Masterpiece by the one and only @lorazombie
Whilst everybody online seemed to be getting excited about their resolutions, ‘fresh start’ and all that jazz I spent the entire New Year Day in bed, staring at the ceiling, crying over what a total failure I am. Then, the next day I lied to a friend that I’m sick, only because he wanted to meet up in that popular restaurant which I wasn’t obviously cool enough for. And not later than yesterday I didn’t let the postman in because my hair was a mess. I know what you think. I know the postman is the last person to give a damn about my hair (I bet he wouldn’t even notice it) plus delivering hundreds of letters every day he’s seen much worse thing than a poor hairstyle, right? Still, I chose to wait until the next day to get out of the flat early in the morning and make it to the post office myself to collect my parcel over letting a stranger potentially notice that I didn’t use a hair straightener. How mental is this?!
But hey, don’t you have enough? I do. And I think it’s about time to kick her arse- shall we do this together?
I’m ready like never before to become the best, self-confident, happy version of myself.
Although I’m by no means an expert, the things I’ve figured out lately may actually make a difference, may hopefully help you in your everyday struggles so I thought I’d share them.
Make yourself a warm cup of tea (don’t worry, I’ll wait!) and let’s take it step by step.
Ready? Good. Here we go!
First of all, it’s important to realise that
1. You’re not alone
Do you ever scroll through the blogs of pretty, smiley girls who have it all thinking ‘I want to be her’? It happens to me all the time. I absolutely admire all the amazing bloggers who’re able to nail it, who make you use the products they use, buy the clothes they wear and live the life they have. Then again, to get there it takes a lot of self confidence. Or does it?
Gorgeous Megs from Pages by Megan– the pic comes from the blog and I really appreciate that she let me use it- Megan is the kindest, sweetest person you’d come across!
Let’s take one of my favourite bloggers, the wonderful Megan Ellaby from Pages by Megan for example- the girl is a rockstar. Stunningly beautiful, laid back, bubbly and funny, with her exceptional intuition and distinctive personal style she pulls off whatever she decides to do. I WANT TO BE HER!!! Seriously. She’s just absolutely gorgeous and I adore her to bits (alongside hundreds of thousands of Megan’s followers). Needless to say I was completely taken aback when, in one of her videos, Megan spoke about her issues with self-confidence. I mean, what the heck?! HER?! How come?!!!
Then I visited another blog I follow… where another beautiful Mancunian, the lovely Alice Catherine, mentioned struggling with anxiety in her post. I needed to rub my eyes- her having social problems?! That just didn’t make any sense!
…which only proves how irrational our fear of being judged is. It made me realise I’m not alone and encouraged me to speak about it because it is flippin’ important!!!
No matter how scared of new people and new situations which put you out of your comfort zone you are, please remember one thing: you are not alone.
It sadly turns out that, more often than not, that breath-taking beauty with a designer bag smiling to you from her WordPress page is suffering from low self-esteem, exactly like me and you. We’re in this shit together- time to get out!!!
2. Stop comparing yourself to the others
We keep doing that all the time, don’t we. It reminds me of a picture of a chocolate chip cookie standing next to two softies, thinking: ‘These guys are so much cooler than me’. And I bet the softies thought ‘Unlike us, he’s such a cookie!’. It may be just a funny picture but it’s absolutely brilliant to illustrate how ridiculous comparing to the others is. We are all very different and each of us is unique and special. You are unique and special. There’s no person like you in the whole world, how wicked is this! You are the most beautiful when you stop trying to be someone else and let your personality shine through.
Allow yourself to be you because the ‘you’ in you is what I love the most.
3. Get rid of negativity
Do you know anyone, who’s always unhappy, whatever happens? Somebody who’s always expecting the worse, constantly complaining about every little thing? I used to have such friend. She always had the most stressful job, she was the most knackered, had the most awful boss, the most hopeless friends, the most painful heartbreak, the most responsibilities and in general, the biggest problems in the world. Being blessed with good health, living in a nice apartment, able to afford expensive holidays and fancy parties with equally posh people, she just had the most horrible life you can think of. Or at least that’s what she sounded like. And no matter what the others were trying to say (really just to encourage her to find some positivity), she always knew better. She was just never pleased with anything. After each coffee together and listening to her complaints I felt as if a huge van went over my body at the highest speed, crushing it completely. And no matter how many cups of coffee I’d had, no matter how enthusiastic I‘d felt about new opportunities in my life, after seeing her I was just completely worn out and demotivated. And a couple of months ago I thought it’s enough- I didn’t answer her call. And I haven’t seen that girl ever since.
I feel this kind of people, they are just emotional vampires, sucking out all your energy, leaving you completely drained and lifeless. Trust me, you don’t need this in your life! I know, you probably want to be nice, not doing any harm to anyone and so on… but wait, does that mean that the other person can do the harm to you?
If you don’t take care of yourself and your own happiness you won’t be able to make anyone else happy.
– Tweet this!
