|Image from http://studentbranding.com/confidence-is-the-winning-strategy/|
...It's a word that's been on my mind quite a lot lately. What exactly does it mean? We all know it means being secure with who you are and strong enough to live life with your head held high and several other cliche phrases that I'm sure you're all familiar with. I don't need to give you a dictionary definition, but I would like to speculate as to what it means to me, and to all of you. I think confidence comes naturally to some, but has to be learnt by others.
I believe confidence is something I have to learn. Lately I've been rather down and it got me thinking: What exactly do I have to do to bring myself up again? It occurred to me that there must be several things factoring into my relative discontent. Why can't I be confident? Sure confidence means not giving a damn what the Negative Nancys and Danny Downers have to say about you, but it has to come from within, and it has to radiate from some grain of truth in which you really believe that you are worth defending from the negative views of not only others, but of yourself.
For me, I think the barricade barring my way to success as a confident, radiant young woman is the fact that I don't allow myself to feel. I tend to ignore my feelings in order to accommodate others. If I were to say I've never been selfish, that would be a lie because selfishness tends to come naturally in humans. I'm lucky enough to be able to say that I've taught myself to look after and nurture others before myself. And that's exactly the problem. It's all well and good to want to help others as much as possible, but it's impossible to help them in the best way that you can without first becoming the best you possible.
Now I know this is all very cliche, and I do apologize for the utter mess that is my writing in this post, but I feel that sharing this with all of you may just be the helpful boost I need, and perhaps you can learn a thing or two yourself if you need it. I tend to neglect my feelings, force myself to push them away and pretend they don't exist. I put everyone else's needs in front of my own; I'm the go-to therapist for most of my friends and my immediate family members, simply because I'm good at rationalizing emotion. I can rationalize it for everyone else, but since I ignore my own emotions I don't even bother trying to sort myself out.
Why mention all this now? Well as you may know if you're a regular reader or happened to stumble upon my blog recently, you'll know that I've been on spring vacation this past week. Over my vacations at home, I tend to release my emotions onto my poor mother because I can't bear to show emotion in front of my friends. I don't know if I've been unintentionally conditioned to believe that showing emotions is a weakness, but that is a completely untrue statement.
Instead of sharing my feelings, I tend to comfort myself with food. Now, I'm a rather small person and by no means fat. I'm definitely petite, but I've definitely, let's say, harmed my figure with this habit. It's not that I don't love exercising or don't do it on a regular basis, but its effects are counteracted by this terrible way of dealing with emotions. In fact, I didn't even realize my eating was tied to my utter failure at controlling my emotions until I had a rather long chat about it this week.
So what is confidence? For me, it needs to be allowing myself to feel. Allowing myself to release the emotions that I know I have in here somewhere without caving in to comfort food as a way to deal. As a side effect, I now have iffy body image and so I have to fix that simply because my method of sorting out my emotions sabotaged it. See the cycle?
You're probably wondering what in Hades [please don't ask why I used that as an expression because I really couldn't tell you!] this has to do with anything, and why it's worth reading. I think that because this is mostly, for the time being at least, a beauty blog, that I should address inner beauty in a way that I haven't really thought about before. I don't think I can be as beautiful on the outside as I am on the inside if I don't allow myself to fully be myself to myself.
Ok, she must be crazy, you're saying. This is going nowhere, you think. I wonder where she's going to run off in this paragraph? Well I'm literally going to run off to pack for the trip back to university tomorrow, but I wanted to leave you with something, I suppose. And that is, whether you're the most confident girl in the world or your self-image leaves something to be desired, know that confidence means different things for everyone, regardless of the dictionary definition. I'm definitely in the process of building my own, and this is the first time I've really allowed myself to give my own emotions a chance at working their way into a permanent space in my consciousness. Maybe then I won't have to turn to chocolatey confections and cheesy goodness instead of facing my emotions.
And maybe, just maybe, I may become a better me to serve the people I love most.
I hope this helped at least one person reevaluate their approach at confidence if she [or he] needed an emotional pick-me-up.
Apologies for a long and predominantly incoherent speech.