When was the last time you were scared and did it anyway? I bring this up to let you know I get you. I get why it’s so hard to actually feel fear and do it anyway. Have you read that book, Feel The Fear and Do It Anyway ? In life, that’s exactly what you should do, nope scratch that, punch fear in the face and do it anyway. As far back as I can remember, I’ve always been a shy girl. I didn’t want the spotlight on me. It just made me uncomfortable. At least that was the story I was telling myself. The truth of the matter is, I had no confidence.
I thought I was too big, I had too much acne, I was too light-skinned, I wasn’t popular, I wasn’t pretty enough…etc those lies rolled through my brain multiple times a day as a teen and on into adulthood, but guess what? I’m not that shy girl anymore. Nah baby! I’ve gained more confidence and self-love than I ever thought I’d have, and here’s how.
Take Back Your Control
I was always told what to do, when to do it and how to do it. That freedom of never really being able to make my own decisions and learn from them wasn’t quite there for me as a child. I understand my mother meant well, but it didn’t quite work out in my favor. When the time came for me as a grown-ass woman to make decisions I was still shying away from them. I’d always look to my husband, just as I looked to my mom.
Eventually, I got tired of feeling like one of the kids and I can not explain to you how freeing it is to take back control of your OWN life. Own every mistake. Own every mishap. Own every flub. Own every shining moment. Step into your own. I had to grasp that I won’t be perfect, life won’t be perfect, but the ride on the ride along the way is oh so enjoyable, especially when you’re in the driver’s seat.
Fall In Love With Your Body
I’ve never been a size 0, I’ve always had curves and a big bust and those were always sources of uncomfortableness for me. I hated, absolutely hated everything about my body. It only got worse after I had kids. After, not 1, not 2, but 4 kids, I hated it even more. I was over 200lbs and felt that every dimple, every roll only made me look more disgusting than I felt.
One day I just got sick and tired of being sick and tired. I took a shower and stood in front of the mirror just as I came in this world, stark naked. That’s right. I admired God’s creation of me. I did this every night for 3 months. I’d look at every inch of me. Every roll, dimple, stretch mark, scar, and think of the stories that came along with them. The stretch marks are from carrying my kids and I love them more than anything in the world so I love my stretch marks too. My scars are from a c-section that gave me my baby and from chasing kids and falling, so I love them too. Those rolls and dimples are from all that good ole’ southern cooking my mom, step-mom, aunts and grandma cooked up for me, so I love them too. I fell in love with every inch of me because it’s done so much. My body has grown, nourished and birthed 4 babies. My body was built Ford tough. And I LOVE it!
Find Your Voice
I’m an introvert of the worst kind. I recharge just by being alone and this is how I processed life. Alone and in my own thoughts. I’d build up so much to the point I’d just lash out. No one would know where it’d come from because I wasn’t letting anyone in so no one really knew if I was frustrated or fine. I always kept a smile on my face because that’s just how I grew up. I was raised as girls are supposed to be seen and not heard, so my voice slowly but surely dwindled away.
When you don’t have a voice, people tend to want to run over you. Now my personality is strong, so when this started to happen I knew a change had to come, soon. I started out slow at first, voicing my opinion on small matters and actually stating I didn’t like something instead of just saying, “it’s ok, I guess”. I started saying no to people instead of just going with the flow. The power of saying no is astronomical. It’s the best feeling in the world. I’d put it right there next to being a mother and sex. Odd, but yep it fits. Once I started saying no and giving my opinion, it just started to snowball. I was speaking out on political matters, social issues, etc without skipping a beat or being worried about what anyone would say. Can you say liberated?!
Building confidence takes time. You have to nurture it, just as you do everything else. Once you’ve nurtured it, opened yourself up to new people and new experiences, you’ll see a change in yourself that you never thought possible. Keep a strong support system around you. You don’t need any negative Nancies trying to bring you down. As long as you never stop experiencing life, learning new things, and engaging with others, you will be capable of taking on the world and building your confidence. Trust me, just keep showing up.