I have a friend who’s a total badass – she exudes so much confidence. Definitely one of those “independent chicks who don’t need no man” types. I’m really jealous. What is she doing right, that I’m not?
Green Eyed Monster
Dear Green Eyed Monster,
The most important thing is not to compare yourself to anyone else. Your friend sounds awesome, and I think you should be happy for her because learning to love yourself and exude confidence is not easy. By the same token, as you work on bettering yourself, I hope that she (and your other friends) can be supportive and proud of you.
Do not view yourself as being in competition with her, or anyone else, for finite resources. The truth is that there is enough self-care, self-love, and self-esteem for all of us, because it comes from within.
The fact that she is independent does not make you less independent. The fact that she “doesn’t need a man” to validate her (and let’s be honest, none of us should need a man to validate us) does not mean that you cannot also feel that way. Whatever you admire about her, you can learn to develop for yourself.
[bctt tweet=”Whatever you admire about her, you can learn to develop for yourself.”]
You can use her as a living example to guide your own goals. The worst thing you can do is create an artificial dichotomy of her vs. you, or that she is doing something right that you are doing wrong. Your lives and experiences are mutually exclusive from one another.
- Set goals for yourself that allow you to both challenge and nurture yourself. For example, if you admire the fact that your friend has a great sense of self-image, challenge yourself to fight the doubts in your head that hold you back from feeling that you are an absolute badass who cannot be messed with! Nurture those thoughts, reinforce them by taking selfies (that you can keep for yourself or share with others) and write down all the things you like about your appearance and personality.
- Remember when you were a kid and you filled out quizzes in teen magazines that told you how rock n roll you were (or something like that)? Take them again! Buzzfeed has a bunch of fun quizzes, but also take more serious tests like the Myers-Briggs to see what your personality type is, and what sorts of environments and activities you shine in.
- Do the best that you can, with the information, resources, time, energy, and capacity that you have. That’s all you can do. If you’re feeling exhausted, it’s okay to rest. Do not hold yourself to a standard that makes you feel overwhelmed or lacking in some other important area. Make sure your basic needs are met first, before you move on to more daunting tasks like never being nervous again (which is pretty much unattainable).
- Download some helpful apps, like this Personal Growth and Success app by Thomas Hansen which gives you customized pep talks and mood boosters, or Strides which helps you define and track your goals.
- Find and sign a confidence pledge that can help you stay on track to developing your self esteem. Here are some good examples. Read this every day, until it becomes part of your internal monologue.
Hope that helps!
All the best,
Do you have any questions for Samaa?
Send all of your questions about body positivity, confidence, and fashion to firstname.lastname@example.org.