For me personally, I think self love/confidence is one of those things that comes with time. I also think it’s not one of those ultimate, tangible end goals. It’s something that has periods of ups and downs throughout our lives and is constantly changing in one way or another. There have been periods of my life where I have felt a lack of confidence in certain areas of my life and with specific aspects of myself. There have been other periods where things have felt perfect, and I have felt content and confident. I think in life, confidence is not one of those concrete things that is like “yay! I am confident now about everything and that will never, ever change”. I think it’s so normal to have periods throughout our life where we feel uncertain and unconfident about something or multiple things. I think it’s also normal to feel periods of confidence and to allow yourself to feel proud of your achievements. Our society has kind of made it to where it’s ‘cool’ to hate on yourself, but I personally think confidence is one of the most important things we can find and feel. It encourages us to reach for our dreams and to take crazy chances and to block the negative things that may come our way. It keeps us pushing us forward and it allows us to really be ourselves, without concern of what others may think or say. Confidence is incredibly important and special, so don’t let anybody tell you otherwise.
When we feel unconfident about ourselves or our lives, I think it can really help to just take some time to reflect. Why are we unhappy? What is keeping us from not feeling confident? Are these things that we can fix? For example, I did not feel confident about my body after my freshman year of college. I gained about 15 pounds (which is a lot when you are 5′0-5′1″), and I didn’t feel like ‘me’, physically. For years, I kind of brushed it off, not willing to dive in and make any actual changes. However, about eight or nine months ago, I started working out and lifting weights. I also started to be mindful about the things I put into my body, and I adopted a more balanced diet along with giving up alcohol. I lost about 10-15 pounds last semester, and I feel confident with my body again. I feel confident wearing denim shorts and jeans, for the first time since high school. I feel proud of the lifestyle changes I have made, and I am happy that I took a proactive approach to solving that problem, as minuscule as it may seem in the grand scheme of life. If you have something in your life that is draining your confidence, figure out if there is a solution to fix it. If you are struggling in a class and it is getting you down, try to see if there is a way to improve and solve that specific problem. However, sometimes in our lives, we have sources of unhappiness that we can not change. In that case, we have to learn to love ourselves regardless of that ‘imperfection’ and to accept that somethings are just not in our control. Things in life aren’t always permanent, and things do get better (as cliche as it totally is)- whether it’s from the way life changes to the way our mindset changes. I think it’s important to realize that those ‘imperfections’ make us who we are; they make us special and unique. When we start to take those things we see as imperfections and start to see them as the qualities that make us who we are and unique, we feel more confident. We have to learn that we can’t control everything. There will be points of our lives where we feel frustrated and defeated over the things that are not in our control, but we have to learn to do the very best we can, while always keeping a positive, resilient attitude.
I think when it comes to confidence, people tend to associate that with our physical appearance. But I feel like confidence can come from such a deeper place, and it can come from different areas of our life. For example, doing well academically in college really helped boost my overall confidence with myself and my life. I felt proud, and I felt confident when I achieved my personal academic goals and I could see the results of my hard work. Confidence doesn’t necessarily come from just the way we feel about our ‘outer shell’, but it comes from a combination of areas in our life from school/work, relationships, and personal goals. Speaking of personal goals, I find that setting personal goals for yourself can really help give confidence. Those goals can be tiny or huge; either way, they motivate us and give us confidence when we achieve them. Even when we fall short, we still can feel confident because we know we tried our hardest, learned something new, and experienced growth. I am a huge goal setter, and I firmly believe they are incredibly important for finding confidence.
In a world dictated by social media and filled with this immense pressure to be perfect, I think it’s important to take the time to realize that you don’t have to be perfect. It’s okay to make mistakes, and that those mistakes and imperfections don’t need to affect our confidence and our longterm views of ourself. At the end of the day, all we can do is be ourselves and do the very best we can. I think making a gratitude list can be very helpful. Write the things and people in your life that you are grateful for. Write the things you love about you! Recognize your talents and strengths. This is incredibly important. What matters most is how you feel about you, and I can promise you that you have strengths and skills. Throughout life, regardless of which path you choose, people will try to bring you down or tell you that you can’t do something. Don’t listen to them. Keep being you and doing the things in life that bring you the most joy. Speaking of people, reflect on the people in your life that you are surrounded by. Do they encourage you and make you feel confident or do they bring you down? I think it’s so, so essential to cleanse yourself of toxic people that are in your life. Surround yourself with positive, encouraging people that inspire you to be the best version of you. Some of my personal lows of confidence and happiness were when I was surrounded by negative, toxic friends that discouraged me from achieving my goals and brought me down. Now that I have an encouraging circle of people in my life, I feel more confident about achieving my goals and being myself unapologetically. It is better to be alone than in bad company, I can promise you that. Sometimes we have to be our biggest cheerleader and tell ourselves that we can achieve.
