I had a hard time thinking of what to post this week, there was a lot on my mind and even more going on in real life. But I thought about something of substance that I could speak on that would/could make a difference. C-O-N-F-I-D-E-N-C-E! Which is something that everyone (man or woman) can relate to. We all want to be confident, we all want confidence and for it to be present and accounted for at all times. But where does confidence come from? Is it something that is innate and we use it when we want? Is it something that another individual gives to us? Can we create it? Can we bottle it? Can I borrow some from a friend? Confidence is so obscure that we, as humans, are consistently trying to figure it out. Where does Shanice get her confidence from?
I’ll tell ya!
First things first, this post isn’t going to be me bragging about how confident I am, because sometimes I am quite the opposite. I feel that it is important for me to be transparent with my readers. This weekend I went to the beach with 2 very good friends. I had not been in a swimsuit for sometime prior to this weekend. Not just any swimsuit though , brace yourselves, I was going to wear a 2-piece swimsuit. Something I thought I would not be able to wear at the size that I am at. My friends had seen me in it before, they all said it looked great and that I had nothing to worry about. But, you know what the struggle is with confidence? If you don’t have it or if you have any inkling of a doubt, your whole outfit is thrown off. But, I powered through and decided that I ought to try something new. Fast forward to the beach or the point of no return as I like to call it. And with no hesitation, I took off my coverups. I told myself that if I hesitated, then I would never do it. So I did it and it was not as bad as I tried to make it seem in my head. No one was pointing and laughing, the sky didn’t turn black or anything. All of the fear and anxiety of what people would think once they saw me went out the window expeditiously. I was completely comfortable and so beyond proud of myself. As I sat on the beach I contemplated what brought on my bravery. I had to have the confidence to be in public in my swimsuit after years of hiding my body under clothing that “hid” my problem areas.
I always tell people who I speak to about confidence that it isn’t something that someone else can give you. Yes, someone (especially strangers) telling you that you look nice will ignite some sort of confidence in you, but you can’t build your confidence around receiving compliments. You have to build it for yourself. You have to teach yourself that you are beautiful/handsome, no one can change that. I had such a hard time finding my confidence. I was constantly looking in the mirror and being unhappy with who I was and who I had become. Two years ago, the only thing that made me confident was the full workup; hair, nails, new outfit, new shoes, eyebrows tinted and arched, lash extensions, and makeup. I’ve given up somethings within my time of self discovery; one – lash extensions because honey, they are EXPENSIVE. I also gave up eyebrow tinting and now I get my eyebrows “cleaned-up” when I feel like it. In addition to getting rid of the full workup, I decided to do a social media cleanse. I used to follow a ton of models that were “straight sized “ this did not help me at all. Comparing myself to a person that was airbrushed to perfection was just unhealthy and a bad habit. I started following people who were advocating for plus sized women, i.e. body positivity activists, plus sized bloggers and models, people who looked like me and stressed the need to feel beautiful in the skin you’re in.
I can equate my confidence journey to an architect building a new high rise building in the middle of Manhattan, New York. If you’ve ever been to Manhattan, you know that it is busy all year round and building a new structure causes massive amounts of traffic, but they build them anyway, right? As you build your confidence, remember that you are going to have to push through all adversities. That may be people in your life that are close to you or strangers that don’t even know your name. Start your confidence journey by building your foundation, there can’t be a solid building without the foundation. My foundation is me. Knowing that I am being true to myself gives me confidence. I used to wake up on a daily basis and rip myself apart but now I wake up, look myself in the mirror, and smile. I am the first person I smile at daily. Be true to yourself, find out what makes you feel good and do that. Don’t push yourself too hard, having confidence is like building your own little high rise structure within yourself. Take your time and don’t knock it down. Be nice to yourself, feel amazing in your body – the one body that was given to you. When in doubt listen to Juice by Lizzo.