Fake It 'Til You Make It, Baby
One of my favorite and more frequent (backhanded) compliments I receive is "Wow you are SO confident! Where did you get it from? HOW DO YOU DO IT?!" Don't get me wrong, I'm honored if you think I have even one word in common with the gorgeous Demi Lovato, but at the same time it makes me think "Why shouldn't I be? I'm generally a solid person. I visit my family during the holidays. I pay my taxes. I (almost) always stop for pedestrians. So why shouldn't I be confident?"
As I sit here trying to defend my character, don't worry, I know why I actually get asked that. The first time I remember thinking I was "fat" was in the 6th grade. I remember the exact moment, isn't that sick? I was sitting at my desk in class when I looked down and noticed my joey. (If you don't get the reference, it's cool, I'm here to help. Kangaroos have a pouch on their bellies where they keep their babies AKA their joeys. Unfortunately, my joey consists of spaghetti and meatballs instead of an adorable kangaroo, but hey, ya win some, ya lose some.)
Like many (maybe even most) other human beings, I've experienced confidence and body positivity issues from that point on. With that being said, I would say I've reached a point in my life where I do feel mostly confident at least 65% of the year. So here's my advice since you asked:
- Realize that self-love really is the most important since your the only person you're literally stuck with forever. As cliche as it is, you really do have to love yourself before you can love anyone else. You're awesome so take care of yourself damnit.
- As much as exercise is torture, it's worth it. I've really made it a point to workout for a minimum of 30 minutes at least 3 days a week for the past year. Since then, I would say I've actually noticed more of a mental improvement than a physical one. But both are more than appreciated.
- Wear whatever you're comfortable in, but also make it a point to take risks. You might miss out on things you feel really good in if you don't try it out. Trust me, you look great.
- Last, but certainly not least, my life motto: fake it 'till you make it. (Ha you could've just read the title to get that, but I've bamboozled you into reading this whole thing.) This actually works. If you "fake" being confident for long enough, you deadass will eventually become that way. This works with just about any characteristic, but only practice with the positive ones, would ya?
Not everyday is a "confident" day, but overall the most important thing I've learned is to always be kind to yourself. Even Beyoncé has "off" days (well probably not, but we're only human to be fair.)