I’ve struggled with my self confidence since I was young, and in particular, my body confidence has always been pretty low. I can remember as a teen, going through magazines and wishing that I looked like the celebrities splashed on the pages. I wished I was taller, had longer legs and had a smaller nose.
However, over the years, I’ve come to realise how sad that is. I look back on photos of me as a teen, and I can almost feel how self conscious I felt in those photos. I remember how I’d dread looking back at pictures (even though this may be surprising as all my family have always said I’ve been a massive poser) but if one photo caught me at the wrong angle, it would send me into a frenzy of self loathing.
I look back and wish I could have spent more time having fun, being young and not have wasted so much of my time worrying about my looks. When I think about my blog, and my videos, sometimes it’s easy to forget what I want my posts to achieve. Recently when I was going through yet another one of my blogging slumps, I sat and realised that I want my posts to be the kind of posts, that I wish I could read when I’m having a bad day, or the posts that I want to show to my younger sisters.
When I think of my sisters, and in particular my youngest sister who is just 5, I wish that she never has to worry about self confidence. I never want her to feel like she isn’t good enough, or pretty enough, and if I can do one thing as a big sister, it’s to teach her that she is beautiful and she can achieve anything that she wants.
With this idea in my mind, today, I wanted to talk about how I’m overcoming my own self confidence issues. As I get older, I do realise that a lot of my confidence issues are in my head, and I don’t help myself at all. Over the past year or so, I’ve been working very hard, on trying to be better when it comes to being confident. So far so good, but don’t get me wrong, I still have wobbles. I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t.
Today, I wanted to talk about the ways that I am helping myself with my confidence, and I would love to know your thoughts too.
1. Being My Own Best Friend :
When I thought hard about my low self confidence days, I realised that a lot of the horrible things I would think, would come from me. I realised that I would never ever say such vile things to someone I loved, or even a stranger. I would never say these things to anyone, else so why do I think it’s okay to say them to me? I thought about how I’d feel if someone else said these things to someone I loved, or even to me, and I realised it would make me very upset. So I suddenly realised, that this had to stop. I realised that I was being my own worst enemy and instead I should be my own best friend.
Life is tough, and I was making it so much harder for myself, with my constant self criticism. I tried to realise when I saying these things in my head and would try and stop straight away. Instead, I’d try to give myself some credit now and then, I’d listen to my body more, and try to be a bit nicer to myself.
I realised that why should I expect anyone else to be nice to me, when I can’t even be nice to myself. There is nothing wrong with being your own cheerleader, it doesn’t mean your stuck up, or you love yourself, which I thought previously. Of course these thoughts still pop into my head now and then, but I am trying to extinguish them and they are getting less and less, which is good!
2. Appreciating my Body
I used to prod at my thighs in the mirror, and think about how they touched together and how they had cellulite. But one day, when I was in a fitness class and I was dancing, running and jumping around like I’d had too many e-numbers, and I realised that my body allowed me to do all of this. Suddenly I realised that it didn’t matter that I didn’t have a thigh gap, or perfectly smooth skin, my legs allowed me to walk Frank every day, they allow me to dance round the kitchen, they allow me to do whatever I want, and suddenly I thought, that is the important thing here.
I think sometimes we don’t appreciate our bodies enough, and what they do for us. Our bodies keep us alive every single day, and do about a million things without us even thinking about it. They enable us to do what we want, and when you’re ill, it reminds you how much we take our health and bodies for granted.
So I started to think with the mindset of appreciating my body, rather than slating it. My body does so much for me and I couldn’t even give it the slightest bit of credit. My body may not be perfect but it’s mine, and it enables me to do whatever I want. I don’t know about you, but I think that’s way more important than being cellulite free.
3. Realising What Clothes Make Me Feel Confident/Comfortable
Being only 5 ft 2 and a half *yes that half is very important* I’ve sometimes found trying to find my own style quite difficult.
Growing up, I would wish that I had longer legs after buying jeans that I thought would fit me, till I tried them on and the legs would be so long, that they’d go all the way over my feet, and I’d look like I was about to go deep sea diving with some new denim flippers on. Or when I’d think I’d found my dream coat, but then when I’d try it on, I’d realise, that I looked like I’d just borrowed it from my Dad’s wardrobe.
It can be hard to develop your own style, whilst working out what makes you feel comfortable and confident. Over the years, I’ve had some style disasters, and sometimes been unhappy with my wardrobe as I’ve dressed in things that I felt like I should wear, or have been a bit scared to try things out. However it needn’t be that hard, and at the age of 25, I feel like I’ve finally realised what works for me.