…so please, do that for yourself and your loved ones, at the end of the day they are the people who matter.
And although it may sound quite harsh not to answer the phone or to say that you’re busy… in a long run it may just be one of the best, the most mature gifts you can give to yourself and your precious people.
Please, don’t let anyone vomit all the world’s problems on you, stay out of negativity!!!
4. Focus on what can be done
Have you ever wondered where your low self-esteem comes from? How to gain some self-confidence? What are your insecurities to fight? If I told you about mine, this longest post I’ve ever written would easily get twice as long. I’m not joking, the list of the things I’m concerned about seems never-ending so I will give you just 3 examples here. There we go:
My English– as most of you know English is not my first language which makes it a great source of my paranoias. Whenever I’m about to meet somebody I get paralysed thinking I won’t get what they’re saying or that they won’t be able to understand me. Whenever I publish a new post, I keep wondering for the next two days how many errors I made. And listening to myself speak is the worst torture I can think of. The reality is, when I meet someone for the very first time, I often hear compliments about my English. I used to work for over a year with English-speaking customers and to be fair, it never happened that I wasn’t able to understand them or the other way ‘round on the phone or in an email. Having said that, all I can focus on is my annoying accent, the words I know not being able to use them when needed and the silly little errors getting out of my control. Isn’t that crazy?
My eyes– now, what can one say about their eyes, you probably wonder. Oh well, I hate mine. They are sooo small and sooo close to each other that it makes me feel like a retard. In this case as well, the story repeats itself- if I’ve ever heard anything about my eyes from strangers, there were always nice things while all I can see are two tiny dots almost touching each other in the middle of my face.
My body– oh my, that’s the thing I’ve been struggling with since I was a teenager. I’ve just always felt fat and shapeless, although the biggest I’ve ever got to was size 8 which, when I think of it, doesn’t seem to be big. Still, I don’t wear shorts, because I have cellulite. I don’t wear sleeveless tops, because my arms are not nicely-tonned. I keep buying beautiful dresses and I never wear them because I only feel they highlight all my imperfections. And I know, there are bigger girls than me who feel good in their bodies, those wonderful humans who don’t give a damn about a tiny stretch mark nobody’s gonna notice and they absolutely rock! But I will not be happy about my own body unless I work hard to change it.
And Bob’s the uncle, ‘change’ is our key word in here. What is there I can change? What do I need to get over?
Well, even if my English may get slightly better if I work hard, I will never sound like a native speaker so the question is, will ‘slightly better’ be enough for me?
And even if my English improves, there’s no bloody chance my eyes will magically move to the sides of my face, is it.
My body shape, however, is something I can totally control with the proper dose of commitment to healthy lifestyle full of good foods and physical activities, right? Let’s concentrate on this one, shall we!
What I’m trying to say is, instead of overthinking what you cannot influence, focus on what actually depends on you. Whatever it is, if you can change it, work for it!!! And, what’s even more important: enjoy the process. Allow yourself to be proud of your achievements, they will magically work as a massive self-confidence booster, too- I promise! ?
5. Stay inspired
Whatever it is you’re trying to achieve, you need to be patient and determined, which I find hard at times. When you dedicate your time and energy to something, it’s quite easy to get demotivated and burnt out. What helps me along the way is looking for an inspiration everywhere as a kind reminder why I keep doing what I do, if that makes any sense. My personal inspiration would be music (long live Frank Turner!) magazines (with i-D being my all time favourite), blogs (too many to name) and social media channels (especially Instagram). Moreover, I’m lucky to live in the area which is itself super inspiring, full of independent cafes, vintage markets, music venues and little art galleries so I try to be out and about as much as possible. Another thing that inspires me are books, I read very rarely but when I find a book on the subject I’m into, I can easily run two days without eating and sleeping until I finish it. Yeah, that’s another silly thing about me- when I don’t give a shit I genuinely mean it but once I’m into something I turn my whole life around that thing (same is true for people). Anyway, the last thing which keeps me inspired is… visiting my hairdresser. Weird, I know… but let me smoothly move to the next point when I explain it in details! But yeah, my message is: find something that inspires you and indulge in it!
6. Promote positivity
This is where I need to tell you about my hairdresser I’m absolutely, utterly in love with. Unlike the unfortunate friend from point 2. who used to drive me potty, my hairdresser is the affirmation of everything happy and positive. I completely adore him. It’s not only because the fantastic cuts and colours I leave with, it’s not because of green tea, organic cakes and the loveliest assistant (oh my, she’s a real sweetheart!) greeting me every time I enter their door, nope. It’s because the atmosphere of the place, bursting with positive energy, creative spirit and passion from every corner. Whenever I pop in we always have a chat about the exciting projects, new opportunities and alternative events while I can’t take my eyes out of super talented, hard-working people who genuinely love their job. It’s just the most inspiring experience ever which makes me keep coming back for more. Being ambassadors of positivity, they somehow make me feel absolutely relaxed and comfortable with who I am. They make me believe in myself, even if it’s just for a short while.
