Hello Beautiful Souls,
Some of you may have heard my personal self-confidence rebuild story in earlier posts, but if not I will share it again.
Lots of people will ask me what my blog is about and why I started it. Well, I actually started my blog out under the name Somewhere Between Vogue & Van Gogh. It was mostly directed toward art and fashion. But, after undergoing some major changes in my life, it not longer suited me. It was also a super long name that no one could remember.
I was a collegiate cheerleader for almost 2 years. For those of you who do not know, I ended up quitting because it was becoming a toxic environment for me. This is the place where my self-confidence got absolutely destroyed.
Comments and jokes about my size started to get to me mentally. Being on a co-ed team, there was this stigma that the girls had to be less than 110 pounds to stunt. I only weighed 10 pounds more than that but I was constantly looked over, and I was told the “smaller” girls were just easier to stunt with. This stigma caused me to become unhealthy, mentally and physically.
After I finally made the decision to quit, the rebuilding of my confidence began. I spent the next few months after that focusing on my goals; one of which was studying abroad. This time period was a weird point in my life. I wan neither sad nor happy. It was just this time of finding who I wanted to be without cheerleading. I had been a cheerleader for almost 9 years.
My A-ha Moment
Anyways, summer 2016 arrived and I left for my study abroad trip in France. I spent almost 6 weeks fully immersed in the French culture. This is where I began to find my confidence again. The funny part is I didn’t find my confidence through looks or attention, I found it on the outside of my comfort zone. I found that when I pushed my limits to try something new and exciting, I was rewarded with a little confidence point, as I like to call it.
I don’t know why these things correlated, but I think when we are able to try new things we learn more about ourselves.
I’ve also never been one to wear heavy make up, but in the states, I wore an average amount. In Nice, one of the cities I lived in for almost 4 weeks, it was too hot to worry about make up. We were constantly walking, climbing stairs or on the beach. Make up was not necessary.
I also left my hair natural most days because I was nervous about ruining my hair tools. I am sharing these points because this was actually a freeing experience for me. My host mom constantly complimented my smile and my appearance, which made me realize that beauty is more than trying to look perfect. Beauty can also come from the light your personality shines.
Back to the comfort zone thing, I always feel this internal spark when I do something new or step out of comfort zone. That gut feeling we get about things, listen to it. If you are inclined to try something, you should go for it. (Unless it is harmful to others, then don’t…)
After regaining my confidence, some of the girls on the trip encouraged me to write a book about being confident and empowering girls to do the same. It sounded like a great idea, and maybe I will one day, but instead my blog came to mind. After returning back to the U.S., I started brainstorming a new image for my blog. I wanted to share my story with other girls. I wanted to inspire girls to become their best self and empower them to encourage other girls to do the same.
This is how Pretty, Young & Motivated was born.
Okay, so how do you rebuild your confidence?
Take a moment to notice your successes
No matter what you are currently working on, successful or not, take time to realize how far you’ve come. When you have self-doubt, imagine a time you were successful. You can even celebrate a small win. This practice will allow you to understand success and confidence are a process. You will reach your goals in due time.
Confidence often roots from these successful points in our lives. They spark that internal flame a little and boost your confidence. I think this happens because as humans, we are so quick to doubt our abilities and when we are actually successful in our actions, we surprise ourselves. This feeling propels us to believe in ourselves, and that’s really all confidence is. It’s believing in yourself and your abilities.
Listen to your intuition
Follow your gut. Referring to the point about believing in ourselves, most of the time we believe in ourselves but our minds tell us otherwise. This belief is that gut feeling. You know what you are capable of and that can sometimes scare the shit out of you. Check in with those successes and keep following your intuition, it knows what you truly want.
When you follow that feeling, it usually leads to successful actions or fulfilling feelings. As they say at Nike, just do it.
Realize your beauty, internally
Once again, beauty is not just appearance. You can be the most externally beautiful person in the world but if you are a terrible person on the inside, it will show. It’s like the old saying “jealousy is an ugly trait”. They don’t say that because being jealous makes you physically ugly, but because it makes you an ugly person internally.
Know your worth beyond physical appearance. Yes, we all like to look pretty or handsome, but being a good person is most important. Your beauty comes from your strengths within, and sometimes even our weaknesses make us beautiful. The most vulnerable people are usually the most beautiful. Become self-aware; knowing who you are will make you more confident.
These are my best tips for rebuilding self-confidence. There is a huge confidence gap between men and women today. Ladies, we need to close this gap by believing in ourselves more and inspiring other women to do the same. We rise together, and we fall together.
Work on rebuilding your own confidence, and then work on building up the other women around you. Together we are stronger. If you are a male who struggles with confidence, you can still follow these tips to become more confident.
The bottom line is that, like everything in life, rebuilding confidence is a process. You have to fully believe in yourself, which can take some time to do. From there it is up to you to make decisions you believe in, decisions that spark that gut feeling. Finally, never stop pushing outside of your comfort zone. You will become more self-aware and gain a deeper understanding of your strengths and weaknesses. As always, trust the process!
Thank you for reading PYM. I hope to see you back again soon.