Something I have learned about confidence throughout college is that we can help ourselves find confidence when we encourage others. Three to four years ago, I felt like the way I treated others at times was a reflection of my own insecurities and unhappiness. It becomes a negative cycle. When we are negative and hurtful and critical, we affect the people around us and our own level of confidence. Compliment others, find their strengths, be open minded, encourage your friends and family to achieve their dreams, be there for people in times of trouble, volunteer, and do positive things without any expectation of reward. I am a big believer in karma- especially good karma. When we do good, good things come. Even if you don’t feel content and confident, continue to encourage others and be a positive source in their life. Your sunshine and confidence will come in its own time.
Lastly, I think it’s important to realize that everybody struggles with confidence at some point in their lives. Whether that struggle comes from body image to school to relationship troubles, we all have aspects of our life that cause us frustration and turmoil. We can choose to let those struggles defeat us or we can choose to let them motivate us to keep trying our best and striving towards the person we want to become. Find what makes you feel alive and what makes you joyful and confident. Never stop searching for those things and cling onto those positive sources when you find them.
Sorry if that was a bit rambly and ridiculously long, but just my personal take on finding confidence. There is of course no perfect answer to finding confidence, but those are some things I have kind of reflected on throughout my journey with confidence the past few years :)
i wrote something because i heard harry was previously exploited by someone and well, that’s not very nice. anyway enjoy!
Paige Reifler confirms meeting
Harry Styles during boybanders break between the Asian and European leg of the
tour, are they going to patch things up? If the pictures are anything to go by
it might just be the hottest news of the summer. Sorry, Harry girls’ looks like
Hazza might just be off the market. Ow!
‘There are two ways to create happiness. The first is external. By obtaining better shelter, better clothes, and better friends we can create a certain measure of happiness and satisfaction. The second is through mental development, which yields inner happiness. However, these two approaches are not equally viable. External happiness cannot last long without its counterpart. If something is lacking in your perspective - if something is missing in your heart - then despite the most the most luxurious surroundings, you cannot be happy. However, if you have peace of mind, you can find happiness even under the most difficult circumstances.
Material advancement alone sometimes solves one problem but creates another. For example, certain people may have acquired wealth, a good education, and a high social standing, yet happiness eludes them. They take sleeping pills and drink too much alcohol. Something is missing, something still not satisfied, so these people take refuge in drugs or in a bottle. On the other hand, some people who have less money to worry about enjoy more peace. They sleep well at night. Despite being poor in a material sense, they are content and happy. This shows the impact of a good mental attitude. Material development alone will not fully resolve the problem of humanity’s suffering.’
- Dalai Lama, How to Practice,The Way to a Meaningful Life.
Hey y’all! So for my first article I’m going to start off with something I’ve been helping many friends navigate lately while working my own way through it: the powerful combination of Venus going retrograde on July 25 and Uranus following suit just a day later. When two planets are in retrograde at the same time, the effects tend to be more powerful as more and more areas of our lives are being turned backwards and upside-down. Venus is the planet of love and beauty: it affects all our relationships, platonic or otherwise, as well as what we find attractive or beautiful. Uranus is a slow moving planet but it causes very quick flashes of inspiration and abrupt changes to appear in our lives. With both these planets going retrograde at the same time, you can bet that sudden fights, breakups (perhaps seemingly out of nowhere), drastic aesthetic changes, last-minute travel plans, and old routines trashed in favor of brand-new, upgraded ones are all on the menu. I’ve noticed that retrogrades tend to deal out their harshest effects within their very beginning and their very end, so it’s probably too late to prevent its effects in your life by now but it’s not too late to find out how to deal with the aftermath and its future challenges. The Venus retrograde lasts through September 6th and the Uranus one doesn’t end until around January 2016, so there is still plenty of action yet to come!
This article is going to be broken up into a 4-part series because there is a LOT of important information but I don’t wanna overwhelm anyone. In this first part I’m going to explain what exactly a retrograde is, what happens during a Venus retrograde and how to deal with it.
In part 2, coming very soon, I’ll explain what happens during a Uranus retrograde and how to deal with that.
In part 3, also coming very soon, I’ll explain what’s special about when the two occur simultaneously. I’ll also give you a checklist of things to look for in your chart that indicate this retrograde may affect you more than the average person.
In part 4, I’ll end the series with some examples of behavior from celebrities (seems like nowadays everybody breaking up…) and from people I know personally that demonstrate both helpful and harmful ways to deal with this transit. I’ll even share my story about how I’ve been affected…it hit me harder than I expected but it actually is pushing me to grow and expand my horizons quite a lot.
For those of you who want a short summary of all this, there will be a Retrograde Survival 101 cheat sheet at the end of each post that sums up the things I explained. But I really suggest you try to read each article in full since this is a particularly strong pair of retrogrades that’s very clearly affecting people all over the world.