I am a huge advocate for self-confidence and the journey of self discovery. One of the reasons I am so passionate about loving yourself is because it took me a long time to find that self-love. Throughout high school, I never felt like I fit in anywhere. I felt a massive amount of anxiety over the thought of walking through the jam-packed cafeteria. I would avoid the main halls and find alternate routes to get to my classes without having to walk past all the kids I never found a place with.
I was constantly worried about what other people thought of me, to the point where I would leave bags of clothes in my car and often times would change my outfit several times before walking into school. Mind you, I drove a slug bug. You could barely sit in that thing, let alone pull a head to toe outfit switch. I don’t think I ever felt what it was like to feel any amount of confidence until I graduated high school. Afterwards, I found confidence, and I became a whole new person. I became someone I never knew existed, and furthermore, the a person I love to be.
“I wasn’t able to feel that confidence until I figured out how to love myself first.”
I started to realize I was so much happier when I didn’t care what people thought, but rather focused on what I thought of myself.
It was a process that changed everything, finding my confidence. I found what I was passionate about, and how I could fit in with people who share my same interests and skills. I found my style and realized it doesn’t have to be the most expensive, but what makes me feel comfortable. I found good friends, and realized the number of friends you have doesn’t define you. If you asked someone who knew me growing up, they would have told you that I was a shy girl. They would have told you that I would never step out of my comfort zone. I wouldn’t have. It wasn’t until I loved myself that I realized what was possible. Now, I put myself out there. I take every opportunity I can to meet new people and try new things. I exercise confidence, and allow it to strengthen me every day. Here’s how.
I may make it sound easy looking back, but it wasn’t. So here’s a few tips I have compiled that helped me to find myself and discover my self-confidence.
1. Stop caring about what other people think.
It’s liberating to give less weight to the opinions of others. It allows you to think about what YOU think about yourself. You are the only person who gets to judge yourself. You get to judge yourself, because you wrote your own book. You are the author of your own life. So much time is wasted worrying about what some people somewhere may eventually think of you. Their thoughts only carry as much power as you give them.
2. You don’t have to post it to prove it.
I realize how ironic that is considering I am involved in an aspect of social media where likes and followers are extremely important, but I promise your engagement on social media does not define who you are as a person. Relying on that kind of gratification for confidence will only leave you feeling empty.
3. Be comfortable with your body, but be healthy.
Love your body, flaws and all. Do what you have to do to actually FEEL better physically and mentally. It’s amazing how much of an impact that can have on your mood and self-assurance. Give yourself the fuel you need to achieve everything you seek. Your body is the shell you were given to show to the world. Respect it and nurture it in every way possible.
4. Never let another person dictate your happiness and self-worth.
We have all been there, and sometimes that’s how we learn. You can’t revolve your life around someone who is not making you smile, laugh and love your life every single day. If one person romantically, professionally or in any way holds the power over how you see yourself, that means they’re taking that power away from you. It’s yours. Remember that.
5. Find something you love to do, and do more of it.
I didn’t find the self-confidence and love for myself I yearned for until I discovered what I was good at. It was a lot of work and it didn’t happen overnight. I wasn’t a dance prodigy or a soccer star, but I found my niche. I found solace and happiness in writing, and what I could create with words. For you, it could be any number of things. It takes time. Give yourself a break, and find confidence in all of the steps it takes to discover who you want to become.
6. You don’t need to justify anything to anyone.
You don’t owe anyone an explanation or reasoning behind what you do. Never apologize or make excuses for who you are.
7. Step outside of your comfort zone.
This can be the most vulnerable thing you will ever do in your life, but arguably one of the best things you will do for yourself. Start small, take baby steps. Do anything you can to broaden your horizons and expose yourself to new experiences. Each time you do it you will get a little braver.
8. Embrace your diversity and style.
I have an intense passion for fashion. I enjoy creating outfits in my head, and applying them in real life. I love seeing how each individual expresses their different style. If you feel the same way, rock it. Embrace the uniqueness of your look, because you really are one in a million.
9. Role down your windows, and sing at the top of your lungs. (Thanks for the inspo, This Is Us)
If you haven’t watched NBC’s newest series This Is Us, you need to. It will change your life and your way of thinking. And, to add to my note here, it may also remind you to let lose. Be yourself. Have fun. Express how you’re feeling in this moment. The more you try to do it, the more natural it becomes.
10. Be un-apologetically you.
This speaks for itself. You are the only you out there. Strut down those halls, sing in the shower and rock those boyfriend jeans you don’t think you can pull off. I would never have the courage to do what I am doing right now if I didn’t discover myself, and the confidence I had waiting to bloom inside me. We all have it growing inside of us.
It’s a journey to becoming who we want to be, and who we’re meant to be too.
If you loved this post and are interested in fashion, life, love, career tips and more, visit my personal blog 42 Wallaby Way and follow me on Instagram.
More About the Author
- Sydney Snelten is a born and raised Utahn studying Public Relations at Utah Valley University. When she’s not writing in a journal, reading a book, or blogging she is jamming to country music and drinking coffee. She is the biggest Disney freak out there and an avid cat lover. The Bachelor and churros are her guilty pleasure. She just recently entered the blog world and hopes to inspire people far beyond just Utah with her sweet words of wisdom.