Beyond Body Confidence

Confidence evades the majority of young girls. (I would assume boys too, but I can’t speak from personal experience). It took me just over 21 years to feel a true sense of confidence, and I know I’m not the only one. Certainly there are different types of confidence; I have always had confidence in my intelligence and athletic ability, but I lacked confidence when talking to boys, when giving a speech, and the most popular, I lacked confidence in my body.

I wasn’t fat in middle school, but all I saw were my thunder thighs. I wasn’t fat in high school, but all I saw was the way my body jiggled. I’m not fat now, and being able to look in the mirror and see past imperfections and accept myself for who I am is a small accomplishment with big rewards.

I found true confidence when I realized that there is more to it than looking like a model.

Independence is my favorite form of confidence. It is confidence in your ability to take care of yourself. It is responsibility, determination, money management, and balancing a busy schedule. It does not equate to seclusion or isolation, but it simply means that you can function without constantly relying on others.

Courage is, in my opinion, a key component to confidence. You need courage to step out of your comfort zone, to make a fool of yourself, and to stop caring what other people think. You must learn how to respect and accept yourself before you receive respect and acceptance from others.

Proficiency is the easiest route to complete confidence. It’s almost a shortcut around anxiety. Pick a subject that interests you and master it, whether that means practicing a skill or researching a field. It’s easy to talk about your passions, especially if you’re the smartest or the most experienced one in the room.

Confidence is pausing to ask yourself, “What’s the worst that can happen?” before you say no. If the answer is just slight embarrassment in exchange for lifelong memories, always go through with it. Don’t say no to karaoke because you think you can’t sing. The audience will admire your courage to get up on stage in front of a crowd. Let your friends drag you on stage to dance. As long as you pretend to know what you’re doing you’ll be fine. Don’t let that cute skirt stay on the rack because it’s too much of a statement. Buy it, rock it, and flaunt what you’ve got.

Smile.

Laugh at yourself.

Enjoy life.

Eliminate all of the doubts you have about your body and your abilities and simply stop caring what other people think. Everybody has their individual strengths and weaknesses, just embrace your own. Learn a new dance move, give a speech to a crowded room, or strut your stuff on a red carpet. Once you conquer whatever it is that’s holding you back, confidence will abound.

-V

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