My Grandma used to always tell me that I should always try and match my underwear and bra. Even if it’s not a perfect match, try and make sure that whatever my “under-roos” are, that they are ones that I really like and feel good in. No one may actually see them but me, but it doesn’t matter because it will improve my self-confidence.
There are so many little things that you can do on a daily basis to improve how you feel about yourself. I work as a writer and am a mom. I’m at home and many days, no one but my family sees me. After a few days of walking around in pjs or sweatpants, I notice that my confidence begins to shake a bit. It is important that every day, no matter what your plans, that you get up and actually get dressed as if you will be having company or entertaining.
I know what you’re thinking, “you’re crazy, why am I going to spend 30 minutes on makeup and hair and get into a dress if I’m sitting on the couch that day?” Well, you don’t have to go through your entire routine, but even on the weekends or your days home, put on jeans and a nice blouse. Just do lip-gloss and mascara. Dial down your routine but still have one. And most importantly, keep up with hygiene. It doesn’t matter if you’re going to be making out with a hottie or not, brush your teeth, wash your face, and apply deodorant.
There are many other things that can really make a difference. Go outside every day. 10 minutes minimum. The vitamins offered by God’s nature are just not replicated with supplements. Go to the source yourself. There is also something extremely soothing about the outdoors. Even if you’re a city girl, being outside and not contained in the stresses our walls hold is more than exhilarating for your soul. Even new moms are suggested to step outside and breathe in the fresh air when over whelmed by a crying newborn. The outdoors will do something for your confidence that you will feel immediately.
I used to work for a huge bank and even for them, I wrote. I worked in correspondence and responded to customers through personalized letters when the auto generated ones did not fit their response need. I sat in a cubicle for 10 hours. I had my 15 minute breaks and my 45 minute lunch period. I took those periods to not go into the “break room” but sit outside. If the sun was shining, I had my favorite bench that I always laid on. I would lay down, close my eyes, and just let the sun warm me and the wind dance across my skin. It always allowed the stressors of the day to lessen slightly enough to make me feel better. If it was raining, there was this one wall I stood against and I would just lean and think and watch the grey clouds drop their own weight down.
Another vital ingredient to building your confidence is your body language. Despite how you feel, don’t show it. There is a time to cry and it’s essential to get that pain out. BUT, you can’t walk around carrying your heavy load everywhere you go. Find a place for your worries and leave them there. Think about it this way. Every worry you have is a stone. A few worries can get quite heavy if carried around with you everywhere you go. Leave your worries at home, or at the office, or wherever they are meant to be and walk standing tall, not slumped over like you have the world on your back. Hold your head up high and make eye contact. If you LOOK confident, you will start to FEEL confident.
Know who your friends are. This is so important. Not every person in your life needs to know what you are going through. Everyone has their own problems. Every single person. No matter what you think, there is not one human being on the planet who doesn’t have a couple worry stones lying around. They all do. So, keep your conversations about yours to a few or even only one special person that you trust and love. Everyone else, they don’t need to know. What happens is, you know that they know things about your life and when they look at you and you can see that in their eyes, it pulls you down. We all need someone to confide in, we are human and are built with that need. But it will wreck you if the entire world knows everything you have on your plate at all times. Maybe you’re thinking “But Angel Beth, I didn’t tell them, they know because of this and that”. That’s fine. It doesn’t mean that you have to talk about it all the time. It doesn’t mean you have to show up looking beaten down. No matter how tough life gets, hold your head up and act strong. Leave your weak moment, and we all have them, for the right place, the right time, and with the right person.
BELIEVE IN YOURSELF! I have so many people come to me and tell me that they are worthless. That they have nothing to offer. That there is nothing good about them. In none of these times did I struggle to spit out a handful of great qualities that made these people special. I know the mirror can be your enemy. I know we are our own worst critic. BUT, we are also, besides God, the ONLY person that we will always have in every moment of our lives. No one, but God and you, can be there with you all the time. And if you don’t believe in God as do, than all you have is you. So, knowing this, you HAVE to be able to find something, no matter how small to love about yourself. Something that makes you different and special. Many times that traits we hate most about yourself, end up being some of our best attributes.
