I can’t believe we are one week away from this guide’s last chapter. If you’ve been following this journey since Week 1, I am applauding you like there’s no tomorrow!! I mean, this has been anything but easy, and yet… you have committed and I’m so proud of you! But… we’re not quite done just yet. You still have your confidence to work on. Sure, you’re probably still missing your ex and wishing he/she would call, or show up at your door, but this journey is still, and will always be, about you. So, let’s get YOU where you need to be.
No matter what color your skin is, what religion you follow, what culture you’re from, or society you live in, confidence is one of those things we all struggle with. In many ways, this search for happiness within ourselves, and our reflection, is something we struggle with on a day-to-day basis; and more so after a relationship ends. You really don’t feel good about yourself. Especially, if your ex emotionally or verbally abused you.
During, and even more so, after my relationship ended, I hated my reflection and the person staring back at me. Mirrors became an object to ready myself in front of, only to spend the next twenty minutes critiquing my body and face. Picking on the things my ex would criticize: the stretch marks by my knee, my bust size, my nose, my lips, and my body in general. I would even stalk the female celebrities he would often say were attractive, or insist I work to get a body like. It was awful and self deflating. It made me judge myself even more harshly than I ever did before. My confidence was never as low as it was when I was with him, but it never was authentic. I had the “fake it till you make it confidence.” Now mind you, it worked well, until I hit rock bottom, then I wasn’t good at faking anything anymore. Even being happy.
One day, after spending so long finding reasons to hate myself, I started finding reasons to love myself. It didn’t happen overnight, as it will not happen overnight with you. But finding your self confidence in a way you never thought imaginable, is absolutely possible, if you take the time and energy to implement these necessary steps in your everyday life. You HAVE TO consistently do these things, as I did, on a day-to-day basis. And don’t tell me you don’t have the time, because if you have the time to criticize yourself, you have the time to pick yourself UP. Now, let’s start on building that confidence of yours.
BE IMPERFECTLY PERFECT
This is one of the most important things for you to know: Perfect does NOT exist! You might think after an hour of scrolling through Instagram that it does and you’re just not in the bunch. BULLSHIT! Perfect doesn’t exist; at least not in the sense you believe it to. Who’s told you what perfect is, or what perfect looks like? Social media? Society? Magazines? Your culture? It’s all bullshit! Perfect is what we make it. Just like you, I had this preconceived idea of what it meant to be and look perfect, based off what was being fed to me daily by a social media feed, magazines, etc. But, then I realized that perfect is what I made it. Who says a big nose isn’t perfect? Who says small breast aren’t perfect? Who says stretch marks and cellulite aren’t perfect? Magazines? Social media? Photoshop? How many of these are paying your bills? Putting food on the table? Doing your job? NONE! So, why are you allowing it to dictate your belief on what it means to perfect?
Don’t you think its time to start reinventing perfect by being an imperfectly perfect you?
And it starts with:
Every single morning, and before I went to bed, I would do the following: stand in front of my mirror and say…
- I am beautiful
- I am worthy
- I am me
Sometimes, I would cry because I heard the words coming out of my mouth, but I didn’t believe them. I’d find ways to convince myself that I wasn’t beautiful, I was very unworthy, and I had no idea who Me was. It was an emotional roller coaster saying those words without feeling foolish. But, as time passed, the statements began to register with me. More than finding reasons to criticize myself, I found ways to counter what I was saying, for example: when I would say, “I am beautiful,” rather than following it with, “No you’re not. Look at your chin,” I would follow it with, “Yeah, look at your eyes. They are beautiful.” Then eyes led to nose, cheekbones, lips, collarbones, etc.
I started finding the beauty in the things I was staring at daily. I became brutally aware that the person looking back was who I would be spending my life with; and so I began to love her more.
So, look at yourself in the mirror, and learn to love your reflection, because you NEED to start programing your mind to forget what it was fed and listen to the only voice and opinion that matters: YOURS!
Don’t try to convince me that this is hard or unattainable, because that’ simply NOT true. Hard? Yes! Unattainable? NOT ONE BIT!
TALK TO YOURSELF
A lot of people think it looks so crazy to talk to yourself, but I have to tell you, those one-on-one conversations with myself, have become an almost life changing habit. It’s so much more normal than you’re made to believe, never mind extremely healthy. Talking to yourself, helps you evaluate who you are, and better reason things. It clarifies your thoughts in a way that’s enlightening. You begin to better understand and rationalize situations about yourself, others, and the world around you.
Now, I’m not telling you to sit in a cafe and start having a conversation with yourself, rather… use your car ride to have a conversation with yourself about whatever it is you’re feeling. If you need to cry while you talk, do it. If you would rather do it in the form of a Vlog, as I did with my heartbreak journey, then do that. You don’t have to upload the video, or even view it for that matter. Convert it into an audio file and listen to it. I mean, really listen. You might come to realize you’re making a bigger deal out of something than you should; or you may start seeing another person’s point of view while humbling yourself. Maybe you’ll do as I did and see you’re lack of self confidence clearer, as well as how you’ve been broken down, and realize it’s time for change.
Moments like those are life changing and can happen for each and every one of you reading this, if you really put in the work. I promise you it’s worth it! I promise you, you’re worth it! So come on… talk… to yourself.
DON’T COMPARE OR COMPETE
All of us have been in the position where you either compare yourself, or compete with someone you believe you will never be, or look like. This ALL comes back to your insecurities and your need to be working on yourself, and that starts by hearing the hard truth! Ready? Even if you’re not, here I go: YOU’RE NEVER GOING TO BE THAT PERSON. NEVER! LIKE EVER! NOT GOING TO HAPPEN! GET OVER IT!
