The next letter on my list of self improvement is C! C is for CONFIDENCE.
The kind of confidence I hope to find will allow me to be 100% comfortable with myself (flaws and all). It’s the kind of confidence that will allow me to learn from my mistakes rather than make excuses for them. The kind of confidence that will help me walk out of my house without a stitch of make-up on feeling just as beautiful as I do when I’m all dolled up. It’s the kind of confidence that will save me from being the type of woman who tries to find flaws in beautiful and talented women before complimenting and befriending them. The kind of confidence that guides me in my quest to be a better girlfriend, friend, daughter, career woman, crafter, blogger, and mother (someday).
I thought today was a good day to write this post because I don’t feel very pretty. We all have those days where even our best dress and prettiest shade of eye shadow won’t help, right? I just feel so…blah, ugh, aaahhhhhhh! You know?
As a shy, sensitive kid and wildly hormonal teenager I never thought I was good enough. My thighs were too big, my boobs were too small (or rather non-existent), I hated my nose (mean people used to call me big nose), my upper lip was too thin, my legs were too short, my hair was too stringy, my voice was too mousy, my feet were too big, and everyone was smarter than me (I thought). I wanted to be someone else for a very long time. I put WAY too much emphasis on negativity and never focused on any of the positive attributes I possessed! I should have been thinking about the fact that I was musically inclined (I sang and played the flute), I picked up drawing and crafting with ease, I was a very good cheerleader (I even went pro with a co-ed team back in my day), I was a caring person who valued my friendships, and I really was a smart kid who learned quickly in school.
That’s me in the air in all those photos. When I made the team they liked my fire engine red hair, but wanted to tone it down a bit. Make my hair a more natural red rather than rock n roll red. As you can see from the photos…the hair stylist made me a blonde. Anyway, back to business…
With age I’ve seen a vast improvement in my confidence. I’m far less shy than I once was, I don’t have nearly as many body image issues, I don’t let people’s ignorant comments (like calling me big nose) bother me quite as much, and I’ve been much better at focusing on my strengths rather than dwelling on my imperfections. That being said, I still have a lot of room for growth in the confidence department.
When my girlfriend Vanessa got married last year my high school friends and I were spending more time with some of the friends she’s made through her now husband’s co workers. At one point I saw a couple of the girls looking in my direction then whispering to each other. Automatically I thought to myself “oh my god they are talking about how weird I am. They hate me. They are totally saying horrible things about me! They think this outfit makes my butt look fat! I have food in my teeth! They hate the gift baskets I made!” later on they asked me where I had gotten my dress/accessories, and told me that I always looked so cute. My brain is crazy sometimes.
It’s amazing how I let my own insecurities skew reality. This experience woke me up a little. Though I still have those adolescent “what if they don’t like me” moments I’ve gotten a little better at not jumping to conclusions and villainizing people by putting words into their mouths or thoughts into their brains.
For this installment of “Better Me From A to Z”
I vow to:
stop putting myself down.
stop assuming everyone has a negative opinion of me.
stop making faces at myself in the mirror when the horribly unflattering lights in the bathroom at work make me look like a zombie (it’s the lighting, not me).
stop comparing myself to other women.
stop letting my mistakes haunt me for days. File them away for future Tera to learn from. Find a way to fix it and move on.
find one good thing about everyone around me (even the people I don’t mesh well with). I believe that part of having self confidence is being able to see the good in others too.
compliment people out loud instead of just in my head. (There are a lot of reasons for me to do this one. When I compliment other people I see how it makes them feel and for me, putting other people in a good mood, even just for a moment, puts me in a good mood and I can’t be confident if I’m in a bad mood. Also, being a shy person this will help me open the doors to conversations with new potential friends!)
compliment myself. It’s not vein or arrogant to think you possess positive qualities, or to think you look pretty in your new dress. If you don’t think you look pretty or that you’re smart or talented, then who will?
be OK with the fact that not everyone is going to like me, my art, my blog, my clothes, or my looks. The people who mean the most to me do like me and that’s all I can really ask for!
Thanks for reading! I’m about to go have my hair colored and cut. Coincidentally, the color they were SUPPOSED to color my hair when I cheered for the San Diego Sockers!