I no longer have to wish that I was 5ft 7 as so many shops have petite ranges these days, and in particular the new Very Petite range is perfect if you’re vertically challenged like me, and are fed up of having to alter things to fit. There is so many amazing things, that I could literally kit out my whole wardrobe from the range.
Jacket: Very Petite
Top: Very Petite
Skirt: Very Petite
I’ve learnt that it’s not just about dressing to flatter your shape, it’s about dressing in what makes YOU happy and makes you feel comfortable.
I feel like I’ve developed my own essentials, which I show in this outfit from the photos in this post; for example, I love A-line skirts as I feel they’re very flattering yet comfortable, this pink bow skirt is perfect for Spring/Summer, as it’s very lightweight yet so easy to wear. It could be dressed up or dressed down, and let’s just talk about how gorgeous the colour is.
I also love a Bardot top, which I like to try and layer with jewellery such as chokers, and my staple jacket is a leather biker jacket which always makes me feel about 100x more confident, with any outfit that I pair it with.
I only go for shoes that I feel are comfortable, and I can walk in, I used to wear heels that would leave me walking like Bambi on Ice (which I literally was like at my first blogging event, I’m pretty sure Anna had to almost catch me at one point!) These sandals are super high, but so comfy, and you could wear them with so many outfits.
It’s not about following the trends, dressing should make you happy, don’t’ dress for anyone else and wear what makes you feel great. Play around with different things and find out what works best for you.
It’s taken me a long time to realise this, however, as soon as I started to dress for me, I started to develop my own style. I know what works for me and outfits such as this make me feel happy and ready to take on the world (slightly cheesy but you get my drift.)
The Very Petite Range is full of items that I would be happy to have in my wardrobe, and this outfit is one that I’m sure I’ll be rocking a lot over the next few months. (Also let’s just talk about the grey biker jacket from the range omg, gorgeous!)
4. Not Caring What Other People Think
I’ve always cared way too much what people think of me, and I have no idea why. I do sometimes find this hard to shake off however, I do think as you get older you start to stop caring so much.
I have this quote that I say quite a lot to myself and that is ‘if they don’t know you personally, don’t take it personal.’ This helps a lot with stuff online, it’s very easy for people to judge, but I try to develop a bit of a thick skin. For example if it was my Mum saying stuff to me, I’d care, but why should I care so much about a stranger who I’m probably never going to meet?
Whilst I do appreciate what you guys say to me, I decided that I needed to stop relying so much on other people. I let things like comments decide my moods, and I realised that I can’t do this anymore. I shouldn’t stop myself from doing stuff, just cause I’m worried what someone else may think.
As you get older, you make peace with the fact that not everyone will like you, and not everyone will agree with your choices, but that is totally okay.
5. Getting Into Fitness
Finally, a big helper in my self confidence, has been due to going to the gym. It’s been over a year since I started going to fitness classes, and they have changed a lot in the way I feel about myself.
At the start of 2016, after a very indulgent christmas, I looked in the mirror and decided I had two choices; 1. to accept that my body wasn’t like it was when I was 16 anymore, and that was okay. Or 2. To do something about it.
I took the second option, as I didn’t feel great within myself and knew something had to change. Going to fitness classes, has done wonders for my mental health and confidence. It helps with my stress, anxiety, and they help me to sleep, I also have been able to make peace with my body.
Working out makes me appreciate my body for what it does, and I enjoy pushing my limits, I like to test how much I can lift, or how much I can push myself in a HIIT class. I like seeing muscles form and seeing how my body changes. My goals always used to be to be to lose weight, or to have a thigh gap, whilst these days, I want to be healthy, happy and strong. Working out has almost given me a new perspective on my body, which I never had before.
I know it sounds like so cheesy, but its the truth, and I am genuinely so happy to have found something that I really enjoy doing.
So these are just a few things that I’ve been doing to work on my confidence, I would love to know if you have any ways that you overcome low confidence days.
I always find it really interesting to hear how other people deal with this kind of thing, so please let me know.
One last thing, if you’re reading this post right now and you’re having a low confidence day, I just want to say that you are enough, and here are some of my favourite quotes for days when you feel rubbish :
‘Remember you have been criticising yourself for years, and it hasn’t worked, try approving of yourself and see what happens’
‘Talk to yourself like you would to someone you love.’
‘Self confidence is a super power, once you start believing in yourself, magic starts happening.’
Photos By Nesta Lloyd
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* This post was sponsored by Very, but all opinions are my own and are 100% honest and genuine as always. You can find out more about sponsored posts in my disclaimer here.