Browsing Tag:

confidence

  • Articles, Body Image, Confidence, GirlSpring.com, Health, Lifestyle

    5 Small Tips for Loving Yourself More

    body confidence

    Everyone who knows me is aware of the fact that I’ve struggled with my body confidence throughout my whole life. My extra pounds and my acne when I was younger, being taller and bigger than everyone, maybe too muscular when I used to weightlift or having no muscles at all now that I’m recovering from an injury. There’s always something to complain about my body or the way that I look… I can never be truly satisfied. 

    These past few months, after a guy that I was seeing decided to end our relationship because he “couldn’t love me if I didn’t love me”, I’ve decided to change the pattern. See, since I had been feeling the same thing for almost 22 years and it wasn’t helping me at all. Maybe it was time to try something else! And I still don’t know how, but I’ve managed to make huge changes in my confidence. So what better way to celebrate these changes than to share them with everyone else?

    Here are 5 small tips that I’ve used to accept and care for myself more:

    1. Tell the voice in your head to shut up. I know… It’s like every time I look at myself in the mirror, or I see myself in a picture, there’s an instant voice yelling “ugh… disgusting!” Well, it’s time to make a conscious effort to shut it down. I understand it will be hard, but try covering it up with positive thoughts such as “I look amazing!” “I feel great!” At first, it might seem unnatural, but after a while, you can revert the habit.
    2. Take a look at your beautiful self in the mirror. If you feel uncomfortable with yourself, it’s highly likely that you avoid seeing yourself in a mirror. I used to close my eyes a lot when I had to see myself in some sort of reflection. I didn’t want to face what was in front of me. It’s time to quit that: see yourself carefully, every little part of you. Look at yourself in the eyes and get to know who you are. 
    3. Make a list of all the wonderful things you’ve done in your life and what you’re capable of doing. When I feel sad, I remember something amazing that I did a while ago: maybe that time that I did stand-up comedy on TV, or how strong I was in a sports competition. I also take time to be grateful for what’s to come, for the many things that I am capable of doing. Body confidence to me is not about how I look, but about what I am able to do. When you take some time to remember what you’re good at and the things you’re passionate about, you accept your own self more.
    4. Be careful with social media! Social media can be very toxic. When your feed is full of pictures of what beauty is supposed to feel like, or hurtful tips about “how you should achieve your summer body” (ALL bodies are summer bodies!) it’s very hard to get out of the negative spiral. We spend lots of hours surfing through social media, so my suggestion is to clean up your following list. Be careful with who you take advice from, and try to find other inspiring things rather than just pictures of other people. 
    5. Get out. Go for a walk! Work out! Play the piano! Do whatever makes you happy. Appreciate time with yourself, do things that are healthy for you, follow your passions. I find that when I have an amazing day just with myself, I am the happiest when I go to sleep.

    Learning to love yourself can be a long journey, here are some tips on self-care that can help you along the way!

  • Articles, Body Image, Confidence, GirlSpring.com, Makeup

    The Blessing and Curse of Make-Up

    make up

    Every girl comes to a point when she must decide if she wants to begin the journey of wearing and using make-up or not. Some girls don’t see the point or hate the feeling of practically painting their faces. Others enjoy the whole process and have fun with it. Then there are those who wear it because they are expected to. She might think she can’t impress her crush unless she’s dolled up, or she doesn’t look professional without it on in a workspace. There are also girls who feel like they don’t look good without it. Not everyone is blessed with genes that give them the looks society likes to see.

    Everyone has insecurities about something.

    Some people can hide them well while others become easily uncomfortable because of them. Make-up does a good job of how hiding the things you hate and enhancing what you love. It can give people confidence when they appear in public where they might not be without it. Make-up even covers those pesky blemishes that everyone hates. It does so many different things: give you a smaller nose, the illusion of cheekbone, well-maintained eyebrows. However, not everyone wants these things. They might not know how to do these things, but the more common these things become, the more they want to figure it out.

