Millennials as a group seem to get a lot of flak for movements like ‘body positivity’ and ‘self-love’, although these movements have, while under different names, been around for decades upon decades.
They’ve seen the swinging 60’s, the 70’s, 80’s and up to the modern Instagram heavy movements and, although some may poke fun at these movements, think about how radical loving yourself truly is in a consumer society. Think for a second about the businesses you’re opting out of*, such as the diet pill, plastic surgery, cosmetics, and the clothing industries.
*By opting out, I don’t mean just never buying anything, but a change in buying mentality.
Buying things for self-expression, creativity, and want, rather than an overwhelming need or belief in a product’s magical power to bring your ultimate happiness via aiding you in reaching ‘perfection’, is a literal practice of self-love and confidence.
Anyway, philosophy aside, here are my tips on how to gain and maintain confidence within yourself.
Everyone looks happier, more confident, and, may I add, more beautiful when they smile – it’s like science or something.
Don’t Make Comparisons
If I were to compare, say, my favourite childhood series – ‘The Edge Chronicles’ – to Shakespeare’s ‘Richard the Third’, all that would do is highlight my lack of understanding that literature can be completely different but equally good.
Humans are similar; they are different but that doesn’t negate their worth. We often don’t see that, because we often glorify attributes others have, and put down our own, rather than lifting ourselves and others up.
Deflecting compliments is something we all do but if we just inject a little sass and start owning the compliments we are giving, we are allowing ourselves to acknowledge our excellent attributes and skills – deflect hate, not complements.
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
When I was younger, I used to freak out every time I’d get a spot. Nowadays, I just pop some tea tree on it and think ‘it’ll go away’. If you spend less time worrying about little things you can’t change, you have more time to think about more important things, like whether to binge eat vegan brownies or vegan pancakes?
Let Things Go
We could all berate ourselves with past mistakes, whether they be fashion, cosmetic or lifestyle, but that doesn’t help anyone – acknowledge it, change it, and move on.
Find Your Personal ‘Style’
When you ‘do you’, it’s hard to feel insecure because of how authentic you’re being.
Talk About it
One of the most freeing things in life is to realise that the way you feel isn’t strange or weird and that it’s, in fact, ‘normal’. Almost everyone around you will dislike something about themselves, something stupid and unimportant that in no way distracts from all the lovely amazing things about them.
Perhaps by hearing your beautiful best friend moan about a mole she hates on her thigh that you’ve never even noticed, it can help you realise how truly unimportant, unfounded and, most importantly, normal your insecurities are.
Eating well makes you feel confident because it makes you feel as though you have done something positive for your body- think less vegan mac and cheese, and more veggie bowls.
In short, just keep in mind you don’t need anything anyone is selling to make yourself ‘perfect’ or ‘beautiful’. The only reason mass society believes in an ideal – a ‘perfection’ – is because of all the lies corporations spread to sell products.
Remove yourself from this negative narrative by believing in yourself and, perhaps using one or two of my personal little tips, radically love yourself – confidently and purposefully.