For the vast majority of my life, I believed that I wasn’t good enough. I had this nagging voice in my head telling me that everyone else was doing more, doing better. My thoughts were a never-ending reel of negativity, drowning me over and over again. At one point, I kind of figured that maybe I was just never going to amount to anything, that I didn’t have any direction after all. I have a toxic trait of disguising darkness with humor, portraying the “happiest” version of myself to those I surround myself with. I’m not sure anyone truly knew the scope of what was going on in my mind.
Self-confidence is the core belief that I can, however, comparison is the thief of joy. In the day and age of social media, it’s alarmingly easy to present yourself in ways that don’t necessarily align with reality. Endless scrolling, wondering why you don’t look like the photoshopped pictures on your timeline, why you don’t have all the success at such a young age. I’m actually embarrassed of how long it took me to realize that if I wanted to change my life, I had to change my mindset. Learning to love and believe in yourself is an uphill battle, constantly challenging your mind to overcome. It’s a process, retraining your brain to prioritize positivity and encouraging thoughts. I won’t pretend that it was easy, or that it ever ended. What I can say is that the choice to turn it around for myself, was one of the best I’ve ever made.
Making yourself a priority is arguably one of the most difficult things to do when you’re so used to worrying about everyone else. Worry and anxiety that people won’t like you as much if you take time for yourself begins to creep in. You realize you almost don’t know how to put yourself first, it’s uncomfortable and strange to you. It can be difficult to come to terms with the loneliness that often comes with choosing yourself. If you’re anything like me, the journey to loving yourself requires full-time dedication, I needed to take a pause from certain people in order to focus on my goals. I knew exactly what I wanted and I knew that I couldn’t afford any distractions. I ultimately decided that whoever was gonna be there when I came out the other side, were the people worth keeping in my life.
You are a reflection of who you surround yourself with. You can have friends that hype you up and gaslight you all day long, or you can choose people who are going to tell you how it really is. In order to be confident in yourself, you have to be aware of your choices, and you need to be surrounded by people who want to push you to achieve your goals. You may not like what they have to say all the time, and you may not always agree. It’s this challenge that’s going to be a driving force in you knowing that you’re doing everything in your power to better yourself. These people are also going to be there to hold you accountable against your negative thoughts. Finding people to bounce ideas and aspirations off of is a game-changer, inspiring you to believe that you can and will achieve them. Putting these things out into the universe and speaking them into existence, that’s what’s going to change everything. Create an inner circle that you can stand back and be proud of, yet know that you are the creator of your own reality. It’s all about balance.
What is it that you want from yourself? What exactly are the goals you’re creating to become self-confident? I find that writing down exactly what you want to see from yourself is the first step. Stop harboring negativity, get up and make a move towards your dream career, set one goal at a time to cross off as you complete them. Speak to yourself the way you’d want others to speak to you, affirm your self-belief and speak it into existence. For me, I take my goals and transcribe them into affirmations; saying them out loud consistently every single day. The more you speak to your goals, the more you believe that you can and will accomplish them. The more goals you accomplish, the more confidence you gain in yourself. It’s so incredibly important on the path to self-confidence, to visualize what you’re most confident self would look like. Mine is a myriad of all things creative, cultivating success from happiness. I want to write, create, see the world, change the world. Since the start of my journey not too long ago, I have never looked back. I am not the person I was a year ago, and I thank myself for that every single day.
Never settle for a life that was built for a different version of you. Never settle for a version of yourself that you know is not the one you have envisioned. If you don’t like the way you see yourself, as difficult as it may be, you have to take the steps and do the work to change your mindset. I send upon anyone going through something similar, all of the positive energy in the world- not luck. It was not luck that got me to where I am today, it was hard work and dedication to myself and my goals. I’m nowhere near done on my journey, and that’s kind of the point. None of us should ever stop striving to grow in this life. Remember that you can’t pour from an empty cup, and no one should expect you to. It is not selfish to put yourself first, it is necessary. Self-confidence is the core belief that I can, and in my heart of hearts, I believe that I can.
Abbey Brown is a 21 year-old New York-based conversationalist creative writer who’s incredibly passionate about all things self-discovery and actualization. Driven by her desire to inspire, Abbey’s storytelling seeks to touch your soul. Follow her journey to find herself on Instagram – @abbsbrown