Full disclosure, this post is personal. I’ve written and re-written this post what seems like a hundred times when in reality; it might have been 2 or 3. I debated whether or not I should post it all. What would be the point? What am I trying to prove by posting this? Am I just doing this because I feel like I need to apologize for my own insecurities and anxiety? I’ve struggled with confidence my whole life. It has gotten better as I’ve grown older, but it’s still a constant battle. There are days when I feel great, when I feel pretty and sexy and like I can take on the world, and other days when I feel like an ugly duck. In a way, this post is an apology to myself, for letting my fears get the best of me.
DISCLAIMER: I am no expert; I can only give my own personal opinions and anecdotes on the subject. What I believe might not be the same as what you believe, and that’s OK. I am open to positive and constructive debate. It is really scary to put yourself out there, especially to a bunch of strangers, but I want to create a safe place here and that means going all in, no holds barred.
“My eyes are too small, and my nose is too big. My arms are huge, my thighs touch; I’m fat. I’m ugly.” These are all things I’ve said, or at least thought about myself in the past, present, and very likely, future. We as a society are constantly bombarded with images of rail-thin women, perfectly sculpted men with giant grins on their faces, seemingly happy in their beautiful lives. So we think, “If I looked like her, or if I looked like him, I would be happy too.” We sometimes forget that those images we see, are only part of the story. They are staged. We have no idea what’s going on behind that glossy photograph or screen.
I was doing some planning for my next few posts and started to get really excited about one coming up. I’ve only just started My Treble Life, and I can’t wait to see where it goes, but I started writing and found myself losing track of time simply because I was so invested. And then I started thinking about the layout and how I wanted it to look visually and realized that I would have to use pictures of myself if I wanted to pull off a certain aesthetic. I hesitated. I haven’t done that yet. There is something to be said about anonymity, but is that really what I am going for on My Treble Life? I’ve only published a handful of posts, but I haven’t crossed that line. I’d be putting my own image up, and welcoming criticism. All of my insecurities came bubbling to the surface. I’m not ready for that yet. Maybe if I lose a couple pounds…
We all have insecurities, especially about our bodies, and it is so easy to nit-pick every little flaw, but what about the things we love about our bodies? It is so easy to forget about those things in favour of putting ourselves down. For example, I love my hair, the colour of my eyes and how they change from brown to green depending on the lighting or the colour of shirt I’m wearing. I love the freckles I get when I’ve been out in the sun. I love the birthmark on my wrist that looks like a tiny heart, and the scar on my elbow that reminds me of summer nights, biking around the neighbourhood with my sister. Our imperfections are the things that make us unique. I know I am not ugly (to be fair, I really don’t think anyone is ugly. I think there is beauty in every living thing.) Do I have things I wish I could change, sure, but I also know that we should celebrate our differences.
We’ve all heard the old adage, “Beauty is only skin deep.” Self confidence goes beyond the surface. It’s about what you love about yourself and how you present that to the world. I strive to be that type of woman.
Building confidence takes a lot of work. It’s hard to flip a switch and be comfortable in your own skin after a lifetime of feeling insecure. I’m working on it. I’ll continue to work on it. I love the person I am today, and my insecurities shouldn’t affect my ability to be the person I want to be tomorrow or 5, 10 years from now. I don’t want to look back and say, “If only…” I am putting aside my fears and taking control of my future.