16 Keys To Self-Confidence That You Need To Stop Forgetting
Adulting can knock you from your shiny spot on top of the world and into a pit of despair and self-loathing in the time it takes you to pass a mirror or open your bank statement. But deep down you probably already know the keys to restoring self-confidence. They're just super easy to forget. They're also super hard to hear sometimes, especially when you need to hear them the most.
That doesn't mean you don't need to hear them. During my time as a Domestic Violence Victim Advocate and Planned Parenthood Certified Responsible Sexuality Educator, I've seen first-hand how much a lack of confidence can affect women. And I know we've never met, but consider me your long lost best friend, here to give you a virtual hug, a symbolic cup of hot cocoa, and some good, old-fashioned nurturing. Because dang it, you're really freaking spectacular, and you know it.
Not all of these things self-confidence tips are specifically related to bodies, because even though bodies are a big part of self-confidence, the whole tapestry is made up of everything from what we do, to how we think, to the way we let others treat us.
So sit back, close your door so your boss thinks you're working, and let this list give a tune-up to your clogged up spirit. You'll emerge feeling sassy, strong, confident, and ready to get your goals on fleek. You're welcome.
1. You Don't Owe Prettiness To Anyone
You were not born to be pretty. Your goal in life is not to be pretty. Prettiness isn't the sole purpose of your existence, nor is it your only worthwhile characteristic. Your life has so much more meaning. You are so much more than whether or not others find your face pleasing to look at. Your appearance isn't your life's work. It will fade. You have things to do, goals to crush, character to develop. If you look awesome doing it, it's because you want to. You are not obligated to look like anything, especially not some made up, oppressive ideal of impossible beauty. Psh.
2. Body Ideals Are Made Up
Who gets to decide what looks good, anyway? Beauty ideals are made up and perpetuated by the media. They're photoshopped, post-processed, and frankly, boring. There's very little diversity. It's a sham. And you don't have time for that. I mean, who has 80-foot long legs, spider eyelashes, waist-length hair, no body fat, and perfect pores? The answer: No one. Not even the people who look like they do.
3. Money Is Only One Part Of Life
If your bank account looks like a sad movie that you'd only watch after a funeral on a rainy day as your partner breaks up with you after your dog runs away, I get it. It's so easy to feel like your whole life sucks when you're broke. It doesn't. Don't forget to compartmentalize the different parts of your life in a fair way. Money is just one part of life, not the only part. Plus, wild animals don't need money to survive. I mean, they also don't have rent equal to like five people's salaries in a different part of the world, but still. Money is just another thing people made up.
4. So Many People Love You
Tons of people love you. Even people you don't know. The old lady you smiled at on the train, she loves you for reminding her about kindness. You may think your absence in the world would go totally unnoticed, but that's ridiculous. And if you're feeling a little lonely, you're so awesome that you could make new friends in no time. You are very much needed in this world.
5. You're Kind Of Kicking Ass Right Now
I mean, you're pretty amazing, if you let yourself admit it, right? Even if you just managed to get out of bed, you still have that whole "living indoors" thing going for you, which we can all agree is a pretty major accomplishment. Oh man, and you're totally hilarious. And everyone at work and/or school knows you're the best, even if they're too intimidated to say it. It's OK, you can admit it.
6. Dang, Girl, You Sexy
Like seriously. Can I get those digits? Because I need some of you in my life like I need topcoat and eyeliner. All creepy flirting aside, human beings are incredibly beautiful, and you are no exception. I mean, you are just gorgeous. There's no one on earth like you. And what would you think of your body if there was no one (and no media) to tell you to change it? You'd agree with me that you're a gorgeous gift to this planet, inside and out.
7. No One's Thinking About You
Everyone has their own thing going on, and usually that means they're thinking about themselves or those closest to them. They're probably not thinking about you. Actually, it's kind of selfish to think that you occupy the thoughts of others around the clock. So all that stuff you're worried about that other's are thinking? Nope. They're trying to remember if they brought their phone chargers to work and if they can get away with leaving an hour early. They're thinking that they need cat food and coffee. You're good.
