(originally posted on 8 August 2017)
Something that has been sitting heavy on my heart the past few weeks is self-confidence. And social media. And comparison. And how they all can go hand in hand.
The reason why we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind the scenes with everybody else’s highlight reel.
And that is so true! I think it can be so easy to forget that you only see a portion of someone’s day, only a small part of their life on social media. Whether it be Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, WHATEVER! Not only is it just a small part of their life, but they get to choose what they post! They get to hand select exactly what they want the world to see. More often than not (wayyy more often than not) they are only going to post the good things in their life, aka the highlight reel. The pictures where they look the best in because who wants to post a selfie where they don’t feel confident?! Exactly. And it can be so hard to remember this. It can be so hard not to get upset or jealous or start comparing yourself to women, friendships, relationships, or anything at all! I know it’s sometimes hard for me, and I know I am not alone. In a world and in a society where the media is already body shaming women for being too small or too large, for having the “wrong size” butt, boobs, or hips, where there is an ENTIRE INDUSTRY made to sell products solely to “fix” what could be wrong with you! Newsflash everybody: THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU! You are perfect just the way you are, “flaws” and all. Mod Sun has a lyric that goes, “every flaw is really beauty owned by nobody else” (The song is called ‘My Favorite Shirt is My Skin‘ by Mod Sun and I encourage EVERYONE to listen to it, it’s a beautiful song with a beautiful message). It is so easy to get caught up wishing your body looked like hers, wishing you had the same career as somebody you see on YouTube, or wishing you had a relationship like the ones you see on television. But again, that is just a fraction of the whole picture. The only person who actually, really and truly knows what goes on in one’s life is that person themselves. Nobody knows exactly what I’m dealing with, going through or feeling 24/7 besides me. And that goes for every single person on this planet. It is so easy to look through someone’s instagram profile and assume they live a picture perfect life, but you don’t know what goes on off camera. It is so easy to watch a YouTuber travel the world on the money of different companies and be envious that you’re not doing the same thing, but you only get to see 10-15 out of 1,440 minutes from their entire day. Sure, they may be traveling to Europe for the 6th time this year but you didn’t see them have a break down everyday this week because it was a challenge just to get out of bed. You may read an adorable “relationship goals” tweet but what you don’t know is that this couple has been going through a rough patch in their relationship for a while and it’s wearing down on the both of them. You only get to see what people allow you to see. You only get to see what people allow you to see. It can be easy to put on a show of this picture perfect life, but that’s all it is. A show. Nobody is happy every single moment of their life. Every person goes through stuff and deals with stuff that is really freaking hard. So do not let yourself get envious of others, do not let yourself compare, and do not let yourself get upset because your “behind the scenes” don’t match everybody else’s highlight reel.
Comparison is the thief of joy.
Following on to the fact that social media is a highlight reel I want to talk about something that many people struggle with. Something that I personally struggle with. And that is self-confidence.
self ˈkänfəd(ə)ns- a feeling of trust in one’s abilities, qualities, and judgement.
A major “trend” going around, especially with women, is practicing self-love. And I love that. When I originally started writing this post I planned to talk about self-confidence in a more negative light, I’m not sure if that really makes much sense.. but I woke up this morning wanting to talk about self-confidence in a more positive light.
I know it can be SO dang hard to be confident in yourself, trust me I know. I struggle with it all the time. I was just struggling with it yesterday. And as I embark on my own self-love journey (again) (I think self-love and self-confidence is on going, it’s a process that is never-ending) I want to share ways to promote self-confidence. I want to share things I have done in the past and new things I am going to try. I want to share some things I’ve learned, read, and discovered that bring me reassurance and make me feel good. Things that inspire me.
For starters, I’ve recently been starting each day (well actually only the days my alarm wakes me up) by sitting up on the edge of my bed, taking a deep breath, smiling, and saying to myself, “it’s going to be a good day. you can do it. you got this.” I feel like that sounds kinda silly but it really helps to set the tone for my day and it makes me happy.
Some things I’m going to start doing is actively loving my body more. I don’t hate my body, but I don’t actively love or appreciate my health. I have strong legs that carry me through each and every day. I have hands that allow me to write, which is one of my favorite things to do. I have arms that allow me to embrace the people I love most. I’m just like everybody else, there are days I stand in front of the mirror and think of all the things I would change if I could. But now, when I catch myself doing that I’m going to say 3 things I love about my body for every 1 thing I criticize. This will force me to focus on the good, rather than the bad (even though there is no bad, you are perfect just the way you are).
