Dear Diary: Cultivating Confidence and Self-Esteem Is A Never-Ending Process

November 15, 2017

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I randomly found all of these items while thrift shopping or during sales, so I encourage you to go scavenger hunting this weekend. But if you don't have time to shop IRL, here are some similar pieces you can buy on the world wide web. 

I wanted to share another more personal post today, but I also wanted to share a cute look. So I’m doing both in this post, frankly because I feel like it. So whether you relate to this post, find inspiration in the outfit, or get a laugh because you think I’m a sad little peasant, I hope you walk away feeling a little bit better today. :) 

*Oh, and there is some cursing in this post, so if  you're offended by foul language, this isn't the post for you. 

I’m proud to admit that I’ve always been pretty ambitious, and I’ve been blessed enough to be surrounded by hard-working, ambitious, talented people who inspired me and cheered for my success. Now that I’m 1.5 years out of college, my ambition is still there, but my strong sense of confidence and self esteem is not. What can I say? I’m not strong 100% of the time like most of my friends think. 

I went from having a large community of cheerleaders physically around me 24/7 to just having myself as a cheerleader. Anyone who moves to a new city alone after college goes through the same thing. It’s a brave and exciting adventure, but it’s also terrifying to no longer be in your tight-knit community. In the real world, you’re thoughts of self-doubt are louder than ever before. 

And let me tell you, I can say some pretty nasty things to myself. If anything, my inner voice is like a cheerleader from hell straight out of a 90's movie who’s sole purpose is to try to destroy my self worth and convince me that I’ll never have what I want, so...why bother.

But then I have to take a step back and remind myself that: 

A) Telling myself these negative, false beliefs in a FUCKING WASTE OF TIME! I’m literally wasting precious energy on thoughts that don’t serve me or move me towards my goals. That’s not ok because (here comes the cliche but damn true saying) where intention goes, energy flows! Asnd here’s the real key. Are you ready? That nasty voice will always be there in the back of our heads telling us to give up. Telling us to play it safe. Telling us we can’t accomplish this goal. We have to accept that the voice will never go away, but we don’t have to listen to it. I named my mean girl voice Regina, and I tell her to shut up when she starts trying to break me down. 

B) Instead of shutting down and cocooning myself in bed (which I admit I’ve been doing a lot lately) I should grab a pen and paper and figure out why I feel so overwhelmed. Even if you’re not a writer, I seriously advise doing this. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Purging the stress out is the best way to work through it. Want to avoid a hand cramp? Record yourself talking through it. I know there’s a lot of controversy around Joel olsteen, but homeboy gives some great advice. He once said that the same problems will keep showing up in your life until you confront and overcome them. Once those problems are literally staring you in the face, written in your journal, you’re more inclined to make those problems your little bitch. 

C.) If I want to cultivate confidence and self-esteem, I have to take action! I’m not just going to wake up one day and feel like I’m killing the game if I don’t take small actions that will get me closer to the life I want to live. And please notice that I said SMALL. Sometimes I get a little bit list-happy and write down every single thing I need to do to accomplish a goal. I did that for my blogging/digital content creator career and you know what happened/still happens from time to time? I looked at that multiple-page list, and I shut the fuck down because it’s so overwhelming. Isn’t that ironic that how making lists in one aspect can free me and in another aspect, it makes me feel hopeless? After learning this lesson time and time again (aka me curled up in bed, ugly crying and too overwhelmed to get out of bed to even eat, let alone leave the house that day) I realized that I need to limit myself to setting small goals each day, regardless of how much I want to create an elaborate action plan. 

D) And finally, I remind myself to ask for help! I reach out to my best friends who remind me that, number one, I can have everything I want if I get out of my own damn way. And number two, no matter what I accomplish, they will still love and cherish me. I have nothing to prove. And neither do you. I went to the amazing Girl Boss Rally this weekend, and one of my favorite speakers pointed out that we are already enough. We don’t have to prove anything to the world, and we have a purpose just by existing. What a lovely reminder that you’re already a rockstar and should chill when it comes to beating yourself up, right? 

Confidence isn’t built in a day; it’s an ongoing project. I hope that this post encourages you to love yourself a little bit more and forgive yourself for not being perfect. Coming from a recovering perfectionist, it’s a good thing that we aren’t perfect. Perfect is fucking boring! I still struggle with trying to be perfect, but I’m getting better at letting go of the “perfect me, perfect life” mentality that I've held on to since elementary school. You will too if you take the time out each week to remind yourself that you’re a badass for going after what you want, no matter what it is. The struggles are just part of the process, honey. 

Need more words of encouragement? I’ve linked some of my favorite self-esteem boosters below. 

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