8. No One Remembers That Thing You Did Nine Months Ago
You know that embarrassing thing you did six years ago that you still think about sometimes when you can't sleep at night? Well, you're the only one. If other people think about it at all, it's for, like, a minute, and then it's back to wondering if anyone texted. You don't ever have to worry about that stuff again. In fact, you don't have to worry about most of the things you worry about. Your real problems are mostly things you never worried about in the first place because they were surprises.
9. None Of This Will Matter In Three Years
This exercise sounds kind of dumb, but it's actually super helpful if you give it a chance. Think about all the things you're stressing about right now. Now try to remember the things you were stressing about three years ago. You probably can't remember. And that's because the day to day stresses are small stuff. And as the saying goes, you gotta learn to not sweat the small stuff. It will either work out or it won't and if it doesn't, you will adjust, like you always do. You got this. You're super freaking phenomenal.
10. You Have So Much Time
My grandma got her high school equivalency diploma and learned how to drive at the back end of her 60s. I changed careers three times in my 20s. You got this. You might not find your place in this world until you meet someone or give birth to someone or discover a hidden talent, decades from now. It's never too late to go to school, travel, change jobs, learn to dance, write a book, or raise champion dogs. Thinking you're too old for something is just an excuse, unless you're talking about wearing light-up shoes, and even then, it's questionable.
11. Sometimes Things Have To Be Bad
Bad stuff is necessary. It builds character and teaches lessons. It also blows worse than a hurricane. Like the time I found out my partner of seven years had been cheating on me. I didn't even want to live. I just cried and wore out my sweatpants and wondered if love was even real. But then I met someone even better, and we have a way better life than I could have ever had with my ex, so I thank my lucky stars for those terrible, terrible times. Don't forget that sometimes bad stuff is just making a path for good stuff.
12. You Can Kick Anyone Out Of Your Life That You Want
Nothing sends my self-esteem into the toilet like negative people. If you want to live your best life, you have to remember that you're in charge and you say who gets to breathe the same air as you. You can get rid of anyone who doesn't make you feel amazing. Not, like, in a murder way. Obvi. But you know what I mean. And if you're stuck with crappy people at work or school, you have more power than you think when it comes to how much you let them affect you. Treat them like the flies they are and brush them off.
13. Failure Is Progress
If you want to get good at something or be the best at anything, you have to get excited about failing. You have to accept what it feels like to be a beginner, even if people younger and less talented are killing it while you're still trying to get your footing. You have to learn to stop comparing your beginning to other people's middles and ends. I mean, failure is about to be your new BFF, so accepting it now will get you to your goals much faster. I would even be so bold as to say that success is mostly failure, peppered with a few shining moments in-between.
14. You Are Allowed To Be Obnoxiously Happy
Do you hate going to the gym? Good, because the gym is a hot mess of sweat and germs and hard work and it feels like everyone is looking at you and sometimes there are naked water aerobics teams in the locker room which kind of weirds you out in a "where is it safe to look so nobody thinks I'm a creeper?" kind of way. I get you. But guess what? You never have to half-heartedly drag your unhappy wagon to the gym again. You can walk in pretty places. You can dance in your underwear all around the house. And while we're on the subject, just as a general FYI, you probably don't have to do a lot of the things you hate. Free yourself!
15. Opinions Are Like... Well, You Know
So your co-worker thinks your shoes are ugly. Well, you think unsolicited negative opinions are ugly, but whatever. That's cool. Other people can think whatever they want, and it's both none of your business and nothing worth giving a second thought. As if you could ever pick out ugly shoes, anyway? Right?
16. Competition Is A Waste Of Energy
Competition really is a waste of energy. Well, unless you're an Olympian or something. As for the rest of us, there's room for us all to succeed. Someone else's success doesn't have to be an affront to your life path. We can push toxic competitiveness out of our worlds and chose to live in a place where we support each other and hope we all succeed. That's a much better way to live. Plus you have less worry that someone's going to push you down the stairs for your corner office.
Don't you feel better already? I think you deserve to treat yourself now. I'm going to go do my nails. Because I'm awesome at it.
Images: Giphy (16); Pexels