Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Loving Myself & Gaining Self-Confidence

Beautiful, fashionaable woman smiling with pink blossoms in the background

Hi! Firstly, I'd like to thank you for stopping by. I really wasn't sure whether to write this post but I thought why the hell not, I know I'm not the only one who feels this way. It is a bit of a touchy subject and the last time I spoke to one of my closest friends about self love it brought me to tears buuuuuuuut I'm not here to write about that. I want to talk about how I've been learning to love myself (it's going pretty well!)

*Tacky cliché saying coming up* ... self confidence is a journey (lol but true)! I still do get shy and unless I've known you forever I probably won't be as annoying and as out there as I am with my immediate family and closest friends. With all that being said I do feel as if I've come a long way, I am soft spoken, I do keep myself to myself but I no longer let that be mistaken for low self esteem/confidence. Ok, moving on - I'm going to list a few things that have helped me gain confidence and l-o-v-e m-e.

Stopped comparing myself to anyone
This is probably one of the worst things anyone can ever do to themselves. It took a while for me to stop this. It wasn't even a case of comparing myself to celebrities but to people I knew, I never felt good enough, I'd constantly be thinking "we're peers but she's more successful than me" "they have everything going for them and I don't" "why am I this and they're that" "she's prettier/thinner than me". Not great thoughts to be going through a 13 -18 year old mind.
I genuinely don't know where I developed that mentality from, my mother always tells me to stay in my lane, my time will come, focus on me and never compare myself to anyone. I really wish I'd listen. ANYWAY, I later on learnt that I must stay in my lane - because I'm focusing on myself and what I have, a wonderful loving family, a career with great prospects, a place to stay, good health etc. I don't feel the need to want someone else's life. Comparison can and will lead to jealousy, ungratefulness and a sad, unfulfilled life.
Is this becoming too self-helpy? My bad, that's just how I feel. But yes, not comparing myself to others helped me commit to nurturing myself to be the best version of me, awwwww, I know right.

Accepting my flaws

We all have flaws and probably spend way too much time dwelling on them, why? Probably because it’s the first thing we see when we look into the mirror but instead of thinking negatively or wishing my flaws away I think positively, compliment myself– honestly I said it enough I started believing it – and not because I'm "faking it till I make it" but because it's bloomin' true!
There are parts of myself that used to get me down but I have really learnt to love them, they’re features that make me, me! And to be honest, my physical appearance means nothing it will eventually fade. I bet you want to know what they are right? Nosey, well I'll tell you a few.
  • My gummy smile I hated it so much I got into the habit of covering my mouth when I laugh, although I do catch myself doing it from time to time – I’m slowly coming out of that habit
  • My upside-down lips (meaning my top lip is bigger than my bottom – get your mind out the gutter). I don’t even know why I ever hated my lips they’re amazing!
My chubby neck that fluctuates with my weight gain/loss, my long second toe, my stretch marks, my shoulders being wider than my hips... seriously the list can go on and on. Some of these insecurities may sound silly but they really did take a toll on my self esteem. Not as much these day, if I can change it, great, if not, I look fab regardless.

Getting to know myself

Do you really know who you are? It’s so easy to let yourself get influenced by others and think that is who you really are – I would know. I now pay attention to my thoughts, analysing each one including the negative, and ask myself why I think that (I basically talk to myself) most of the time I come to realise the negative thoughts come from comparing myself to someone else or limitations that aren’t really limitation, I’ve just allowed them to be placed there; its such self-destructive behavior and that’s why I’m glad I can now brush these thoughts away after really thinking about them.

Getting to know yourself doesn’t have to be just you sitting in your room having an imagery conversation with yourself – It can actually be really fun! Take yourself out girl, treat yourself – I take myself out on dates constantly. Going out alone really did increase my self confidence, it was hard at first because I couldn’t bare the thought anyone thinking I was stood up or was a billy no mates but in all honesty, who actually cares - really??!?!
*Totally random thought but want to put it out there* I don’t understand people who jump from one relationship into another – it’s OK to be alone! That’s also another reason why I think solo travelling is important and a must at least once in your life but that’s another blog-post huns.

Here are a few easy things I did to boost my confidence – feel free to try them and let me know if they worked:
  • Stand tall. I have a terrible posture, so it will sound hypocritical for me to give this advice, but I know it works because I remind myself to do it as often as I can and gurl, when the right song is playing, with the wind in my hair and I'm strutting my stuff down the street I feel like BeyoncĂ©.
  • Smile more. Yeah, yeah there's resting bitch face and all that but it works! Just like standing tall, I remind myself to smile, such a tiny thing can have a lovely chain reaction.
  • Clean my room/work space. When my area starts getting messy, I get thoughts like "omg this mess resembles this thing I call life" maybe not that dramatic but yeah, I always feel amazing in a clean, spotless environment especially if I was the one who did it.
  • Be grateful. I’m a firm believer in gratitude, being grateful for what you have in life, for what others have given you, is very humbling - I find it to be very positive and rewarding activity.
  • Be kind and generous - being nice feels nice! Be careful not to feel self righteous or do good deeds for your own benefit, it won't work.
  • Get active. Go for a run, jog (or walk in my case) exercise releases dopamine, a chemical that plays a role in happiness, I lost a few pounds and that definitely made me feel more confident.
  • Be kinder to yourself– whenever I catch myself thinking negatively, I simply stop & release those thoughts.

Like I mentioned at the start, self love is a journey, I'm taking it one day at a time.
In the famous words of Mama Ru:
"If you can't love yourself, how in the hell you gone love someone else?"

Side note: as much as I love this widget, it's very limited these are the sunglasses  and dress I'm wearing.

Abby x

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