My Self-Confidence Journey

My self-confidence has been seen as a “work in progress” for as long as I can remember. Before recently, the only time I remember being truly and consistently confident in myself was in the 6th grade when my mom would curl my hair almost every day and I would wear Aeropostale polos with matching ribbons in my perfectly done hair. I was tiny and short, though I called myself “fun-sized,” and everyone seemed to think that I was just the most adorable thing ever. Then, in the following middle school years I hit a growth spurt, got glasses, and also discovered that I’d have to wear hearing aides due to my hearing loss. Everything hit me at once, and I suddenly didn’t feel like the tiny little girl everyone adored anymore.

Fast forward to 8th grade, where I still had no idea what makeup was or how to use it, and my fashion sense clearly didn’t match up to other girls my age. I was SO painfully awkward, and although everyone looks back at that time in their life and laughs about how awkward they were, I got bullied for it back then. Being bullied made me feel the absolute worst I ever have in my life. I didn’t understand why, when all I tried to do was make friends. Every attempt I’d made was turned around into a joke. I started comparing myself to other girls my age and realizing the numerous differences between us. I started to hate school, and honestly myself. Was I THAT ugly that no one even wanted to be my friend, let alone be nice to me?

Though the bullying (thankfully) didn’t carry on throughout high school, the negative thoughts that I had about myself did. It seemed like every day I would walk around comparing myself to everyone else around me, wondering why I couldn’t look exactly like her or not even wanting to look in the mirror because of how much I hated my appearance and the fact that I didn’t look like that one pretty girl I’d passed by in the hall earlier.

My main problem throughout college was Instagram, because I based my worth and beauty on the number of likes I got. I’d also compare myself to everyone that came across my timeline, or every fitness model that was posed on my explore page. I’d look at these perfectly posed pictures of the models with perfect bodies and beautiful faces, then look at myself in the mirror disgusted.

I could go on and on about the daily thoughts I had or the way my flaws made me feel, but let’s go ahead and skip to the best part of this story. The part where I realize that I am beautiful, no matter what. I started with deleting the Instagram app off my phone, which helped WAY more than I thought it would. Not having such easy access to a simple means of comparison has been amazing for my self-esteem.

Yes, of course I still pick out my flaws from time to time, but who doesn’t? Let’s be honest, Beyoncé probably has a few things she might not love about herself either. BUT, the difference now is that I accept my flaws. I used to point them out and constantly think about them, wondering, “Why can’t you go away?! Why are you a part of me?” Now, I just realize that they are a part of me because this is who God made me to be. Being picky about my appearance and pointing out things I don’t like about myself won’t fix the problems, it will only make me feel worse about them. I have already lived a life where I went through each and every day feeling ugly, and I realized I didn’t want to live that life ever again. It’s only taken years of my parents telling me I’m gorgeous and beautiful, and almost two years of my boyfriend doing the same thing to finally realize it, but I did. My self-confidence is higher than it has ever been in my entire life, even higher than when I was a “fun-sized” 6th grader with perfectly curled hair decorated with cute ribbons to match her outfits. Once you start to love yourself, you start to see life through different eyes and experience love in a whole new way. So, here’s to 2018 being the year where I FINALLY feel gorgeous in my own skin!!