“Wow, you have a blog, you must be dripping in self confidence!” “A lot of these pictures are of you, you must be really confident with how you look.” “You’re sharing so much online, I wish I had that confidence!” “You take videos of yourself talking, I don’t have the confidence for that!” These are things that I hear all the time. People assume that because I am outspoken and really present on social media that I am just “super confident” or “not shy” and that, my friends, has not always been the case.
Have I ever told you that it took me a year to get up the courage to start a blog? Have I ever told you that, on several occasions, I have thought about quitting? Do you know how many videos I used to delete before posting a story? Or how many shots I would take of each picture to find one that I thought was flattering? Did you know i’ve been made fun of for blogging? Unfollowed by close-ish friends? Received hateful DMs? So no, I haven’t always been confident in sharing a lot of my life online. It is something that has taken time (almost 2 years) and a lot of encouragement to do. The growth that I have experienced from being transparent and honestly, just being myself, on the internet has been really surprising. It has made me more confident in my every day life, in my abilities and in my talents. Of course, there are still areas where I struggle and want to be more self-assured in, but I can tell you truthfully that the person typing right now is leaps and bounds more confident than the girl who clicked “publish” on her first post announcing her blog just under two years ago. So, how do you become more confident in your everyday life and on the internet? Here are some things I can see in hindsight that might help you develop a little quicker than me!
Think more of your opinion of yourself than of someone else’s opinion of you
A lot of our fears come from “What will she think?” or “What will he think?” But I am here to ask, what do YOU think!? Do you like those jeans on you? Then guess what, you should wear them. Do you like that filter or the way your hair looks down? Then who cares what someone else thinks about it? Value your OWN opinion.
Think positive, not negative
If our leading thoughts are the things we don’t like about ourselves, then we will never feel confident. So maybe your hair is frizzy one day. Maybe you didn’t get that job you wanted. Maybe you got released from a sorority you wanted to join. Instead of saying “my hair is ugly,” I’m not smart enough to land that job,” or “I’m not good enough to join them,” think like this… “Good thing my hair looks cute in a braid” or “I am glad that I made it to the interview process, that was good experience” or “I can’t wait to go to parties at other sorority houses and find my sisters.” Looking on the bright side isn’t just a cliche, it truly helps shift your perspective.
Treat yourself like a friend
What does that even mean, Payton? This is what I mean. If you friend came out in an outfit and asked for your opinion, what would you say? Of course you’re going to compliment her, help her style it and make her feel pretty. Do the same for yourself. Don’t be so hard on you.
Realize your worth
If your worth comes from Instagram likes, follows, clicks and views then you are going to be disappointed, a lot. Your view of your appearance, popularity, humor, or fill in the blank, is going to fluctuate based on an app. When you realize that your worth is so much more than that, you can chillax and not be stressed about engagement or who unfollows you. God places a value on your life that far exceeds anything you can comprehend and it definitely tops any algorithm Mark Zuckerberg can think up.
Give yourself grace
You do A LOT. You are smart, strong, independent, hard working, resilient and witty. Quit beating yourself up over the things that you didn’t get to today, there’s always tomorrow. You can do it all, you just can’t do it all in one day.
Stay in your lane
YOU HAVE TO STOP COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS. I still struggle with this one, especially when it comes to blogging. It can be discouraging to see other people’s highlight reels, but remember that it is JUST THAT! What you don’t see is how they got there, the struggles, the pain, the hard work, and everything else in between. Not to mention, they may be on chapter 20, while you’re on chapter 2. To each their own. Your journey is beautiful and its yours, so own it!