Self confidence has been on my mind.
I’ve been thinking about what it takes for a person to have confidence in themselves, but more importantly, how seemingly small actions (messages, words, images, etc.) can break that down.
Thanks to an array of great influences, good opportunities and plain ‘ol good luck, I am pretty confident in myself, but it just takes a moment for me to realize how easy it would be too feel down on myself.
I mean, according to magazines, television and the wonderful Internet, I should have a flat, toned stomach, a larger than life breast size, a thigh gap, a button nose and long luscious hair. I have none of these. My stomach, thighs and nose are all larger than is deemed “ideal,” my breasts are not larger than life and my hair is a limp mess most of the time. I may be able to accept these “perceived faults” of my body, but what about the million of other people in the world who strive to be what the media tells them they need to be?
Not everyone is lucky enough to feel confidence in themselves. And can we really blame them? Without someone to tell you how beautiful you are the way you are, you’re left with the “ideal” version of who you should be, but aren’t. Without being able to take pride in one’s work due to being too shy or afraid of failure, many are left to feel even worse about themselves.
Of course, I have my days where I dislike who I am or where I am, but lack of confidence is a cruel circle in my life. One bad thing feeds into another until I feel as if there is no way out. So here is my unwarranted advice, mainly as a reminder to myself. I may not always succeed in every one of these, but I sure try:
Tell someone they are beautiful. Forget the “standards” and be your own person. Take a risk in life and in your work. The results may surprise you. One (or 100) failures do not characterize who you are, so be confident in your image and all of your accomplishments.
The good things feed into other good things, after all. The bad things are bumps in the road.
And because I have been thinking a lot about resources for people to feel better about themselves (in whatever way that may be) and want to have the support of thousands, check out the organization “Love is Louder” and for you Western Michigan University students, follow @loveislouderwmu on Twitter.