I’ve never met a woman who hasn’t struggled with self-confidence at some point in their lives. Whether it’s merely a pimple that ruins our first big date (yes, adults get them too) or a lifetime battle with body image, feeling less than comfortable in our skin is an unfortunate part of life. But if you’re constantly self-conscious to the level where it interferes with your daily life, something needs to change. Here are a few things to remind yourself.
You are your own worst critic.
There could have been negative people in your life that helped in shooting you down, but at the end of the day, you’re the person who’s going to be hardest on yourself. It’s easy to nitpick every clogged pore if you’re the one staring in the magnified mirror for hours every day. Remember to be easy on yourself.
Anyone who judges you for your looks isn’t worth knowing.
And yes, that includes your parents as well. They’re a little harder to write off, but nine out of 10 times, they’re picking on you as a way to hide their own insecurities. You may have become this way since your mom always picked on you about your weight growing up. You don’t have to deal with that negativity anymore if you don’t want to.
True beauty comes from within.
You’ve probably heard that a lot but it’s true. Would you rather hang out with a skinny model who puts everyone down and feels like her life is superior to yours or the cool girl who volunteers every week at the animal shelter and always seems to be smiling? Having a good, kind personality is such a rarity that we really need to celebrate the people who keep things positive. At the end of the day, that’s all that matters.
There’s no shame in therapy.
If you’re so self-conscious that you have problems stepping out of the house, then you need some additional help—and it’s normal and healthy to ask for it. You only have one life, so don’t let your insecurities stop you from making the most of it.
Find ways to appreciate your body.
Your body is an amazing machine. Every day it allows you to run, dance, walk, and explore the world. Bodies come in all shapes and sizes, and as long as you try hard to take care of yours, you’re in a good place. Taking the time to dress for your body or work it out will do a lot for your self-confidence. Yoga is also a great exercise to help you with body awareness.
Make a point to focus on the things you love about yourself.
Everyone has at least one good trait, but we can often forget about the positive when we’re so focused on the negative. Forget about everything you don’t like about yourself for a little bit and remind yourself why you’re a good person. Maybe you’re smarter than the average person or always think up funny quips during tense situations. Or… maybe you’re always the person looking out for the safety of their friends. You’re important.
Not as many people are looking at you as you think.
Think about the last time you stared down a stranger and felt negatively about their thighs, their shoulders, or their nose. It probably hasn’t happened a lot—you’ve been too focused on your thighs, shoulders, and nose. Most people work similarly, so if you think someone is staring at you and judging, perhaps they’re actually staring at something behind you. Maybe they’re just looking because they think you look familiar and don’t know how they know you.
Everything feels better with practice.
Maybe you’re self-conscious about making conversation with other people. If you feel dumb, judged, or think you’re stuttering too much, that’s enough reason to put off conversing with other strangers. But just remember, everyone gets nervous, and unless you were outright offensive, nobody’s going to remember how you tripped over your words before. Be confident, even if you have to fake it, and leading conversations will get a lot easier.
Your happiness is important.
Maybe you’re afraid to stand up for yourself because your voice has never been heard. It doesn’t mean your thoughts and opinions aren’t important, it just means that you’ve been hanging out with selfish people. If you’re too self-conscious to speak your mind, remind yourself that your happiness is on the line here. It’s not too late to become a more confident person. When that happens, a lot of your self-doubt will just naturally wash away.
Change will always require work.
Nobody’s going to magically wake up 15 pounds thinner, even though that’s the dream. If you’re self-conscious about your body, you need to be the one to take action and fix it. You are in control of your future. If you need help to get started, there are plenty of people out there who’ll be happy to guide you with your transformation into a more confident, happier individual.
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