4 sure ways to get you on track to becoming the most confident version of yourself.
My college diplomas was going to be my V.I.P all access pass to the success I’d been certain was mine since I was 12 years old. Had I known how imperative that confidence would be to the grand scheme of things, I would have bottled it up and saved it for my 20s. When I was finally in a position to go after my goals, life; as beautiful, passionate, and fulfilling as it can be, plucked away my pride, sense of security and trust in myself, leaving me like a scared chicken awaiting my slaughter. I had spent years surrounding myself with women who’d rather be in competition with me than be a friend. Not only had I accepted this dynamic, but I fed into it by taking on the same competitive nature. I was being devalued in my love life by someone who had been damaged in a previous relationship. I was giving him permission to treat me this way by sticking around, while also being blind to the toxic behaviors I was exhibiting myself. With the misconception that black women have to be strong and do things alone; I worked multiple jobs while being a full time student. Not only did I spread myself way too thin, but I used this as an excuse to miss church, and not spend quality time with God.
I was so mentally, physically and spiritually drained that I barley recognized myself. Where was the girl with all the confidence? The one that would sprint to the limelight, not afraid of an audience? That girl was gone, and where she once reigned now housed a more timid and fragile one that would get built up with so much anxiety in a crowded room that she’d bolt out minutes after arriving. A girl that compared herself to others in every category, almost always ranking herself last. She was one that hated her body because she’d lost almost 30 pounds from stress, and no longer felt beautiful; A girl stripped of all her confidence. I had been her for years, and it pained me everyday because I never forgot the glowing young lady that I once was. Desperate to be confident in myself again, I became obsessed with mental and spiritual health. I began to research and read up on anything I could get my hands on, and eventually ran into a mixture of methods that taught me how to become confident in myself again.
I became confident by:
BECOMING BEST FRIENDS WITH GOD
One of the first things I had to get through my head and my heart is that God is the only one that can give me everything that I need. By putting my faith and expectations fully into humans, who by nature are not without fault; I was setting myself up for unnecessary disappointments. I became intentional about making God present in all aspects of my life. And it was through him that I was able to see the value in myself.
ELIMINATING/LIMITING THINGS THAT ATTACK MY CONFIDENCE
Even after gaining my confidence back, social media still has the ability to make me doubt myself. It was imperative for me to disconnect, and put into perspective how insignificant social media popularity truly is. I didn’t delete my account, but I do go days, and even sometimes weeks with the app deleted from my phone. Now I turn to positive alternatives when I feel the need to be on my phone. Like Instagram; individuals in my life, shows I tuned into, and even music I listened to, had the ability to attack my confidence. I had to learn how to regulate my exposure to those things in order to minimize the negative emotions that came with them.
CHANGING THE CHANNEL ON NEGATIVE SELF-TALK
Where there is low self-confidence, negative self-talk is never too far behind. I had to learn to get as angry at myself for talking bad about me, as I would with someone else. Anytime I would start telling myself that I wasn’t smart enough, or good enough I would immediately change the channel in my head to something more positive. I would think about the blessings in my life, or a good attribute that I have.
Long showers, scented candles and Jazz music are all things I use to calm my mind and regroup. It’s been super beneficial to find luxury and relaxation in simple things, especially with my busy schedule. Failing to take a step back only heightened the chances of an eventual breakdown. Working on things like my time management, and knowing when I have too much on my plate, are also forms of self-care that have helped me not only build my confidence, but my mental health as well.
Confidence won’t come over night. But these 4 suggestions are sure to put you on the right track to becoming the confident individual that you were intended to be.