Confidence is not something I can say I've ever really struggled with. I'm an extrovert and always have been and that kinda goes hand-in-hand with being confident. Even as a kid I was always in plays wanting to be centre stage and didn't shy away from anything. As my teenage years crept in, I had the typical crisis in confidence that a lot of teenagers go through and mine was based on another common culprit; looks. I've always been short and slim and I have my mum's nose and my dad's forehead and for a very long time these features really bothered me. Not to mention I matured quite early on in my teenage years so that meant spotty teenage skin and stretchmarks were added on to the list of things I didn't like about myself. I spent a lot of years trying to mask these features and not draw attention to them as much as I could but I sucked at wearing heels, I couldn't afford a nose-job and was using dove bath soap on my face so the spots and all those things I didn't quite like were pretty much stuck with me. At that point I realised my options were limited; I could either go on hating these things about myself that ultimately weren't going away or I could just learn to love them. I chose the latter and I've never looked back.
It would be great if I could say that I've mastered this confidence thing and that I never falter but that would be a big fat lie! I still have down days and days where giving myself an internal pep talk about how amazing I am (Yaaasss) just doesn't cut. In fact my heart dropped to my stomach when Simply Be UK asked me to style some of their amazing lingerie on my blog because all I could think was that everyone was going to see my flaws. It's easy to hide those couple extra rolls with some jeans and a baggy jumper but it's not quite that easy for my flaws to be incognito in a lingerie set now is it? I had to think long and hard about flattering angles and sassy ways to drape this cardigan over me so that I didn't feel so bare but when it came down to actually shooting I just threw caution to the wind and had some fun!
Yes I'm still short, I'm still slim (with an extra roll or two) and even though the contraceptive pill and a good skincare routine has sorted out my spotty skin for the most part, I still get the odd breakout on my face, neck and back. I still have stretchmarks that I lovingly call my tiger stripes, I have strawberry legs, I have pigmentation and a whole multitude of issues that annoy my existence. Luckily they're only skin deep. Over the years I've learnt to concentrate on the things that I can control rather than the things that I can't and more importantly I've learnt to focus on the internal rather than the external because confidence comes from within.
Certainly your confidence can be boosted by a nice compliment, a good pamper session or some sassy underwear but when it's all said and done, confidence comes from within. It's built and nurtured by our experiences as well as what we say and think about ourselves and believe me, It doesn't matter how many times someone may tell you you're beautiful if you don't believe it yourself. That's why self-esteem is equally as important (if not more so) and we have to ask ourselves what we place our confidence in. Is it in our thoughts and beliefs of who we are or is it in what others think about us? Is it in success, status or likes and comments on Instagram?
Yes self-confidence and self-esteem go hand in hand but don't be fooled because it is actually possible to have high self-confidence but low self-esteem (as is the case with many people we see in the limelight i.e. celebrities). Self-esteem is the model through which we think, feel, and act and it reflects and determines our relationship with ourselves and others. I believe wholeheartedly that we're all born with a healthy self-esteem (and a sprinkle of self-confidence) which is then either sustained or undermined by our life experiences and that is why I'm passionate and careful about what I allow to penetrate my confidence-bubble.
I accept compliments with humility and take advice with caution and I am able to take risks and give my all to a project (like I am today, Literally lol) because I know that although failure can and may happen; it is not going to damage or diminish me, my confidence or my self-esteem. I choose not to focus or rely on outward things like status and likes on Instagram which are fickle but instead I speak to myself kindly and I'm accepting and forgiving of myself and others (flaws and all). I try my hardest to look after my mind, body and spirit and in turn the world and people around me. I'm open to growth and new experiences and I relish meaningful relationships. I strive to live a life of tolerance and understanding and even though I fail regularly I'm always trying to be quick to joy and slow to sadness. So yes, on the outside I'm just a fashion blogger posing for some cute pics on my blog but really this is more than just me wearing a lingerie set; this is me wearing my confidence.How do you wear yours?