I have had insecurities for as long as I can remember.
And the common denominator for the cause of my insecurities was always someone pointing them out.
Like you, my insecurities stemmed from other people’s opinions and beauty standards.
It was rough growing up in a predominantly white town and school.
Not many people looked like me and I didn’t make many friends.
On top of that, the school system was more advanced than most of the schools in the state.
I was not a school person.
I struggled to focus because I wasn’t interested in any of my classes.
I was diagnosed with ADD but my parents refused to accept that label.
No medication, no special classes, I just had to “work harder because I’m lazy.”
And denying that part of me really impacted me finding my identity.
I couldn’t figure out why I was slower to catch on to things.
I would zone out of just about every class.
Everything just seemed like a challenge.
Nothing came easy to me and I wasn’t allowed to go out with friends because of my grades.
So I didn’t really have a social life.
I was constantly compared to my younger sister who aced just about all of her classes.
I relied on food because it was the only thing that made me feel better.
But then that brought on more insecurities because of my weight.
At home I was told I was too fat.
And at school everyone was so skinny and active so I felt even worse.
It was a vicious cycle of criticism, comparing and confusion.
I would think “what is wrong with me?”
“Why am I not good at anything? Why can’t I get it together?”
I struggled all the way through middle school and high school not knowing who I am and what I like to do.
All I knew was that I liked to be creative.
But I didn’t discover my passion in art until senior year of high school.
I had to fill in my schedule for my last semester with an elective so I chose Drawing 101.
I went to class with no expectations.
Just relieved that it was a class that didn’t include memorizing packets of information.
My art teacher was the first person to see my potential.
I didn’t even see it, I was just doing the assignment.
Which was to draw a hand.
I thought that everyone could draw a hand because it came so easy to me.
But I was the only person in class that had a natural talent for drawing.
Then there was light.
I finally found something I’m good at that I actually love.
Art was the one area in my life where I felt valuable and important.
After graduating, I spent that summer drawing in the basement everyday until 2 or 3 in the morning.
It felt so good to finally know my purpose!
It was an escape from all the criticism and mental challenges I faced in school and at home.
I could zone out for hours and not have consequences because I was still doing something!
Fast forward to now, I’m a full-time artist and I have my own art business.
I still have insecurities and I struggle to not compare myself to other artists.
But that’s an ongoing battle every artist has to fight.
I feel way more confident than I did in high school.
And I have God and lots of practice to thank for that.
Enough about my life story now.
I just wanted to tell you a little bit about my background.
I’ve got a long way to go and a lot of work to do to become my best self.
But I’ve come far in my journey to self-confidence and I’m proud of who I am today.
Here are 9 tips that have helped me to destroy my insecurities and help build my confidence.
1. Stop Comparing Yourself
Think of society as fruits.
You can’t compare an orange to grapes, that would be ridiculous!
Their structures are built nothing alike.
They have their own unique qualities unlike any other fruit.
There is no one in this world that is exactly like you.
You are not exactly like anyone else in the world.
Everyone’s life is different and everyone’s experiences are different.
Your dope qualities and characteristics are unmatched!
Besides, why would you want to be anybody else?
You don’t know the life circumstances they have.
2. List Your Best Qualities
This could be a helpful exercise to write down.
And if you can’t think of any, write out some of your worst qualities.
But you still have to do some work afterwards.
You would then need to brainstorm ways to fix or better yourself in those areas.
You can do it, I know you’re capable of changing!
You are never stuck with the same attitude. How you feel about something is your choice.
You can always change your perspective.
3. Practice Positive Affirmations
It sounds corny but talking to yourself in the mirror with kind words actually works!
God said you have the power of life and death in your tongue.
So might as well speak life into yourself right?
I don’t understand the science behind it but daily affirmations makes your brain start thinking positively.
And the more you speak and think positively, the easier it gets to think and believe those positive thoughts.
Getting your body moving is a great way to boost your mood and make you feel naturally good.
It makes you feel happier and you’re making your body healthier at the same time.
If you’re not used to working out it might be hard the first few weeks.
But after those two weeks or so, the exercises you did consistently become way easier.
5. Fix Your Posture
We spend a lot of time slouched over.
Slouching over our phones, leaning while we drive, leaning over computers and desks.
If you’re a student, office worker, or are an artist you probably spend a lot of time hunched over too.
You don’t have to be a doctor to realize that our posture can also affect our mood and energy.
And if you don’t already have back pains doing this, long-term health problems can occur down the road.
I suggest using a posture corrector brace to help aid you with your posture.
Or practicing back exercises for better posture.
Your body will thank you.
I also call self-care, “pouring into myself.”
- Doing things you enjoy
- Time to yourself
- Giving yourself things you need
This is vital for everyone.
To be a good wife and mother, a woman must first pour into herself and show herself love.
Such as doing her makeup, reading/drinking wine by herself, or doing her favorite exercises.
These things are important because if she doesn’t put herself first:
- She’ll be cranky all the time
- She’ll fight more with her spouse
- She won’t enjoy parts of mothering her children
- Depression might occurs
- And many more negative things
When flying on an airplane, flight attendants tell you to put your oxygen mask on before helping someone else.
This is important for your survival.
Because if you run out of oxygen, you can’t help someone with their oxygen mask.
Same rule applies to life except your “oxygen” is your “self-care.”
To help others you must first help yourself.
It is always good to reflect on your day, goals, and life in general.
Examining our past can help aid our future decisions.
Take a moment to reflect on your day, week or month every once in a while.
Writing and reflecting can help you be more conscious of your decisions, habits, and improvements.
8. Focus on Your Strengths
If you struggle with self-confidence you probably focus too much on your weaknesses.
And although it can be helpful to know your weak spots, it’s harmful to only focus on them.
The only reason you should spend time thinking about your weaknesses, is if you plan to get stronger in those areas.
Otherwise you’ll find yourself spiraling into a dark place of discouragement.
And you don’t want to go there.
It’s not fun and it could be hard to pull yourself out.
So we need to shift your focus onto your strengths.
How you do this is by thinking and writing down the strengths you have at the moment.
Then write down the strengths you would like to have.
As a bonus you could also ask your friends and family what your strengths are.
Then write down the actions you will take to obtain those strengths you’d like to have.
Break those actions down into small steps you can take everyday.
And keep track of the progress you make by reflecting on a regular basis like we talked about in step number 7.
9. Be Honest With Yourself
To destroy your insecurities and build confidence, you must be honest with yourself.
Be honest with what you need to work on and know that you are capable of improving.
You can do whatever you put your mind to.
Things might come easier or harder to you than others.
Those are just the cards of life that we’re dealt with.
But one thing’s for sure: you are not given too much than you can handle in your life.
The obstacles and hardships you encounter make you stronger.
With each trial and tribulation, you are building your faith and character.
The hard truth is that you can overcome and achieve anything.
Your job is to figure out how to do it over and over in life.
And with that endurance and faith, comes success and blessings.
Just keep pushing.