It's not going to happen over night. You won't wake up one morning to find that all your insecurities are gone. Let's be real, we all have insecurities. It's human nature and uncontrollable. What we can control is how we choose to deal with those insecurities. To me, confidence is the ability to overcome your insecurities. I'm no expert but what I can tell you has come from my own experience. Now, to be honest I'm nowhere near where I should be but I've come this far and I don't intend on turning back. I've learned to accept my body for what it is: my body. It's unique and perfect in its own way. I make sure to nourish and take care of myself because I respect my body. That's something I never did last year and it's been a huge step for me. It took awhile with lots of frustration and tears but I took baby steps. Each small step takes me closer to my goal. That's the key. You have to think of each step as a small victory. Some days it'll seem like you're taking leaps, other days that your efforts are in vain, and the worst days of all-- when you take a step back. It will happen and it will challenge you. But what doesn't challenge you doesn't change you, right?
Take me for example, I started this blog. This is a hugely personal issue for me and talking about it definitely takes me out of my comfort zone. It took me so long to face the reality of what I was doing to my body and that it wasn't healthy. I thought that if I ignored it and didn't talk about it with people, then somehow everything would get sorted out. That turned out to be the worst possible way to go about fixing myself but thankfully I got on the right path. I have so much more confidence in myself now to be able to talk about what I went through and how it changed me. A year ago I wouldn't have wanted to face my problems and conquer my fears but look where I am now. You, too, can get yourself to a better place! Different things work for different people but my lifeline was prayer. I prayed each day to see myself for what I was: a beautiful creation. Whether you believe in God or not, what cannot be disputed is that we are all amazing. I'm gonna be a bit of a nerd and mention biology but seriously, just think about your body and the way it works. We're made up of microscopic cells that all function together in perfect harmony. It never ceases to amaze me how life works. I mean, come on, it's awesome! So take care of your body because you are a living, breathing, amazing being!
You might be wondering, well how do I take care of my body? Again, I'm no expert and all I can tell you is what I've learned from experience. It's helped me though and I hope that it can help you too! I'm still working on myself too so I'm just going to share the beginning parts first. The rest I'm still learning along the way but putting the basic things I've already learned into practice.
1. First, learn to face the reality: your body is your body and no one else's. No one will ever look like you because you are the only you. This also means that you won't ever look like someone else. So stop comparing yourself to other people. I'm 5'1" so there's no conceivable way that I could ever look like a Victoria's Secret model. It's just not anatomically possible for me. My legs aren't a mile long and my torso is short. But you know what? I'm okay with that. Really. I stopped wasting my energy on wishing that I could look like that and invested my time in learning to accept my body for what it is.
2. Second, respect your body! Do I need to bring up biology again? I won't (at least in the remainder of this post) but your body is a temple. It needs proper nutrients and when you don't take care of it, it suffers. And you know what else? You suffer. You may not know it but when you put crap in your body then you feel like crap. I love to eat healthy because it makes me feel more energetic and stronger. When I feel better on the inside it only increases my confidence.
3. Third, put yourself out of your comfort zone. Want to hear something crazy? I used to be afraid of wearing jeans because I hated the way I looked in them. I still have issues with shorts but summer's a-comin' so I'm going to have to tackle that one soon and I will. I know that I will because I trust myself not to go back to my old place. Anyway, I slowly forced myself to start wearing jeans again and began to show myself that I was being too critical. I still prefer my yoga pants, leggings, and athletic shorts but that's just because they're more comfy. Sometimes I wish it was acceptable to wear yoga pants at all times but that's beside the point. The important thing is that I pushed myself and went out of my comfort zone and it paid off.
I know that this isn't all encompassing or a quick fix but I hope that these steps can get you started in the right direction. Again, it's a slow and difficult process because we have to undo a lifetime of society engraining ideals in our minds. In the end, though, it'll be the best thing you'll ever do for yourself. You deserve to be confident and happy in your own skin!