Reflect. Learn. Be: Self Esteem

Have you ever woken up  telling yourself how lonely you are, how you're not talented enough, smart enough, or pretty enough? We all have insecurities and have doubted ourselves once or twice. This should not come as a surprise, since we are saturated every day with different opinions of how an individual should or shouldn’t be. Diverse points of view find a way to shape our personalities and subsequently our self-esteems everyday. 

By definition self-esteem is “a reasonable or justifiable sense of one's worth or importance; an often unjustified feeling of being pleased with oneself or with one's situation or achievements; self-respect”. In my opinion those last two words are key to be confident and have a healthy self-esteem.

Like many girls out there, I've had issues with my self-esteem since middle school. At my second year of college I decided I was not going to fit myself in social standards that were not for me. Because while I tried to do that it felt like I was throwing away who I was and what I could give to others. I was loosing myself and I was about to lose the only thing that I considered crucial, self respect. It is one of the few things that every single one of us, collegiettes, has total control of.

I won't lie to you, sometimes I just really want to stay in my bed cuddling my feather pillow, eating tons of sugar while I’m crying and trying to sing (scream) the saddest songs ever! I can't assure you that you will never doubt yourself or have your share of awful days. But believe me when you read this, you will have better control of your emotions and your happiness, if you decide to respect and love yourself as who you are. 

I wanted to share with you what I did to start having more confidence and boost my self-esteem because I want you collegiettes to be as happy in your own skin as you should be, and because we DO deserve high self-esteem.

Have you ever heard the expression “Fake it till you make it”? I never believed it until I put it in practice myself. I started by listening to my favorite tunes while walking to my classes, head held high and smiling to everyone. It did not only help me to stop comparing myself with others, but I began to believe that I was freaking awesome! I felt happier because I was able to bring out smiles to numb faces and I felt empowered and stronger (it also felt like losing pounds of insecurities).

Then I began to dress to impress… myself. I have always loved fashion, but I was afraid to step away from the routine.  The moment I  decided to take more “risks” with my outfits for campus people asked me if I was going somewhere or if I was meeting with someone “special”, and I always though “yes… me!” When people make this kind of questions/compliments, you know you look good (which lets face it, is awesome) and you exude confidence because you feel good with yourself.

I also started writing in a diary all the good things about my day and all the things that make me happy, daily. Keeping track of things that I’ve done and I feel proud about or things that make me smile, helps me every time I’m faced with a situation that might make me doubt myself intellectually, physically or emotionally. Positive feedbacks and thinking about all the good things I’ve done is really gratifying and helps me realize I’m worth it. (Props to my psychologist for that tip!)

My favorite way to feel better about myself is to write motivational phrases in as many sticky notes as I can! After I watched the movie How Do You Know I literally love sticky notes. I love writing motivational phrases, and leaving them anywhere (from mirrors to make-up bags). Though this might sound silly, writing motivational quotes is really fun and an amazing confidence booster.

Human beings have the right to be confident in their own skin and respect and love themselves. Feeling confident and good with yourself, neither makes you arrogant nor is a natural state of a specific gender (as blogger Matt Forney expresses in his famous yet controversial and probably even offensive article entitled The Case Against Female Self-Esteem). Respecting ourselves is not superfluous, knowing who we truly are and what we truly want is actually essential to achieve professional, personal, and social satisfaction. (Take a look at Maslow’s human hierarchy of needs, if in doubt) I exhort you to embrace your “you-ness”. 


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