Now, wouldn’t the world be a better place if it was filled with people of this kind? Of course, we can’t control the universe but we can surely change the little world around us.
My task for you is: think of 5 people you love and write their names. Easy, right?
Now, next to each name write 5 positive things about that person.
Done? Great. I knew that one would be a piece of cake. Now it’s time to make things a bit more challenging…
Think of 3 people you don’t actually like that much…
No, not Trump, we’re not making this extreme, thank you very much!
Once you’ve got the names, write 5 positive things about each of them.
Oh, come on, make the effort. I know you can. It doesn’t have to be super special, ‘I like her haircut’, ‘he’s very punctual’ or ‘she has good skin’ will do the job, the most important thing is that you mean it.
Well done! Now something even more difficult- write 5 positive things about yourself. It comes easily while you’re creating your CV so you do have some experience, right? But this time, be absolutely genuine, think about the great things about you. If you can come up with more than 5 that’s alright, if not, don’t worry, 5 is enough.
Now read everything you’ve done so far- isn’t this world full of beautiful people? Let’s keep it this way! Next time you’re about to say something negative, simply shut up- you don’t want to be somebody else’s headache, do you. Haters are the people with zero self-confidence, you are better than this. Like that famous quote by Zen Shin says:
‘A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms.’ /Zen Shin/
When you think something positive though, never forget to share it- you may easily make somebody’s day with your kind comment. And the good energy is going to come back to you, I promise.
I try to compliment people all the time, whether it’s the barista who created a beautiful cup of coffee, the waitress who gave me a wonderful smile taking my order while all of her colleagues looked super grumpy or simply the girl on the tube who’s lipstick colour was to die for. Complimenting people is not easy when you’re shy like me, but what do you have to lose? People aren’t very likely to say ‘f*ck off you idiot’ when you tell them their shoes are pretty or that their puppy is adorable, are they! In most cases you’ll receive a huge, genuine smile making you smile, too.
Same goes for the blogging world. How many times have you written comments on somebody’s page just to get the link to your blog out there? What did you get from it? Probably not much. Let’s change the game a little bit.
From now on, instead of leaving 10 ‘this is awesome!’ comments on every random blog you come across, write 1 each day. Make it honest. Make it constructive. Make it nice and personal, instead of saying ‘I like this dress’, say ‘you look lovely in this dress’, such a small thing and it makes a huge difference. Share your thoughts writing kind, genuine words from the bottom of your heart. Find the article you actually enjoy and let the author know about it. It will make them happy. It will perhaps boost their self-esteem. It will make you remembered. You will no longer be just another anonymous blogger, you’ll become the one who stands out in the crowd and that’s what counts!
7. Constantly challenge yourself
You’ve probably heard it many times that great things happen out of your comfort zone but… unfortunately, it’s true! The bad news is you actually need challenges to get what you want. The good news is with every challenge completed your self-confidence may just grow a bit! So you know what to do, right? Take small steps and accomplish your goals one by one. It’s not going to be easy so make sure to be kind to yourself during the journey- New haircut, killer heels and Ruby Woo may not give you massive self-confidence overnight but they may be just enough to encourage you to take that next little step!
My challenges for this year will be:
- Going to a blogging event- I’m scared of people, I’m terrible at starting conversations and I have zero body confidence… that’s why I decided to get the tickets and expose myself to hundreds of strangers who’s statistics knock my socks off in the centre of London. Well, I owe this to myself to realise I can actually do it! Because I can!
- Putting pictures of myself online- from time to time only, don’t worry! Since I can’t stand my reflection in the mirror, that one’s really hard too. But I dream of having my fashion voice out there so I need to accept the fact of being photographed I guess? And when you think of it, people more often say: ‘what an amazing outfit’ than ‘what an amusing amount of cellulite she has’. They just don’t see the silly little things you get paranoid about and which may open your eyes in a way, too.
- Making a YT video- what a wonderful challenge, this one combines all my insecurities in one, haha… and there’s the language, too! When you make mistakes in a conversation, nobody’s gonna remember but once it’s recorded- with your silly face, weird voice and that funny accent, it just stays there forever. No pressure, right?
So yeah, these will be my main challenges to boost my confidence, to prove something to myself. What will be yours? I’d love to hear about them!
8. Your to do list
A few steps to help you along the way:
Ok, I guess that’s pretty much it. If you can think of anything else or you just feel like saying hi, don’t forget to comment, catch me on social media or write me an email- I promise to reply to every single message. If you know anyone who may benefit from reading this post, please don’t forget to share it with them- let’s fight for our self-confidence together!
Thank you so much for your time, it truly means a lot to me that we’ve stayed together till the very last line. Before you go though, let me remind you one thing:
P.S. Today, a week after preparing this piece, a postman came again and I opened the door in a supper classy sheet mask. Guess what? The world hasn’t collapsed. Instead, we both had a good laughter about it!