People are confident when they feel like they pass the test of the standard they are measuring themselves against. So if you believe you are supposed to get married and be thin and eat salads all the time and you don’t. Well, you’re going to lack confidence. Especially if these standards aren’t ones you created yourself.
You will always be disappointed if you measure yourself against someone else’s expectations.
This is week one, of my four-week installment on CONFIDENCE. I am so excited about this section and all the things I’ll be learning while sharing my knowledge with you! With every blog post, I will also have a short YouTube video, so make sure you subscribe to my YouTube channel too!
The Media’s Role in Setting Expectations
The media gets a lot of grief. Pretty much always and about everything. I am most certainly not a supporter of mainstream media. I think they get things wrong like 98% of the time.
My crappy life (if I had a crappy life) is not their fault!
You are your own keeper. In this life, you choose what clothes you put on your body, what food you put in your mouth, what thoughts you allow yourself to dwell on and how you spend your time.
No one can make you do ANYTHING.
Let me say that again. Just in case you didn’t really soak it in.
No one can make you do ANYTHING.
Alright, now that we’ve established that, let’s move on. Now you might be saying, “But Media dictates what our society revolves around” and you might be right to a point. But again, they do not reach inside your soul and write upon your heart the way you should live. They’re just a bunch of words and pictures that some people sitting up in their high and mighty chairs, decided they liked best.
So while the media may publish a certain unspoken guideline for how you should look, behave, think, etc. That is only your guideline if you choose it to be so.
YOU CAN BE CONFIDENT AND DEFY ALL OF THESE GUIDELINES.
Changing My Guidelines
Alright, so at this point, if you haven’t caught on, the secret to being confident is by meeting the guidelines or expectations you have of yourself.
So the key to being happy and confident all lies in creating those guidelines yourself.
Now, don’t try and set the bar super low and then say well, I’ve made it. Because as much as we can sway ourselves and change our mindsets, we can’t completely fool ourselves.
So be real with yourself.
Let me use myself as an example:
I struggle with my weight. Now I don’t mean that I gain large amounts or have trouble putting it on. I mean, its always been my main source of insecurity. I was always either too thin or not thin enough, depending on who you asked.
In high school, I found a healthy weight that I was super happy with and it wasn’t an issue ever again. Until, I moved right before college and spiraled a little.
I put on almost twenty pounds in a matter of a few months!
It made me MISERABLE. I hated myself. So I’d eat to feel better which made me gain more weight which made me hate myself more… and you get the point.
A little while ago, I decided I was done hating my body. I took a look at myself and realized that in that mirror wasn’t a woman who was too heavy (by my standards), but rather a woman that my husband, friends, and family loved. A woman who gave her everything and went out of her way to serve others.
Then I took a look at my friends and family, all of which are about the same size as me or slightly larger. And I thought every single one of them was GORGEOUS.
When I changed the standard and decided that my current weight was a beautiful weight, I started to feel more confident. Sexy, even.
All I had to do, was change my guidelines. So instead of thinking I needed to be 115 to be beautiful, I realized my curvy 140 was just as beautiful and even more so if I was happy.
How To Change Your Guidelines To Find Confidence
Alright, DIY time!
Changing the expectations we have of ourselves, isn’t as easy as just well changing them.
It does take some time and effort, I won’t lie to you.
So, let’s start with this exercise:
How do YOU currently measure success, beauty, and happiness?
When you are looking around you when you are judging your friend’s choices (we all do it), what guidelines are you measuring them up against?
Likely whatever guidelines you are measuring your friends by, are the same guidelines you judge your life by.
Once you figure that out, then you can figure out how to modify them.
For example, I grew up being told that success was measured by money. Any dream or profession I aspired after, the first question I got asked was “How much does it make?”
Yeah, it was as much of a bummer as it sounds.
Unfortunately, many people still use this as their measuring stick. I know several parents who can’t seem to be happy for their children simply because in their eyes they aren’t measuring up to their standards REGARDLESS of how happy their kid is.