This reminds me of a book my 7 year old son read recently. It was about a little girl who fostered puppies. This little girl struggled through the book with a certain trait about herself. She was outspoken and frequently blurted out her opinion, even when it wasn’t asked of her. This caused trouble in her life and she tried to just keep her opinions to herself and so she closed up. By the end of the book she learned that this trait was actually a beautiful quality and made her a strong leader. She just had to learn to control it and use it correctly. The one thing she hated about herself was what was going to make her incredible. Take a minute to think about the things you don’t like about yourself. Do you really need to change these things? Maybe you do and maybe you just need disciple and perseverance to get there. Like quitting smoking for example. But maybe you just need to learn to use your trait properly, like the little girl in my son’s story book.
Building your confidence takes time. And many times we are slowed by having poisonous people in our lives. Think about that one long and hard. Do you have someone in your life that drags you down? Someone who makes you feel bad about yourself? Maybe they offer back handed compliments. You know the kind, the ones that sound like a compliment but are actually a huge insult. Maybe they just add undue drama to your life or maybe they frequently put you into situations that you later regret. Like a bad influence possibly. Maybe they always have something negative to say or always try to show you up. Sound familiar? If you have people in your life like this, you are not helping yourself. You are hurting yourself. You choose who you allow in your life. Put distance between yourself and these people. Don’t take poison on purpose. Don’t slowly kill your confidence.
Sometimes, every now and again, you are trapped and cannot put actual distance between a poisonous person and yourself. This is when you have to be strong. You have to learn to ignore. If you are feeling this way, then realize that this person is actually a bully and deal with them as such. With bullies, they attack the weak. They only bother people that can actually BE bothered. If you act like you don’t care and start saying “whatever” with a chuckle and walk away confidently with your head high and your shoulders back…. Eventually they will realize that their poison doesn’t work on you. That you are immune and they will find a different target. They might actually have really hurt your feelings, but don’t let them know that. Don’t show it. Or their poison will have a much stronger effect because you will give them satisfaction and you will remain a target to them.
Eat well. You don’t need to diet or be a health nut. But putting real whole foods into your body makes you feel good about yourself. It feels good to have eaten a good meal. Food makes a huge difference in your life. One thing that I do is when I get my groceries, I precut and pre-rinse Romaine lettuce, celery, carrots, and cucumber and put them into separate storage containers in the refrigerator. This way, through the week I can throw together a salad with minimal effort. I add precut and precooked grilled chicken strips and add some dressing and afterwards I feel great about what I put in my body.
Exercise. You don’t have to join a gym or run marathons to take care of yourself. Even light stretching will make a huge difference in how you feel about yourself. Make your goals obtainable. Don’t reach for something that is going to make you feel stressed out. Start small. Very small if you have to but doing something is better than nothing. Each little goal achieved will make you feel so good about yourself. And anything you do is great for your health, so it’s a win-win!
Lastly, smile. This is so beyond important. It’s probably the most important thing out of everything. You need to enjoy your life. If you are miserable and life is truly horrible, and you can’t no matter what find a way to laugh; put on a comedy, read a funny book, look up jokes on the internet, anything. If life is just tough at times and you have to keep going, like most of us do, S-M-I-L-E! When you go about your day, smile at everyone who passes by. Smile even when no one is passing by. Think of something great, even if it’s not real and focus on that. If you can’t think of anything, FAKE IT! Smile anyways. The actual action releases serotonin, which is also associated with feel good properties. So the fake smile, will actually help you feel better.
Building your confidence does take time and can even raise and lower like the tides, but make it a priority. Change your life by believing in yourself. I can tell you one thing, I believe in you. xoxo
Editorial / Writer