Saturday, January 6, 2018

Confidence

Ah. That word: confidence.

It embodies so many things and carries a load of emotions for me. And I know it does for so many others.

But, it is not a characteristic that is easy to come by. It is not something many are born with. And why? Why do so many people lack that confidence, or self -esteem?

I am someone who suffers from a lack of it. Yeah. I know. I have heard it before, believe me. 
But, I still can’t help it. And I know I am not alone. Am I?

When people look at us, they see one thing but we feel another. They see our hair, and we know the torture we put ourselves through to make it look “just right”. I mean, with all the changing trends — washing your hair every other day, or three times a week, to the shampoo and conditioners to use. And that doesn’t include the products for styling — heat gel, leave-in conditioner, dry shampoo, styling gel, hairspray, etc. While I do not use close to that number, I know all about them. And the tools — straighteners, curling irons, hair dryers, etc. We mustn’t forget those!

And now, onto makeup. The hours so many take to look like they aren’t wearing any makeup. The primers, foundations, concealers, powders, highlighters, bronzers, translucent powders, liners, mascaras, lipsticks/lip glosses, shadows, etc. I mean, I could continue on for a while and still not mention everything that could be used to cover beautiful skin so it looks like our “natural” skin.

You think I am making this up? I’m not. Gorgeous men and women take hours upon hours to cover themselves up to create a “no makeup” makeup look. Now, I enjoy wearing makeup. I do this because I am far from confident. The people creating these looks and sharing them in videos are stunning without the products, and have the confidence I can only dream of with or without the “stuff”. I wear it to help me feel more comfortable leaving my house. I wear the foundation and concealer, mascara and lip gloss, as a mask. I don’t cake it on, I try to make it look more natural, but I still wear it for that reason.

I hide behind a smile. I cover myself up. I close myself off to the world but hope and pray that my personality will allow me to shine and make friends. It has always been that way regardless of what people tell me. No matter the compliments they pay, I still manage to persuade myself into knowing they are only saying those things because they are being nice. And they are. Nice, that is. But, I still don’t believe them.

I smile and laugh even when I feel like a loser inside.

I talk to everyone even though I am shy.

I put on a front, but when I am home, away from the outside world, I struggle with self doubt. I try to make myself believe what I want others to believe about themselves. I try to make myself believe I am worth something, that the world doesn’t dictate if I am beautiful or of value.

And I know I am not alone in these feelings of low self-esteem. I know there are others out there who struggle with knowing and feeling they are worth something. There are men and woman out there who, while absolutely gorgeous, don’t feel it. They do not believe it. They do not trust what they hear because what they see of themselves, what they think of themselves is so much louder than what they hear from others.

I try to use my social media platforms to inspire people to believe in themselves. I try to share with people a part of myself. I tell them they are beautiful and worth more than they think. I tell them they shouldn’t let the world dictate who they should be, how they should look, or what they should feel.

They are beautiful. I believe that.

And yes, “actions speak louder than words” and when people treat you with kindness and show you, not just tell you, they think you are a beautiful person, or an intelligent person, or a sweet person, you should believe them and trust them. But it is not always easy.

So, I guess that is where the truth lies…

People who lack confidence; people who lack self-esteem — they are people who do not trust easily.

I should know. I am one of them. And I know I am not alone.

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