No one is you and that is your power – Dave Grohl
As children we receive unconditional love – all we need to do is signal by making a noise and we are embraced with warmth, food, love and admiration.
As we grow and develop we are subjected to rules and expectations from both our family and society. We learn that being different is not always celebrated. It may only take one bully or a broken heart to fuel years of feeling unworthy. To balance this loss of confidence we find safety in conforming and following the crowd.
As a chubby child myself I was an easy target – I looked different. I leant on my sense of humour to shake off hurtful names and make caring friendships – but I continued to feel the pain. My dieting began at the ripe old age of 8 years old. I truly believed if I became skinny then I would instantly feel confident and life would be extraordinary – I might even capture some attention from the boys.
I carried this mantra for over 20 years – skinniness equalled happiness. Messages received from the media, popular culture and advertising only reinforced this belief. I constantly compared my body to other females and found comfort in alcohol and egotistical men. Needless to say my confidence was non-existent.
Self Confidence is most commonly described as a feeling of trust in one’s own abilities, qualities and judgement.
This is an attribute most of us idolise, we spend endless time and energy pursuing it. And yet, whether or not we are masters in this field, we cannot help but share our opinions on the confidence levels of others. Often people we perceive as being confident, may not be entirely confident in themselves.
Our perception of who we consider to be confident also changes over time. For me, confidence at the age of 15 looked like the beautiful popular girls at school. At the time, I wanted to be like them. However, as I now approach my 30s, I admire women who stand tall in their own skin and speak their truth. My biggest lesson here is to stop being so concerned with other people and to focus on my own fabulous qualities.
After experiencing a loss of menstrual cycles at the age of 28 I intuitively knew deep down the dieting and body shame had to stop. My health quickly became my main priority and with that I approached food and body movement from a place of love and nourishment. This was also complimented with the mind & soul work that had been lacking – meditation, yoga, journaling & affirmations have supported me to find self acceptance, peace and a confidence fuelled from within.
Some supportive ways to develop your own self confidence –
// Surround yourself positivity. It has been said that we make up the average of the 5 people we most commonly associate with. Find your positive role models and spend your precious time with these supportive and loving people who truly bring out the best in you.
// Develop a daily self love ritual. Spending as little as 10 minutes doing something that feels good will allow a sense of calm and centeredness to carry you throughout your day. You will then be able to give more of yourself to others. It might be a meditation, journaling, a walk outside or writing someone a thoughtful note. This small regular habit will create lasting changes.
// Surrender to Flow. For me the dieting was always about control. Controlling how people viewed and accepted me. As soon as I realised I could not control how others perceived me I felt a sense of relief. The truth is you could be the most beautiful, successful, intelligent person in the world – there will always be someone who doesn’t warm to you. Focus on what lights you up and you will be onto a good thing.
// Give Love. When we give other people compliments we are saturating our mind with positivity. This positivity is infectious and leaves us feeling good and more likely to speak to ourselves with kindness. Write one person a day (as part of your self love ritual) a thoughtful note – you will both be left feeling loving and grateful for this simple gesture.
// Lean into Fear. Our fears express themselves in so many ways – anxiety, aggression, pain and varied emotions. It is only by facing them head on do we truly embrace and walk through this discomfort. Choose one thing every day that arises fear in you and do it. This is where the true growth occurs and where you have the opportunity to replace fear with love and a feeling of satisfaction.
Always remember you are unique and this is a wonderful (powerful) thing. Wishing you love as you continue your personal journey to a more confident and joyful life.
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