8 Confidence Boosting Tips For Embracing All That You Are
Man… 2018 and my 23rd year of life was a BIG year. I graduated from college, got my personal training certification, moved back home, was hospitalized for ulcerative colitis, got my first full-time job, quit my first full-time job, took on BGC full-time, started studying to be a holistic health coach, made amazing new friends and kept amazing old friends too. There were plenty of tears, anxiety, nerves, lows and bad days, but there were even MORE good days, laughter, smiles, happy tears, memories made, amazing workouts, positivity, books read, recipes created, and food eaten.
This year feels like it was the turning point in my life. Every year feels like a chapter has ended and a new one is about to begin, but this year feels like a whole book ended and the sequel is about to begin (leave it to me to use book comparisons).
Something about this year just felt different. Magical. Life-changing in a huge way.
Last year on new year’s eve I went to the Ballard farmers market with my parents and older brother and I remember standing in the freezing cold sunshine, wearing a shirt with veggie seed packets drawn on, double braids in, holding the 8-or-so delicata squash I had just bought, smiling to myself. I remember how me I felt in that moment and thinking “this is the year I’m going to be unapologetically myself.”
And yesterday I spent the day at that same farmers market and it hit me – this year felt so different because it truly was the year I stopped apologizing for who I was and started embracing every little quirky part of me and loving every aspect.
This is the year I moved from self-acceptance to self-love in its most genuine form.
You see, self-acceptance is an attitude, while self-love is rooted in action. Self-love is what brings acceptance to life and what reaffirms our acceptance and love each day.
I had successfully integrated self-acceptance into my life for a couple of years now, but this year was the year I started acting on it.
I fully and whole heartedly opened up about my autoimmune disease with no reservations or embarrassment, I embraced my grandma side more-so than ever before and instead of getting awkward when someone asked me about my eating habits, gut problems, reasons for choosing not to drink, etc. I engaged in mature conversations where I was proud to share about myself and my life. I stopped feeling the need to say “I’m sorry I’m so high maintenance” when it came to eating out or traveling, I stopped feeling guilty for saying no to more social plans than not, I stopped feeling the need to have a perfectly curated Instagram and perfectly rehearsed Instagram stories (ya’ll know that never happens anymore hahahaha) and I truly just felt like I grew into myself like I never have before.
It was like my overly-mature, goofily-quirky, grandma-self had always been one step ahead of me until now. Now I absolutely love who I am and adore every little piece that makes me me. My love for early bedtimes and even early wake-ups, my choice of tea and a quiet Saturday night over alcohol and going out, my never-wavering obsession with sunrises and good books (especially Harry Potter), my tendency to dance around the kitchen while baking in only a sports bra because I can’t trust myself not to spill, my affinity with farmers markets and small towns, my incredibly deep feelings and ability to take on the world’s emotions, my determined work ethic and so much more that makes me ME.
And that’s not to say there aren’t things I need to work on just because I’ve reached this level of self-love, but you can do both – love yourself and strive for change. But that’s a topic for another time. ;)
And it’s crazy how often I get asked how I became confident in who I am, but it shows how easily society tries to put us in boxes. But you know what? It’s up to YOU to break free from those little boxes and start living your truth. Because I truly believe there’s no way to live well unless you truly love yourself. So here are my top 8 confidence boosting tips to help all of you start loving yourselves further:
Do more of what you love: The more I did the things I truly loved without second-guessing if they would be deemed weird by society the more I realized how much I loved doing them which in turn made me do them more which in turn made me accept and love that I loved those things!!! Hope that made sense. ;) But for real – the more I said no to going out and yes to staying in to bake and read books the less awkward I became at accepting that part of me.
Start talking about your passions: If you keep your passions locked up inside then you’re not even giving other people a chance to accept them and you’re also making it harder to become confident in them. Maybe you’re passionate about art history or farming or learning about astrology – whatever it is let the world know. Don’t pretend you like what your friends like just to “fit in.” It’s COOL to have diverse and interesting passions!!
Find like-minded friends: It makes it so much easier to become confident in who you are when you find people like you that totally get it. The more friends I surrounded myself with who also love being a grandma, working out, nerding out about nutrition, etc. the easier it became for me to embrace it.
And get rid of the friends that won’t accept you: If your friends make you feel like you need to hide who you really are or make you feel awkward about what you like, then maybe those aren’t the friends for you. Make sure you’re surrounding yourself with people who want to lift you up and support you even if you’re different.
Stop apologizing: It’s easy to feel the need to apologize when you maybe aren’t like everyone else. I used to always say sorry for bringing my own food places, saying no to late-night outings or going out to bars for drinks, etc. and I finally realized there is no need to apologize. I’m not hurting anyone by honoring my own heart, soul and body by eating differently than them or staying in. Constantly apologizing for who you are gives the impression that you’re doing something wrong and you’re so not.
Learn to laugh at yourself: When you’re a little different than your other friends or family or you simply have very distinct passions and attributes it can be easy to become the butt of a few jokes. I used to get redder than a tomato when people would joke about my eating habits or grandma lifestyle, but I learned to laugh along with them and make a joke out of it too. I know I can be silly sometimes and I love it – I now realize they make these jokes lovingly and it kind of IS funny how much squash I eat and how early I go to bed. Learn to lighten up and go along with it (unless they’re actually being jerks – then you have my permission to punch them. And then those are the friends in point 4 I was talking about that you ditch).
Fake it until you make it & make yourself feel awkward: The more you just act confident the less others will question you. Even if it’s totally fake at first – just keep practicing that confidence and one day it will become genuine. Sure, it’ll be awkward and hard at first, but nothing good ever came out of staying in your comfort zone.
Stop caring what others think: Once I stopped caring what other people thought of me the easier it became to accept myself. I realized, who cares what others think if I love myself? It was like a lightbulb went off. All that matters is that you love the you that you are and are becoming.
And with that, let’s go into this day, this week, and this coming new year with confidence, self-acceptance and self-love. It may not feel like it now, but you’ll all get there some day.