But in my eyes, you were only successful if you had a group of people who loved you and a family you had created.
I am a stay at home wife who works on an unpublished novel and a blog that barely gets any traffic. And to many that makes me unsuccessful. To many, I might have failed at life already.
But to me, I am more successful than over half the world.
I have a husband who loves me with his every fiber and supports my dreams of being a writer. My family accepts and cherishes me. I work hard to help my friends and family in any way I can. It is easy for me to identify as a hard worker with a servants attitude.
I am successful.
I am 5’4′, 140 pounds with blue eyes, pale skin, a kind of pointy nose and hair that is usually some variant of brown.
To some, I may be too thick. My thighs touch and I have flab that hangs from my arms. To some, I am too pale and should get a tan.
But to me, I am beautiful.
I have a bright smile, that shines everywhere I go. I am no longer a twig like I was in high school, but my husband always has a cushiony spot to lay his head when we watch TV on the couch. And my hugs are soft and warm when I comfort others.
Originally, my standards were money for success and thinness for beauty. But I have since changed my tune!
This has taken a long time. I won’t pretend that it happened overnight. And there are some days when I still have a hard time. Especially with feeling beautiful. But all it takes is a reminder of my NEW guidelines and I start feeling better, more confident.
STOP COMPARING YOURSELF TO SOMEONE ELSE’S GUIDELINES. Then, you will feel a lot better about yourself.
What’s the actual strategy? You ask
If you’ve read my blog before you might already see this one coming, but STICKY NOTES.
I LOVE sticky notes. I think they are the positive affirmations best friend.
Take a piece of notebook paper and write down what you want your guidelines for success, beauty, and overall happiness to be.
Once you’ve done that, start breaking them up into small quotable sections and write them on sticky notes.
Then, place these sticky notes in places you will see them and be sure to read them every time you walk by.
A favorite place of mine is my bathroom mirror or above my laptop.
Whenever you see these sticky notes, read them, ponder on them and if you’re willing, say them ALOUD.
Another great way to help change your tune and find new confidence is to ask your friends and family for help.
It’s okay to be open and vulnerable! We all struggle with it, so we should all be willing to help each other. Ask a friend or family member to tell you the reasons why you are beautiful. Or the reasons they think you are successful in life.
You may hear things you weren’t expecting.
For me, I got told I always seemed to be happy and optimistic. While I guess I might see how I could convey that, I am a very deep and intense person by nature. I struggle with a lot of demons, so being told I seem to always be happy and optimistic, was a little shocking. But it sure did boost my confidence!
When I’m having a rough day, image-wise, I will ask my husband to tell me what he loves about me. He usually looks at me confused, but I press him to do it anyway. It may seem silly or you might be embarrassed to do it, but being reminded by my favorite person in the world why he chose me, it the ultimate confidence booster and affirmation.
Then there’s God
And of course, I’ve got to add this section for my fellow believers.
God created you in his image. It says so in the good book. That means you are an extension of God HIMSELF. Now, don’t get a big head, we are messed up creatures in every sense, BUT you do deserve to be confident.
Hating ourselves is like hating God.
He loves you so much, he created you with love, joy, and pride. You are a masterpiece in his art collection. A lead character in his play. He can’t get enough of you and no matter how much you mess up, he always wants you back.
And when we are mean and harsh on ourselves, I can only imagine God sitting up in Heaven, feeling so hurt that we hate ourselves when he thinks we’re the bee’s knees. Much like how a parent hurts when they see their children have low self-esteem. Our parents always see the best and beautiful in us.
If that isn’t the ultimate mood lifter and a reminder to love yourself, I don’t know what is.
- You achieve confidence through measuring yourself against the guidelines you set, not the media!
- You have the ability to change your guidelines and take confidence into your own hands.
- Sticky Notes are your best friend for resetting your frame of mind.
- God loves you, he made you in his image with love and pride. You deserve to see yourself the same way.
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