Last weekend, I was reminded of how important it is to develop self-confidence. I was at a bar, wearing a trendy outfit (don’t worry, the trendy part was confirmed with one my fashionable girlfriends), and I noticed a few women staring at me and whispering. I don’t know if they loved or hated my outfit and quite frankly, I didn’t care. I spent a majority of my early 20’s lacking confidence in who I was and I’ll be damned if I let a few stares and comments change how far I’ve come.
In my early 20’s, I thought I had to look a certain way in order to be considered beautiful. I never dressed “trendy” or “fancy” because I did not feel confident in my own skin. I tried diet after diet and exercise after exercise in order to achieve the “perfect” body that women are apparently supposed to have. I never had confidence in my appearance because I never felt as though my body fit perfectly into that mold.
This lack of confidence translated into many areas of my life, not just body image. I was not confident in who I was and where I wanted to go. I never fully accepted who I was and felt like I was trying to constantly fit into every mold that society had already created for me as a woman.
I spent my early 20’s comparing myself to every woman I came into contact with and every woman I saw on social media. She is thinner. She has more money. She has more friends. She has a fun career. She travels more. Instead of figuring out who I was, what I wanted, and accepting/loving that, I was stuck wishing for things that other women had. I obsessed over what people were telling me I “should” be and “should” want. I obsessed over the body that I “should” have had. All of this obsessing over “should’s” never allowed me to live in the moment or live for myself.
I think I lacked confidence because I did not know who I truly was or what I wanted out of life. I was caught up in the norms of society and was playing small. I compared myself to what society wanted me to be and never took the time to focus inward and develop more self-awareness. Once I started to set aside time to focus inward (for me, this was done through meditation and journal sessions), I could truly get to know myself without the noise of outside opinions. I could then learn how to accept and love that person and develop more confidence.
This confidence has allowed me to take on new opportunities in my career. It has allowed me to get out of my comfort zone and meet new, like-minded people. It has allowed me to step into my power, follow my passions, and be true to who I am no matter what.
Owning your power and having confidence sends positive vibes out into the universe. When you are confident in who you are, people will sense it and hopefully, your energy is contagious and will help other people own who they are.
So, the next time you feel like people are staring or whispering about you, just own it and work it, girl.