New Year, new us! The biggest lie I've ever heard is that confidence is this big unicorn that people are born with. A lot of people believe that either you have it or you don't. Well, I am here to tell you, this is a LIE! Confidence can be developed because it is truly just a skill like everything else. So, how did I grow from a nerd who sat alone at the school cafeteria, to this fabulous diva I am now? Here are the 5 ways I built up my confidence:
1. Do things that scare you
Take risks! Take risks! Take risks! Put yourself out there! Try new things. Allow yourself to go out of your comfort zone, you never know what might happen when you do. Meaningful moments, growth and confidence are all made out of little adventures. This quote - “You know, sometimes all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage. Just, literally, 20 seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it." - changed my life. Making an insane decision to not go back to Florida, after visiting LA is why I am here now. That one decision gave me an immense amount of confidence. Remember, If you are timidly avoiding discomfort, it makes it almost impossible to create a meaningful life. Buy a one-way ticket to another country and explore. It is the most liberating feeling.
2. Groom yourself and dress well
Wear clothes you feel comfortable in but makes you feel beautiful at the same time. It can be sweatpants or fabulous dresses, it’s your choice as long as you feel comfortable. I saw in an interview once, where Priyanka Chopra said something along the lines of — “Once you grasp the concept that the way you perceive yourself is how everyone else perceives you, you will finally learn to disregard your inhibitions”. I had never thought of it this way but it basically translates to “fake it till you make it”. If you dress in clothes that make you feel confident, you’ll carry yourself with confidence, and if you carry yourself with confidence, people will automatically believe you are confident. It’s a domino effect.
3. Prioritize yourself
Put yourself first. Have you heard the quote, “How are you going to love someone else, when you can’t even love yourself?” Most of us find it hard to put ourselves first because somehow, we deem this selfish. You are simply the most important person in your life, so please always put your needs first. Practice saying no to people and things that are toxic. This isn’t going to be easy but you have to stand up for yourself as much as you can and defend your boundaries unapologetically. Last year was all about drawing VERY strong boundaries for me and 2020 is the year to implement those boundaries. Be your number one fan, ALWAYS!
4. Be around positive people
Remove toxic people from your life. You can’t build up self-confidence if you are constantly being berated by a friend or significant other. Negativity is more contagious than any disease out there. If you surround yourself by negative people, you know the “cant’s” as I like to call them, they directly impact your confidence in a negative way. It took me many years but I now know, with certainty, that healthy friendships are imperative! Surround yourself with people who uplift you, and whom qualities you wish to attain.
Lack of confidence comes from being focused on yourself, ironically. Turn your interest around and focus on other people. In high school, at my lowest self-esteem, I volunteered EVERY WEEKEND at the veteran's hospital. It saved my life. Surrounded by people all the time was so helpful. The veterans allowed me to be ALL of myself all the time. I practiced my “stand-up comedy” with them, read to them, and sometimes teach them my awful choreographies. Not only did it begin my career path, but gave me hope and motivation and drive. If you need help figuring out which organizations are in your area, visit volunteermatch.org .
All in all, know that everyone has insecurities (myself included), but that isn’t what defines us. My therapist once told me to practice “radical acceptance”, meaning LOVE your imperfections. ALL of them. No, it will not happen overnight, but it’ll eventually happen. Your imperfections make you, and you are beautiful the way you are. You are a goddess! I believe in all of US and I hope you all believe in yourself. Anyone else have tips to add? If so, tell me about it on Instagram and as always, thank you so kindly for reading.
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