With confidence comes realness, and with realness comes vulnerability. I’m not going to tell you to do the old “stand in front of the mirror and pick out 3 things you like about yourself,” thing. Because let’s be real; there are mornings where you wake up bloated, tired, stressed, and likely rolling your eyes at the thought of such a thing.
I’m not going to give you some list of wordy, pretty-sounding, adjective-filled mantras for you to repeat every morning either. Why? Let’s be real; true confidence isn’t created in an instant. It doesn’t come out of empty words repeated aloud. It can’t be bought, it can’t be put on, and it can’t be taken off.
True confidence isn’t instant; it’s a lifelong walk of how we see ourselves, inside and out, flaws and all. It’s more than surface level, its begins in our hearts and minds. It’s a walk that requires frequent checks and grace for the bumps in the road.
In simplest terms, there’s a deeper remedy for it all. For the “ugly days,” the comparisons, and the flaws that we’re conditioned to see as flaws.
When I was 12, I went to the doctor asking for something to get rid of stretch marks. I saw them as something abnormal, something wrong, something offensive. Something I had to cover up, something to be ashamed of. She prescribed a lotion that I stuck with for probably a good week, only to give up out of frustration that they were still there and not magically erased like I wanted them to be.
For years, I grew up putting hope in popular fad diets and pills that promised a “better me” only to always come out fearing certain foods, a few pounds lighter, and hungry.
Here’s my point; how often do we put our hopes in quick fixes only to go in blind and come out feeling more defeated?
This is the essence of diet culture and advertising culture. It makes us view our humanness as something to be fixed. It turns normal things into problems. And when the lotion, the diet, the makeup doesn’t work, we only go back to buy more.
Maybe the deeper remedy begins with pure and simple kindness to ourselves. The gentle kindness that prompts mindset and heart shifts. The kindness that dispels and allows us to become aware of the lies that diet culture and advertising have us so wrapped up in. The kindness that gives us the clarity to stop expecting what was never meant to be attained in the first place.
Our little realizations can be our biggest victories. We can go from hating stretch marks to simply realizing that 80% of women have them at some point and that they eventually fade. We can go from fearing every carb, calorie, and pound to seeing food as something that allows us function. We can go from falling for fads that promise perfection to realizing that we were never really so flawed to begin with.
I don’t have all the answers, but I do know that confidence doesn’t come from a bottle. I also know that we were made for more than just perfect skin and the next diet trend. So let’s start putting that into practice; let’s be a little kinder to ourselves.
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