Every human at some point in time struggles with confidence. If you are not part of the mass majority than I congratulate you. That is a true accomplishment in today's world. But most of us battle with our own insecurities the majority of the time.
The internal question of "am I good enough?" It's on a constant loop. Whether it pertains to your intelligence, relationships, body image; there is always that thought circling our minds. Building confidence is a long journey, however, I am here to say it is possible.
I am someone who has consistently wrestled with self-doubt. It is difficult for me to open up about, but the whole part of coming to terms with your reality is the vulnerability of sharing and allowing others to take away from your experience. So here we go!
For years I have struggled with body image, like many do. My whole life I have heard from health professionals that I am overweight. Too far past the healthy percentile for my height and age. Constantly being encouraged to watch portions and exercise more frequently.
I always thought to myself that my life would be better once I lost weight. That more people would find me attractive, my confidence would increase, and I would finally feel at ease with myself. All I needed was motivation within myself, to push for what I have been fantasizing over. I wish I knew that this was not everything.
I didn't start to lose extreme weight until my freshman year fall semester. Something that was an initial healthy outlet, became an obsession. I wasn't a moderate gym member and nourishing my body properly. Instead, I was going to the gym twice a day, running for two hours straight each session, and pushing my body to its limits. I was burning myself out.
Someone who used to always enjoy food dreaded the thought of eating. I would excessively exercise and convince myself that I was full and overeating after only eating an apple for an entire days meal.
As I once told myself that losing weight would change my life for the better, it was crippling to my mental state. I looked in the mirror, thinnest I have ever been, and all I saw was someone who was obese. My mind was messing with my reality.
The anxiety I had over eating was immense, starving myself to achieve beauty. I scared those closest to me. My friends and family, I am so sorry you saw me in such a chaotic phase in my life. I am sorry that I had worried you so much and hurt you while hurting myself.
With time, I caught an illness before it completely overcame me and stole all my joy. What people don't tell you about weight loss, is that no matter how many pounds you lose, it doesn't correct the burden and weight you carry in your heart.
Why do we focus so much on the external, when it is often our internal that needs remedies? It is because we all have insecurities we allow to fester. However, let's recognize that true confidence comes from within. You have to be satisfied with your innermost self first.
Months of healing and I finally realized; I like my soul. I am compassionate. I give back to my community. I give back to my friends. I love my family with my whole heart. I am kind to each person I come across. And that's what is truly important. That is what defines me. Once I realized that I appreciated me for me, my confidence flourished.
Now exercise is not a chore but something that genuinely fuels me! I run outside for pure joy. Not for the pressure to lose weight but to have gratitude for my bodies capabilities. How beautiful it is to know that you are alive, breathing in the fresh air. Feeling your lungs inhale and exhale. Knowing that your body is strong and capable of such movement.
Our minds and bodies need rest and deserve to be taken care of properly. There's no reason to focus solely on the physical because that is not what embodies who you are. There are more important things in this life.
Every single individual has something that makes them special, do not allow for your confidence to diminish by comparison. Do not let the world steal your light through societal expectations. Do not shrink yourself. Someone else's beauty is not the absence of your own.
Your heart is what makes you who you are, allow for the world to see it. Be confident, undeniably and uniquely you. The next time you're in a constant loop of insecurity, use this affirmation; "I am enough!"