    With more commonalities in using make-up, expectations are changing. The main trend right now is having perfect eyebrows. Many different products have been made just for this use. There are pencils, gels, brushes, and stencils all dedicated to eyebrow shaping. But even with all this, does it truly matter if eyebrows are rectangular going in and thin out? They are just hairs on your face. Making your eyebrows look nice is something that some enjoy doing, but you shouldn’t feel like you have to do it. It can be hard to accomplish the perfect brows as well.

    Make-up is a tool to help make people appear nice and well put together. However, it also could make people afraid to ever go out without it.

    Any time you go out, you might be afraid of running into someone you know or you could meet someone. Also trying to look your best makes it hard to know when it’s okay to dress down and not worry about it. This only leads to more insecurities. Never feeling your best unless your face is covered doesn’t make you feel better about yourself as a whole. It could embarrass you more to be without it.

    Beck Lomas got over the fear of having to look good all the time, check out our post about loving our own imperfections.

    For some people, make-up just feeds into the idea that you’re not good enough. If the only way to get a job is based on whether or not you look put together or not and the only way to do that is to wear some make-up then what are credentials or experience even for? The way you look won’t tell an employer the type of worker you are. This also feeds into the idea that women have to wear make-up. It can make something fun become a chore instead.

    Make-up should be something that women actually get a choice in using.

    Make-up can become expensive and start to feel like a necessity. Women shouldn’t be expected to have product on their face to look nice. They shouldn’t be under the impression that the only way to get someone else’s attention is by wearing eyeliner and having boxy brows. Make-up needs to be something that women want to wear because they feel like it not to meet society’s expectations of what a woman looks like. If you despise wearing make-up then don’t put it on. Don’t feel like make-up is something that you absolutely need to have. It is okay to be bare-faced in public. Guys don’t need make-up, and they still can look good. Guys can wear make-up if they want to. Girls should be the same. Do what you’re comfortable with.

  • Articles, College, Confidence, School

    5 Things I Wish I Could Tell my High-School Self

    high school advice

    5 Things I Wish I Could Tell My High School Self

     

    If I had the choice to travel back in time to my first day of high school, to do everything differently, there’s no way I would do it. High school played its part in shaping me into the woman I am today. If I had a choice to send a letter to my 14-year-old self, however, I would give that girl supporting words and advice on how to carry herself. Words that I think every high-schooler should live by.

    Be okay with being alone.

    You’ll run into days when it feels like nobody is on the same wavelength as you like everyone else lives in a different dimension. Don’t strain yourself to fit in with the “cool” group. Don’t try to find a boyfriend because it’s what everyone else is doing. You’re always going to be your own best friend, so the sooner you accept yourself for everything you are and everything you’ll become, the sweeter life will be.

    Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.

    This is going to play a big part in preparing you for life outside of high school. Ask yourself, what’s the worst thing that could happen? Take risks. When you challenge yourself and push your own boundaries, you open the door for beautiful, unexpected things to happen.

    Don’t worry what others think of you.

    Tell yourself this every morning when you wake up. And again in the middle of the day. And again. And again. Everyone is so concerned with what they’re doing and how they’re portrayed during high school, not what others are doing. Focusing on your own happiness and success will lead to the best memories.

    Stop worrying about the future.

    I was notorious for this in high school, and consequently, it tainted my final two years. Trust me, you’ll do well on that test. You’ll be accepted into a good college. You’ll find a career doing something you love. There come a time and place to focus on those thoughts, but don’t stress out about it too much right now.

    Realize that high school doesn’t last forever.

    You might not believe it right this moment, but you’re going to miss the hallways you stroll down each day. You’re going to miss those homework assignments because trust me, they get a lot harder. You’re going to miss seeing those familiar faces every day. While there may be some excruciatingly painful parts of high school, you never realize what you’re going to miss. Don’t take a minute of it for granted. Don’t be in such a hurry to grow up; be present in each moment.

    Just take the moment to soak it all in, because when you look back you’ll think that is so high school. Think about that and other advice in the article “It Will All Be Over Soon.” 

  • Confidence

    Please Don’t Tell Me to Smile

    Please Don't Tell Me To Smile

    Please Don’t Tell Me to Smile

    My Thoughts on Being Approachable

    Approachable. Is that what I need to be?

