Most people call me confident. What most people don’t know is how hard I have worked to become confident. I have struggled with depression, body image and I still have daily battles with anxiety. I am only confident now because honestly I have put in the work. I have put in the work to love myself and care for myself. I have put in the work to unlearn everything I was socialized to believe was true about myself. So here are some tips about what has worked for me to grow my confidence!
Treat yourself like a friend
I used to talk down to myself. I would call myself names and I would idealize Eurocentric beauty standards. But I knew that I would never talk to another woman the way I talked to myself. I would never speak about my friend the way that I spoke about myself. Something switched when I started to treat myself as if I was my own best friend. At first, it wasn’t always the truth. I would catch myself comparing myself to others or telling myself that I am not good enough to achieve my goals and I would have to consciously and vocally say to myself whatever I really wanted to be feeling. So I would say to myself Olivia you are looking bangin’ today or you can do anything that you put your mind to! I pretty much became my own hype-man. Speaking to yourself with love puts positivity and truth into the world which will find its way back to you. That kind of energy really brought positive change in the way that I not only spoke to myself, but now started to see myself.
Realize that when you judge yourself, you are judging others like you
When I thought Eurocentric beauty was the only type of beauty, I wasn’t only damaging myself but all other women that were like me. I was telling them that they had to look, act and think a certain way to be accepted and to be considered beautiful. When I told myself I couldn’t start a business because I didn’t have the proper major for it, I was telling everyone that doesn’t have a business major that they cannot start a successful business. When I told myself that I needed to lose weight, I was telling every girl that was my size or bigger that they needed to lose weight too. If I believe something to be true about myself then I am also reflecting that standard onto others, whether I am doing so intentional or not. Only when we love and accept ourselves can we truly love and accept those around us.
This is not an easy process people! I have been working on building my confidence for years, I am still not done yet and who knows if I will ever be. Healing is taxing, burdensome and overall just sucks but the process is worth it. It is worth it to find happiness when you look in the mirror, it is worth it to believe in yourself and it is worth it to find value in who you are!
Be loud & proud
This is when my Puerto Rican background helps me out because we are loud and proud about everything! So for me, being proactive about my confidence is key! Every picture that I post, every look that I style and every caption I title is all about building myself and others up. I loudly declare my confidence because for years I didn’t have any. I have lived, like so many people, hiding behind what others thought of me. I was ok with that because it protected me and was comfortable, until it wasn’t anymore. It started holding me back and I was no longer ok with letting others define who I was. I want to define who I am. Being loud and proud about who I am is what has given me back my control and confidence!