
Loving yourself is probably the hardest thing you’ll ever accomplish, because we’re our own worst critics.
However, once you get to that point where you’re content with who you are and what you want, nothing else will matter. As soon as you learn your worth, you stop depending on others for your happiness. Suddenly, you’ll find yourself turning down friends, dates and activities you don’t want to do because they’re not what you’re into. You begin to put yourself first and prioritize your time for those that do you no harm.
Now, let’s be clear about something… self-confidence doesn’t mean being arrogant. Self-confidence means that you don’t need validation from anyone to be who you are and say what you feel. All your imperfections will become a part of what makes you beautiful, and you’ll eventually embrace them.
We all have our issues. Even the prettiest girls think the have a flaw they wish they could fix. Stop putting yourself down and start thinking of what makes you unique. Remind yourself of your worth on a daily basis until you don’t need a reminder.