Have you ever looked at someone and wondered where they got their confidence from? I have. Read on to find out how to have confidence and live life unapologetically so you can show people you’re a badass and also believe it too.
Growing up, I wouldn’t have ever used the word “confident” to describe myself. I was bigger than other kids my age, people picked on me for my weight, and despite being a smart and talented kid, I never really believed in myself.
Cut to age twenty-two, and nothing changed.
It wasn’t until around my junior year of college when I started evolving into who I am today. Going to theatre school helped me break out of my shell, having a badass group of lady friends played a huge role in me finding my confidence and removing myself from toxic relationships and leaving the shadows of boyfriends also helped me discover my voice and identity.
My move from New Orleans to DC was jarring.
After leaving my family and friends back home, quitting my job as a theatre teacher and completely starting over in a new-to-me city, I was forced to not redefine myself, but discover who I was without all of the layers of familiarity.
Because I used others as a crutch. I used my community as a way to define me. It wasn’t until I was *standing naked in Washington, D.C. that I got a good look at myself and began to know what self-love and confidence and trust really meant.
*Figuratively, not literally, but ohmigod could you imagine what would have happened if I literally stood naked in Washington, D.C.?!?!?! #arrested
So how did I do it?
Here are some ways I have learned to have confidence and live unapologetically:
- Embrace your life where you are today. I was underemployed my first year living in DC. I was worried about money, I was stressed about what my purpose was, and despite working three jobs, I was feeling unfulfilled and lazy. I combatted these feelings by talking openly about my struggles with friends, family and Felix. I would also give myself a lot of pep talks. “Today, you get to teach children theatre. You love theatre,” or “Today you get to review a play for a magazine, and you love writing.” I had to be comfortable being uncomfortable, and after 12 months of feeling unstable, I finally accepted that this season of my life was transitional and embraced my life in its current state. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.
- Nourish your body and your mind in ways that feel good to you. Everyone is different, and one method of nourishment for one person might not be another person’s cup of tea. Find ways to nourish your body that feel good to YOU. For me, a huge stress reliever was writing, so I wrote. A lot. I tended to this blog, I wrote freelance articles and I even started my very first book (!!!). I also found that I recharge in solitude, so I utilized my alone time effectively to work out, paint my nails, sit in silence or eat Ben & Jerry’s by the pint. Whatever I needed, I gave, and continue to give, myself. It helped me learn who I was and become comfortable in my individual needs as a human.
- Do things that scare you. Before making the move to DC, my life in New Orleans started to feel a bit complacent, and I didn’t like that. While I wouldn’t advocate for just anyone to pack their bags and move across the country, I will advocate for taking risks and scaring yourself. Be bold in your choices and actions. That’s how you learn and grow. If you want something to change, you have to take the initiative and make it happen for yourself. No one else will.
- Set goals and share them. A friend showed me this TED Talk the other week about how we should keep our goals to ourselves because we’re less likely to achieve them if we share them. I think that’s total bullshit. At least for me. Sharing your goals with others is empowering, not only for you, but for the people you’re sharing with. It feels SO GOOD to use your voice, so use it! I would share my goals and aspirations with anyone who would listen, and it made me feel strong and ambitious and badass, even if my goals ended up changing. Figure out what you want. When you figure it out, shout it from the rooftops because you have already won simply by wanting something.
- Lean into your quirks. What makes you weird? We all have at least one thing that makes us weird. For me, it’s the faces that I make, usually during inappropriate moments. It’s my sarcasm. It’s my opinionated voice and sassy tone. It’s my complete and utter obsession with fuzzy animals and the fact that I HAVE TO PET THEM ALL. It’s the voices I make when I’m talking to someone, how obsessive I am about making my coffee in the morning, the list goes on and on. What makes you weird? Lean into it. Buy a spotlight from Amazon and shine a light on your weirdness and own the shit out of it, because it’s a part of you and being weird is cool. Your weirdness is what sets you apart from the crowd. Embrace your quirks. Wear them proudly.
- Accept every inch of your body and mind. Uh oh, you’re probably thinking, “I knew she’d get here at some point,” and you are right! I did! We are here. If you do not accept every single inch of what makes you you, then what’s the point in even being you? There is only ONE of you. Just one! I’m not asking you to love every inch of yourself, because love takes time and you might not be there yet. I’m still not there yet with some aspects of myself. But I accept them regardless, because they’re mine, and I will be damned if I or society tries to make me feel like I’m less than or broken because of my insecurities. So what makes you think you’re worth feeling inadequate or broken? You’re not. Look in the mirror and point to your insecurities and say out loud, “I accept you.” Do that every day until you believe it and until your acceptance turns into love.
Life can be hard sometimes, can’t it? It can be unfair. It can be confusing.
But life is so much more difficult when you don’t love yourself and trust yourself and embrace yourself. I know this, because I’ve lived this.
I’m 26-years-old, and I am finally, after all of these years, confident in who I am and living my life unapologetically.
Do I have my days? Yes. I had one Tuesday.
But, damn, I am AWESOME. YOU are awesome. WE ARE AWESOME. And we should not spend one more minute doubting ourselves and not loving ourselves.
So if you’ve ever looked at someone and wondered where they got their confidence from, look in the mirror and see the confidence within you, because it’s there.
It comes from you.
You just have to make yourself believe it.
Question of the Day!
What are some ways you boost your confidence? Add them to the list by sharing in the comments!