Harsh, right? But oh how true! You’re never going to be anyone other than you. You can go get plastic surgery to look like someone, or inject steroids, or do whatever you feel will get you to that point, but that will change nothing!You will still be you. You might think fixing things externally, or being considered the best in the eyes of others, will make you the winner. But the moment you make it about being someone other than who you are, is the moment you lose. Focus on YOU. Nobody else.
STOP LOOKING FOR APPROVAL
How many of you are “Yes Women/Men?” I can guarantee if you’re on this journey and following my guide to the T, as you should be, you are! Because it’s only in constantly saying yes to everything, and everyone besides yourself, that you lose sight of who you are. All of those that tell you who you’re supposed to be, what you’re supposed to look like, what you should study, who you should marry, what kind of Muslim, Jew, Christian, etc, you need to portray. The list goes on and on. In that, “every step you take, and “every move you make,” becomes one made in the hopes of making others happy or getting their approval. FUCK THAT! And I’ll say it again: FUCK THAT! So, you’re different. So, you don’t think as everyone else does. So, you ask more questions than others want to answer. So, you dress differently, want a different life, have different expectations and dreams, that don’t align with what others want of you. SO WHAT!!! What makes them right and you wrong? Nothing, other than you!
I can say this because for thirty years of my life, I lived for everyone but myself. Sure I raised my voice at times, but when I was silenced, I let it go and didn’t do it again until the next time, when I was once again, silenced. I didn’t start dating until two weeks before my 28th birthday, because my family didn’t believe in dating. I didn’t wear clothing I wanted to, because of a fear of what others would say, and if I didn’t have everyone else’s approval, I couldn’t go on with life. Or so I thought. Two years later, I found the power in NO! I’m still here, living the life I want, and the happiest I have ever been. Sure, many in my dad’s family dropped out like flies, but I couldn’t give two fucks about any of them- so… who won? ME! I found acceptance, respect, loyalty, and true love in those that accepted me for me- even if they didn’t necessarily agree with it. Like my immediate family, my mom’s family, my closest friends, and most important: myself.
Many people tried to convince me I was selfish for this pursuit of happiness in my wants and needs, just as many will do to you; but remember always, those that call you selfish, are those that aren’t living free. Those that are still saying “yes”, are those that want you to be what they want you to be. FUCK THAT SHIT! I’ll say it again: FUCK THAT SHIT! We’re all here for a bigger purpose than just living for the sake of not being gossiped about in our community. For the sake of not having your parents upset with you. We’re here to serve each other and you cannot serve the world until you serve yourself first. In the infamous words of Ricky Nelson, “You can’t please everyone, so you go to please yourself.”
DON’T JUDGE YOURSELF
How many of you judge yourself daily? Always putting yourself down about some shit or another. All of you, huh? I know. I’ve been there. When I wasn’t being judged by others, about having a bf I wasn’t engaged, or married to, wearing a tight dress, or speaking my mind, I was judging myself. I’m sure you understand because you’re probably there right now. Judging every bit of who you are based off how others make you feel. Like for example, in your mind you might not think there’s anything necessarily wrong with dating, pre-marital sex, being with someone outside your culture/faith, being gay, or wanting to pursue a passion differently than what’s expected of you; but then you have someone come in to tell you how wrong that is. How you’re going to be punished or go to hell for that reason, and right there and then, every time the thought, or act replays like a movie in your mind, before you go to sleep, you feel dirty and disgusted by your actions and you judge yourself. Not judging yourself goes hand-in-hand with you needing to STOP looking for approval. Because, when you stop looking for others to approve of who you are, your actions, your dreams, your wants, etc, then you no longer judge yourself, because there aren’t those voices to tell you otherwise. Come to your OWN decisions. Your OWN beliefs. Your OWN happiness. You can’t find happiness based of what others think of you.
Remember, that nobody can be more mean to you than you, and on the flip side, nobody could make you feel better about you, than you.
Confidence can also be built on how we feel about ourselves. Finding something that makes you feel good about yourself. Adding these steps into your daily routine, will open your mind to discovering what that is. Maybe you already know what it is, but you’re too afraid to make the next move. This might be the time to change that! Time is a precious thing, don’t waste any more of it living for others. It’s time to live for you! Time to STOP looking for approval and acceptance. It’s time to give the middle finger to those threatening your reputation, simply because it makes them feel better about their shitty life. It’s time to say “IT’S MY TURN TO BE HAPPY!”
The day I decided to do that, my entire life changed. It was hard, but it’s thebest decision I have ever made, and the very reason I sit here to write this for you all, today. Music also helps, so while you’re going through this confidence building, add make a ‘Confidence Playlist,’ using these…
SONGS OF THE WEEK
- Catch My Breeath- Kelly Clarkson https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYMDuG75ans
- Roar- Katy Perry https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2f501YWxso
- Road Less Traveled- Lauren Alaina https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rRIyARu2XK4
- Garden Party- Rickey Nelson https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKLQ5_W8K-A
- Who Says- Selena Gomez https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXVkbi9H_R4
- Shake It Off- Taylor Swift https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DrFZ6fXyia0
- What The Hell- Avril Lavigne https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQrWTQBZPo4
- Can’t Hold Us Down – Christina Aguilera https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Otg9yUuk1_g
- Run The World- Beyonce https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8t078YDojM
- Clean- Taylor Swift
You can do this! You WILL do this! So, go find your self love. It’s time to become the leading lady of your life. Now! Go do it! I did.
Until next week…