I also think it’s important to compliment others. Not only does that help build their self-confidence but it’ll make you feel good and in return, help you. And I know that sounds selfish. The purpose is not to solely give compliments because it’ll make you feel good. But think about how good you feel when somebody else compliments you. It makes you feel good, right? It makes you smile or laugh! It can brighter your whole day, it may even be the only good part about your day. Everybody loves to receive compliments. So, when you think someone is beautiful or you love their outfit or you think they have a spectacular quality, tell them. “Say a loud every nice thought that you have”. Making others feel good, feels good. And p.s., if someone gives you a compliment, believe them.
I’ve been looking up a lot of different things revolving around social media and I’ve found some new quotes and rediscovered some old ones that I love. And anybody who knows me knows I love quotes. So, of course I’m going to share them with you.
“We get so worried about being pretty. Let’s be pretty kind. Pretty funny. Pretty
smart. Pretty strong.”
Everybody is beautiful in their own way, but there is so much more to beauty than your exterior. Strive to also have a pretty interior. A pretty heart, a pretty soul. Be kind and do good. Focus on other things besides your looks, invest time in building the self-confidence of who you are as a person.
“Christmas lights and roses are both beautiful and they look nothing alike. You don’t have to be pretty like her to be pretty. Be pretty like you.”
This is a quote that I adore. One, because I love christmas lights and flowers and two, because it’s so true. And I think it relates very well to part 1 of this post. It is so easy to start comparing yourself to someone else but there is no comparison. Everybody is their own person and everybody has things that make them special and unique. You don’t have to be pretty like her, be pretty like you. Be yourself.
“Who are you when you’re not worrying about what others think?”
This kinda follows along the lines of “be yourself”. There are so many people, myself included, who care wayyy too much about what others think. And that can make you super self-conscious. But who are you when there is nobody around to judge? Who are you when you’re singing in the shower or dancing alone in your bedroom? Be that person. But not only when you’re alone. Be that person all the time. Discover who you are and be that person, always. Who cares what people think? You’ve got nobody to impress but yourself. If you’re happy, that is all that matters.
“Those who follow the crowd usually get lost in it.”
Again, be yourself. Everybody else is already taken. (cheesy and cliché I know, but oh well).
I’d like to share two quotes I saw on twitter, and I am not an overly religious person but I thought both of these quotes were beautiful and I think a lot of people will agree with me.
“Maybe ‘love your enemies’ means more than we think… maybe Jesus is referring to all the parts of ourselves we’re not at peace with too.”
“Tbh I’m really bummed that I look at the sky & think ‘woah God is so amazing’ but look in the mirror & think ‘ugh’ as if He didn’t make both”
Just think about those for a second. Let them sink in.
The last three quotes I’d like to share help me when referring to comparing myself to others.
“What if we said: “She’s beautiful but so am I” instead of, “She’s beautiful and how do I measure up to her?”
The hardest part I struggle with when discussing self-confidence is my tendency to compare myself to others. And I know comparison in the thief of joy, I KNOW that. But it’s hard not too sometimes. Really hard. I think to really nip the bad habit in the butt, I have to learn how to retrain the way my thought process works. And I think the above quote does a good job of giving a guide line of how to change your thought process. Or at least a good starting point.
I think I was a senior in highschool (but I’m not positive if it was for sure senior year) when I read the following quote. I was sitting in class and my teacher had a poster on the wall that read,
“Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
And to this day, that quote has been ingrained in my memory. It makes me feel so empowered and I think it’s a fascinating thing to discover. To realize. No matter what anybody says about you or does to you, they can not make you feel bad without your permission. They can not make you feel inferior without your consent.
“Too focused on my own grass to notice if yours is greener.”
Put all of your energy, time, and focus into yourself. Into your relationships. Into things that are going to make YOU happy. Stop worry about other people and what they are doing. Start worrying about you! Be so focused on your own goals that you don’t have time to compare yourself or your life to anybody else’s. Your only competition is you. The only person you should want to be better than is the person you were yesterday.
Self-confidence, self-love, and comparing yourself to others is something that has been weighing heavy on my heart for a while. It’s something I feel very passionate about and I want to help others build their own self-confidence. I want to help others feel their best. I want to help others reach the very best versions of themselves. I am still in the process of doing all of these things for myself. But everyday is a new chance and a new opportunity to build yourself and others up. So let’s all build. Go out there and be your best self. And love yourself along the way. You are a continuous work of progress, fall in love with the journey.