“She’s so full of herself. She really loves herself,” was one of the many insults hurled around back when I went to school. To be told you were “up yourself” or “loved yourself” was a sure way to bring you down a peg or two. This is not what you need to hear as a teenager, battling all sorts of self-doubt. And I think it’s one of a million reasons I have struggled with the idea of loving myself ever since. Until the past year or so, that is.
I’ve always been an outwardly confident person. I’m chatty, love the limelight and have often been accused of being irritatingly chirpy. Inside, though, I’ve had my fair share of crises of confidence. Throughout my life I’ve been accused of being too loud, too confident and too annoying. When the reality is that I’ve often been my own biggest critic and I am sensitive beyond belief. You can be sensitive, humble and kind AND be confident, chatty and chirpy.
We have a real issue with confidence in this country. Or, rather, we have a real issue with ALLOWING ourselves to be OUTWARDLY confident. Maybe it’s the British self-deprecating humour thing or the fact that many of us wince at being the brash, annoying one at a party. But the thing is, while this self-deprecation might be charming at first, it holds us back. That’s my experience anyway.
Rewind back to a couple of years ago and I wasn’t very happy in my own skin. I felt heavy, uncomfortable and like I was taking up too much space – literally and metaphorically. Right now? I weigh the same as I did back then, but I feel COMPLETELY different. I look in the mirror and I like what I see, mainly because I like the person underneath. And not just that – I’ve given myself permission to like myself and be confident in owning it. [Read More…]