Even though the body positivity movement and its famous advocates have taken us far from where we were a decade ago, some of us still struggle to find beauty and confidence within ourselves. After all, we’ve spent ages being told that we’re not good enough, smart enough, beautiful or competent enough. There are times when this critique comes from that little judgmental voice inside, and other times it comes from the people around us, whether we know them or not. Achieving true self-confidence and belief that you’re beautiful are not easy feats to achieve. It takes a great deal of effort and commitment, but it can be done.
So, if you’re tired of comparisons, self-critique and you finally want to feel good in the skin you live in, stay with us, because we have a great deal of ground to cover.
Stop seeking external validation
According to Elizabeth R. Thornton ‘there are several common mental models’, among which there is the external validation model. Now, some people are lucky enough to be ‘wired’ in a way that makes them not care about other people’s perceptions of them. However, most of us fit the external validation model at least to a certain extent, and that is the first thing one needs to change. According to Thornton, ‘we are being judged and responded to in ways that have nothing to do with us at all’. The truth of the matter is, other people have their own insecurities and preconceived notions, and they have nothing to do with who you are or what you’re worth.
Therefore, it’s vital to drown out those noises and place focus on what you think of your capabilities and looks. You don’t need other people’s praise. True self-confidence comes from within, so even if people have something nice to say, your perception of self should never depend on that. Your voice is the only one that matters. Remember that.
Own your narrative
We all have flaws, that’s a given. Even the supermodels who are airbrushed to death have flaws, so the second vital thing you need to do is stop comparing yourself to anyone else. You are made unique and you need to embrace yourself as such.
If you have negative internalized feelings about yourself, positive affirmations can truly be of great help. Instead of focusing on your pores, your few extra pounds, a scar or anything else you perceive as a flaw, shift your focus to the things that are amazing about you. Every morning, you need to look in the mirror and say at least four things that you love about your looks and your personality. Soon enough, you’ll realize that there is more amazingness in you than you’ve allowed yourself to believe.
Next up are the flaws. Instead of viewing them as a tool of self-deprecation, it’s paramount you embrace them and make them an integral part of your being. You have an imperfect nose – great, that gives you character. A scar somewhere – amazing, it tells a story of what you’ve gone through. To gain genuine self-confidence, you need to learn to love and accept all of you. That’s the only way this is going to work. Period.
When it comes to our appearances, we tend to get so caught up in sizes and numbers that we forget to place importance on wearing the clothes that flatter our size and body type. The numbers you see on clothing tags, as well as the numbers on the scale, mean nothing, so stop looking at them and stop trying to squeeze into a number that your body clearly doesn’t feel comfortable in. When you don’t feel comfortable, that’s a pretty good sign that the clothes won’t do your body justice on the outside as well.
So, always pick the clothes that do your figure justice, and never forget the importance of proper undergarments. Amazing undergarments make you feel powerful, sexy, not to mention that they do wonders in terms of how your clothes fit. Now, in the spirit of sustainability, but also our health, you should strive towards choosing amazing and healthy eco-friendly clothing, especially lingerie. Not only do natural fabrics like organic cotton, linen, and bamboo feel better on our skin (along with their health benefits), but they do wonders for your self-esteem. When you feel comfortable, that reflects on your appearance and you begin to feel and look beautiful.
Let the color in
We all have at least one color that makes us feel confident and that actually does absolute wonders for our looks. While certain shades and hues have a tendency to wash you out, others make you pop and shine. When you look at yourself in the mirror wearing colors that do your skin tone justice, you immediately feel a surge of confidence, so if you don’t know what those colors are, you better start shopping and testing them out until you find the ones that are just right.
Fake it till you make it
If you tend to slouch when either sitting or standing, not only are you perceived as less confident, you actually feel so inside. So, if you have to, force yourself to stand up straight at all times until you become comfortable in this position. Changing your posture can be quite challenging, and it will take time for it to become normal to you, but trust us, once the faking is over, you will have made it to the other side. You may only look confident by improving your posture in the beginning, but over time, the faking part will just fall off and you’ll see that your posture has indeed made you feel and look beautiful and beaming with confidence.
As said, there is plenty of work to do, but the rewards that come after the hard work are absolutely worth it, and the sooner you start, the sooner you will see results.
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About the Author
Sophia Smith is beauty and style blogger, graphic designer and DIY enthusiast. She is very passionate about the latest fashion trends and graphic design projects. Sophia writes mostly about fashion-related topics in her articles. She has contributed to a number of publications including Viva Glam Magazine, Fashion Finest, Savant Magazine, She is Fierce HQ, Bon Vita Style, Cause Artist and Carousel.