Today I want to talk about self confidence.
Self confidence is something I’ve struggled with as long as I can remember. At school, I shied away from everything I could and absolutely hated any attention being on me. I felt like when people were looking at me they saw everything I hated about myself. I got to a level of insecurity that I don’t think I’ve ever quite recovered from.
I think I’ve come to the point now where I’ve recognised that self confidence has to come from you. You need to find a kind of confidence in yourself you can cling on to so you have something to fall back on when you feel like crap.
For me, I’m not sure it will ever be about the way I look, though I am much more ok with it now than I used to be. But I am confident in my personality. I know I’m a nice person, I know I’m relatively intelligent (or well-educated at the very least), I know I’m kind, I know I’m practical, and I know I try hard.
I’m confident in my work ethic and I’m confident that I can get on with anyone you put in front of me.
I’m confident in my sense of direction and in my ability to guess measurements in recipes (doesn’t always go right, but my success record works in my favour).
Lastly, I’m confident in my relationship, which is undoubtedly my biggest source of self confidence.
I still have insecurities about body image, I’m not sure they will ever go away. They feel so deeply ingrained now that they are a challenge to tackle, but it’s something I’m working on, physically and mentally.
I’m insecure about coming across stupid in social situations. There is only one person I genuinely care about thinking I’m attractive, but the idea of anyone thinking I’m not clever backs me into the quietest most introverted corner. It stopped me putting my hand up in class and it makes me terrified of making phone calls. I rarely voice my opinion in social situations unless I’m completely certain and I would doubt it immediately if it was questioned.
I could continue, but I feel that is not why I’m writing this.
There will come a point where I accept who I am and stop caring about people’s opinion of me. I’m not there yet, but it’s something to strive for.
I don’t need anyone else to think I’m beautiful because I know my boyfriend does. It doesn’t matter if I say something stupid because I know I’m not. It’s not as easy as just saying that, obviously, but I acknowledge it, and that’s the first step.
At the ripe old age of 23, I’ve reached a manageable level of self-confidence. My battle with my insecurities has been long standing and isn’t over yet; but in recent years I’ve made considerable progress. I know I owe a lot of that to my boyfriend, who has made it all but made it his mission to make me feel like the most special person in the world, without him I worry I may never have seen my self-worth. But it wasn’t all him, I’ve done some of the work too.
Like everyone, I’ve had my knock-backs, but throughout the years when it comes to confidence I’ve been my own worst enemy. It’s up to me to feel good about myself, it’s no one else’s responsibility, not even those who love me the most.
I’ll get there, self acceptance takes time – and I’m willing to wait.