Rhetoric tells us to believe that we are strong, beautiful and capable women. The world we live in teaches us the opposite.
Our bodies are not enough. Our minds are not enough. We are lacking. Sometimes it’s easy to condemn this nasty ideology, and other times it is all consuming. I can empathize with anyone who struggles with confidence. I’m a woman who ebbs and flows between thinking I am hot sh*t and thinking I’ve just lied to myself.
I wrote this Confidence Manifesto for myself and intended to be for my eyes only. I wrote it to read each day when I wake up. To remind myself that I cannot be diminished or extinguished, but only enhanced and illuminated.
Though it’s embarrassing to admit, I read it and realized I’m not 100 percent confident all of the time. So here’s my ideas for making the sad girl in the mirror see what an amazing grown woman she is:
1. Try something new every day.
Something you admire when you see others do it but are afraid to try yourself. It could be taking a pole dancing/burlesque class, karaoke, or an improv class.
2. Wake up every day and love what you see.
Look in the mirror first thing in the morning with sleepy eyes and last night’s makeup and tell yourself that you are beautiful, strong and smart. Then repeat it. Again and again, until your thoughts wander to these words rather than mean or unproductive ones. Don’t wait for someone else to validate you. I promise that so many people look at you every day and are fascinated. Take the time to fascinate yourself.
3. Notice the moments in which you are exercising bodily awareness and strength.
Notice when you are pushing yourself to the limit in the gym or dancing like a minx. Be proud of what your body is capable of. Strength comes from exertion.
4. Be sexually decisive.
Ask for sex when you want it and ask for what you want when you’re having it. Describe what you like and what you don’t like. Try new things, even if they make you nervous. Don’t worry about what your body looks like; embrace what your body looks like. If someone is having sex with you, they are extremely satisfied with what they see.
5. Write down what ails you.
When you feel these pangs of insecurity, address them. Train yourself to respond with self-encouragement and love rather than the deprivation of love and support. Do not admonish yourself for being imperfect. You need your own support more than anyone else’s. You need your own love more than anyone else’s. These are not indulgences; they are needs.
6. Believe people when they compliment you.
Yeah, they are being nice, but they are also being honest. You’re absolutely awesome. Admire beautiful things. Let yourself be admired in return.
7. Go outside your comfort zone.
Talk about things that scare you. Try things that intimidate you and believe that you’re capable of anything. I watched a Tony Robbins documentary where he said that each day he’d go on a run and say, “I’m f*cking unstoppable.” Over and over again. Eventually, he believed it. Eventually, so will you.
8. Remember that each day is a new chance to empower yourself.
Look in the mirror and admire what you’ve built. Go days without wearing makeup and embracing your face free of it. Be fierce, be kind and be empathetic. Empower those around you to be their best selves. Surround yourself with people who enable each other to be better.
Even when you’re sad, scared or unenthused. Just do it. It will definitely help.
10. Let go.
Let go of the words people have said that hurt you. Let go of the painful memories of your body, sex, and insecurity. Forget the sh*tty things that have rattled around in your mind for too long. Grow in your intelligence and your beauty. Grow in your ability to be wildly multi-faceted. Realize that your self-worth is only linked to your ability to love yourself and others unconditionally. Nothing else.
“You know what’s really powerfully sexy? A sense of humor. A taste for adventure. A healthy glow. Hips to grab on to. Openness. Confidence. Humility. Appetite. Intuition. Smart-ass comebacks. Presence. A quick wit. Dirty jokes told by an innocent-looking lady. A storyteller. A genius. A doctor. A new mother. A woman who realizes how beautiful she is.” ~ Courtney E. Martin
Author: Chloe Bell
Image: Little Garden Crafts/ Flickr
Apprentice Editor: Ebbie Drew; Editor: Travis May