“I know I’m beautiful/should feel confident, but I don’t feel beautiful/confident” is the disconnect between logic and emotion many people feel. Sometimes your emotions and body have to catch up with your mind, especially after experiencing trauma.
For every quality (or lack thereof) that you’re insecure about, there is someone who is absolutely confident with it. A good start is to learn how they confidently carry the qualities you both share and what they do with it. Try it out in your own way, but it’s okay if you’re a total copy-cat at first. The goal is to get the hang of it, and you’re using their example as a vehicle to carve your own path.
When I was a kid and a teenager, I was constantly told to change my body. As a kid and a teenager, I thought this was the truth. However, I grew up and I saw that there is no one definition of beauty/what’s “in,” and that the only person who really sets that definition for me is myself. When I set the tone that everybody is beautiful, I attract that into my life. It takes some imagination, some action, and some letting go.
I studied people with qualities that I have that can be seen as “unattractive” in our culture, but these people were rockin’ it. I watched interviews, read books, met some of these people, took some classes, listened to music, watched TV shows, and more. There are so many ways to understand and relate because when it comes down to it, we are all human.
As humans, we have empathy, imagination, and the ability to choose what our actions will be in line with. I went from a girl who had a low self-esteem to someone who now has over 81k Instagram followers (follow me @annastayziaa) with an influence that encourages people to be themselves. I am celebrated for those qualities that I once believed to be flaws. It’s really a miracle in my eyes that I was able to change my mindset and be able to embody the message of “be you” and “everyone is beautiful.”
That said, some quick tips that could boost confidence are:
1. Have people who love you just as you are, or at least a supportive community. If you’re in a situation where you don’t have access to people like that, search for body-positive and pro-recovery accounts on social media (@neda is a great place to start!).
2. Dance to get out of your shell and in touch with your body in a fun way. When you dance for pure fun, you appreciate your body more. “Improving” in dancing is a plus, but not necessary. Make up your own dance, have fun. This is something I do all the time.
3. Groom yourself and be comfortable with what you wear. I’m a college student on a low budget, so I can’t afford any fancy or expensive things. However, I take pride in this and find ways to get free clothes or discounted clothes. If I couldn’t afford any clothes, I’d be making my own or going to the thrift shop like Macklemore. I actually have bought clothes from a thrift shop years ago and I still wear them. Have you heard of the song, though? Listen to the message of it. Most of the time, I like to wear very comfortable and affordable clothes. I used to mostly dress this way until I became a fashion influencer. Free clothes! I personally feel more comfortable without makeup. I like letting my hair naturally air-dry into its natural curly state.
4. Have goals and a plan – remember that it’s okay to start small!
5. Don’t be attached to the outcomes of anything in life or any relationships. Do not assign your value and confidence based on your goals and achievements.
6. You are worthy of love. Period.
7. Your level of loveable-ness is not dependent on how useful or admirable you are.
8. Be benevolent, not malevolent.
9. Be focused on your own energy. When you use a hose to water plants, the water only goes so far when you thumb is not covering part of the opening of the hose. When you cover part of the opening of the hose, however, the water is more focused and it reaches further. This is how your energy works. If you’re more focused, you’ll go further.
10. Always have the mindset in which you listen to constructive criticism while still making your own decisions independently. It’s a balance. Take others’ perspectives into account, but make your own decisions.
11. You deserve to pursue your dreams and you are able to achieve them.
12. The fear of pain is worse than the pain itself.
13. Rock what you got and uplift others. Your attitude will inspire others to do the same.
14. You are more powerful and influential than you’ll ever know. All you need to do is tap into that voice that grew softer over the years and strengthen it like you do a muscle.
Annastayziaa is a 23-year-old Instagram influencer, artist, and poetess who is fully supportive of body positivity and eating disorder recovery. She’s also an influencer/model for Fashion Nova Curve.