By Becca Ruesch via ThoughtCatalog.com
Confidence. It’s something that is much easier said than done. It’s a simple word, yet something that many people — specifically women — seem to have trouble finding. It’s not their fault. It’s not necessarily anyone’s fault. Regardless of the reason, too many women in this world lack self-confidence, myself included.
Someone once asked me what I would do if I knew that one of my friends was struggling in the confidence area. My immediate answer was that I would shake them by the shoulders and scream “What’s wrong with you?! You’re so much better, prettier, and smarter than I am!”
What was the second part of that sentence? Have I been contradicting myself for the entire 19 years of my existence? All this time I felt so passionate about girls having self-confidence, yet I failed to realize that maybe I was (or still am) the one who needs to be shaken by the shoulders.
Part of the reason I even began to write this was for myself, desperately hoping that I would read along and take my own advice. I 100% believe that acquiring self-confidence can and will greatly improve your everyday life. Life’s a bitch and how are you possibly going to conquer that if you don’t tell yourself every day that you can do it? Hint: it’s pretty damn hard.
The only person worth listening to is yourself. Now, there is something that plays a huge role in why so few young women lack the proper confidence: society. Remember those “fashion trends guys hate” videos? Yeah. They suck. Ever think that maybe the reason so few women have confidence issues is because every time they go online they see people (men) telling them how they should look and if they don’t look this way all the time, no one will ever fall in love with them. Interesting thought how men seem to think a woman’s entire existence is solely to please them. Get over yourselves. Here’s a trend that women don’t like — men telling women how they should look.
It’s not only men telling women how they should look; unfortunately, it’s women too. Open up any fashion magazine and you’ll see “must-have trends for this upcoming season!” Must have? Why must I have them if I don’t like them? Shouldn’t we be the ones who get to decide how we look? Again, this conforms to the idea that if you don’t look like everyone else, you’re different. There are few things I despise more than women putting other women down, specifically for their appearance. Ladies, we all know what we go through on a daily basis and believe it or not, we’re not that different from one another. Be nice to other girls — even better, be nice to everyone. It’s really not that hard. If anyone, man or woman, tries to tell you how you should look, act, or feel and you don’t want to do that, you put your middle finger high in the air and proceed to live your awesome life the way YOU want to.
You need to fake it until you make it. I pretty much swear by the strategy (and I’m still working on perfecting it myself) of acting like you have all the confidence you could ever need until you actually do have it. If right now you don’t have the confidence you wish you did, act like you own the world, and one day you will. It sounds slightly crazy, but once you try it, you’d be surprised at the “whole new you.” Yes, it is something easier said than done, but it is not impossible. The hardest part is finding that mindset. Once you find it, you’re golden. It’s okay to make a mistake or not be totally sure (or have any idea at all) how to do something. But if you act like you can take on anything life throws at you, people will admire your confidence and with time, you probably will be able to take on whatever comes your way. Nobody knows what they’re doing. Even if they seem like do, they don’t. Do you think that all of the successful people we know in life would be anywhere today if they didn’t do something simply because they were afraid, or admitted they didn’t know how to do it? Probably not. Never be afraid to take a risk. If you have absolutely no idea what you’re doing, keep doing it because you never know where it will take you. People get very far in life by faking their confidence, and then one day they wake up, and it’s actually there.
You should be selfish. “Selfish” has always been a word that’s received negatively. Apparently putting yourself before other people makes you a bad person and if you want to be considered a “good person” you must never ever think about yourself. It’s impossible to make everyone happy all the time, so why do we put so much pressure on ourselves to do so? Try thinking about yourself and putting your needs first.
You cannot possibly be expected to make other people happy if you’re not even happy yourself. You can literally do anything you want that makes you happy. Anything. If eating an entire large, greasy pizza by yourself makes you happy, do that. If taking 50 selfies a day and finding the right filter for each and every one of them makes you happy, do that too. It does not matter what it is, it just matters that you are happy. Not fake happy, real happy. You can fake confidence all you want, but happiness is something that shouldn’t have to be faked.
(Back to the selfie topic. Why are there some people who are seriously against people taking and posting selfies? I don’t get it. With all the crap girls deal with in their everyday lives, we should be applauding the fact that they want to show the world how beautiful they think they are. Every day I see girls panic about the selfie they just posted — if they even did it at all. Stop. If you want to post a selfie, post a fucking selfie. The lighting probably is really good in that room you’re in. If you just spent way too much money on your hair — been there, done that — you absolutely should post a selfie because you look fabulous. If you think your makeup looks particularly awesome today, I want to see it, so please, post that selfie. We should be encouraging selfies, not doing the opposite. The discouragement people feel, or worse, receive, when they post a selfie brings us back full circle to our confidence issue. Stop putting other people down for the way they look. If you don’t like it, it doesn’t matter. You can keep on living your life without putting a halt in someone else’s.)
Ladies, life is hard; but it will be a little bit easier to drag yourself out of bed every morning if you tell yourself that you woke up like this — and you look damn near perfect. Treat the world as your catwalk. Strut down that sidewalk and make people intimidated to cross your path. You are beautiful, important, and confident. Even if you are not confident now, I hope that you one day will be. I hope that one day I will be too. Life is far too short not to think you’re the greatest damn gift this world has ever seen.