“Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life, but define yourself.”
It’s important to love yourself, be yourself and live your life your way. Without a doubt, at some point you’ve encounter someone who tried to silence that or tell you you can’t do something or basically try and knock your self esteem. If there’s anything I’ve learnt in that, it’s that they can see your potential but you can’t. For me, this year is about loving myself; because for so long I didn’t, and I let their peoples opinions eat at me. So where did I start?
Since I was 15 I wanted teal hair. My school wouldn’t let me and a couple of friends I had always found a way to complain about any colour I had my hair dyed, so I gave up on ever dying my hair my dream colour. Well, this year I took a huge leap and dyed my hair teal and it was empowering being able to do something and not caring what people thought. Since then, I’ve kind of had a new perspective on life, that it’s more about focusing on your dreams and escaping your comfort zone to do incredible things.
I decided that the energy I put into ruminating will go towards bettering myself. Being better than the previous you is better than being superior to another person, after all we are all equal in one way or another. I’ve felt much happier and content in so far by doing that. It’s been hard trying to break a habit and I still have a long way to go, but small steps are better than standing still.
When I started doing things for me and refusing to be afraid of other people’s opinions, amazing things started happening. I actual don’t really care if other people hold negative opinions about me. I realised that those who don’t really know me hold negative opinions of me and those who actually get to know me have positive opinions of me; which says a lot. So I decided that I actually wouldn’t give a shit of those negative opinions. Because if you live your life by other people’s opinions, it’s not really your life is it?
It’s hard to break out of your comfort zone and for me, I needed to change something in my life so my hair was the start. As many quotes suggest, nothing ever changes and you never grow if you stay in your comfort zone. It’s important to constantly improve yourself, grow and become a better version of you. I cannot stress how important that is. It’s better having a small group of friends that actually like you than having a large group of friends who think you’re someone else.
Another thing I’ve learnt is to be honest. Be honest with yourself about everything. Know when enough is enough, know when to say no, know when to speak up and know when you’ve outgrown yourself and/or others. In coming out of your comfort zone, you get the confidence to do things you never would have. I’ve been going back and fourth on extending an olive branch to people instead of hating them and holding a grudge, because we all know that achieves nothing but bitterness. I haven’t accomplished this yet because it is scary, let’s be honest; but I will get there!
I’m lucky to have a boyfriend that’s stuck by my side for the last 5 years and he has helped and watched me grow into the person I want to be and his support has been a huge influence in the changes I make in my life. Being able to be happy with myself means I can grow even further with my boyfriend. When maintaining self confidence, you need a good set of friends and family around you. You need people that will help and encourage you, people that’s you can happily do the same for. Friends are rare, be kind and honest with them. If there’s anything I’ve learnt about friendships as an adult is that you can be super picky and that’s okay.
Emotional intelligence comes with self confidence. When you’re confident, you aren’t interested in taking out all of your emotions onto other people and putting that stress onto them. You focus on working them out yourself and dealing with them as they come. For me, seeing a therapist is super amazing for this. You learn a million skills on handling emotions and people and I think it’s really beneficial for a lot of people. Instead of having negative thoughts and feelings, having self confidence means putting more of your time and effort into the positive things.
I will have a long journey ahead of me, but I’m making waves in my own life and that’s what’s important!