    No more of my time will be spent agonizing over comments that I am snobby, bitchy, and unapproachable. However, I think I’m over that now.

    I’ve been told that I come off as distant – uninterested in getting closer.

    The truth is, I don’t like attention from people I don’t like. That is what I’m uninterested in. It doesn’t appeal to me. I value my privacy and my space, and I’m prepared to give it up for a select few. It’s not because I think I’m better than anyone.

    I’m nice. As well as polite, curious, considerate and understanding. If you talk to me, you will see that I’m far from cruel. Anyone who wishes can approach me, and I’ll treat them with kindness.

    However, I admire and encourage attention from a select few.

    Why is this wrong?

    Why do I need to make myself available to the world, or to anyone who wishes?

    I am not a 24/7 gas station. I’m a person.

    Nor am I the door to a home – open, closed, locked; difficult, pliable.

    I don’t exist only to tend a doorstep.

    I don’t need to be decorated and passive.

    Show me a man under scrutiny for being unapproachable. Or is that unnecessary, since he is always the one who approaches?

    He walks, he chooses, and I sit?

    I will manage the door to myself however I wish.

    Most of all I wish to never be a door.

    I am a walking, living thing.

  • Articles

    What to do if you are being bullied – by one of your parents

    Sometimes parents can be the bullies in your life.

    In our society, we are socialized to respect our elders. Therefore, the thought of standing up to one or challenging what they have taught you to better yourself is tough. No one likes to be pushed around or interrogated for their everyday life by people they do not know. Being pressured by a parent can be even more overwhelming and can result in some psychological issues if not dealt with properly.

    Up until my grandmothers passing, we had a bit of a rocky relationship.

    Because I was so expressive in my presentation, she would think that I was somehow disobeying her and disobeying God. I grew up in a conservative Baptist home. I struggled with why I was so concerned with how other people viewed me. It was because I had been raised, and based most of my life around, this idea that if I looked like I was okay, then everything was okay on the inside. But that was far from the truth. My grandmother’s inability to accept me for who I was took a toll on me in ways that I cannot explain. And on top of that, it felt as if the whole world agreed with her.

    The saying that people treat you how they treat themselves can apply to this situation, and many other things.

    According to www.kidshealth.org, “Sometimes bullies know that what they’re doing or saying hurts other people. But other bullies may not really know how hurtful their actions can be. Most bullies don’t understand or care about the feelings of others.” Some people come from backgrounds where people have abused them or mistreated them and use you as a target to project that onto. Others might come from places of insecurity or belittlement.

    In some situations, I feel as if it is important to be brave.

    Do not be afraid to stand up for yourself especially if you know there was something that you didn’t do wrong. If you are in a position where you cannot stick up for yourself and it requires someone in higher authority, like an adult, to speak up then I would suggest pulling them to the side and telling them what’s going on. Two heads are better than one. On top of having courage, the fact of having a support system will catapult you into a completely different arena. And if you also see someone being bullied, do not stand back and be a bystander. Be a voice for them and do not hesitate.

    Work on being good enough for you.

    I know a lot of teenagers and children want to do their best in order to be on their parents’ good side, but truth be told, this is impossible. If you are not giving yourself the credit to excel, then you’ll only continue to live in that docility and that dark place. And always remember if someone has the audacity to touch you, belittle you, or make you feel inferior, there is a likely chance that all of those emotions are going on inside of themselves. You have to believe that you are on the right path.

     

    Makayla Smith is a third-year student at the University of Alabama in Birmingham. She completed an internship at Girlspring in fall 2018.

  • Books, Confidence, Lifestyle

    Harness the Power of Your Inner Goddess!

    Harness the power of your inner goddess

    Harness the Power of Your Inner Goddess!

    Girl power author Ashley Holt shares her secrets on soul strong living for girls in her debut young adult book, I am Brave: Soul Strong Living for Girls. Boost confidence, develop self-esteem, and find your inner goddess! This would make an excellent gift for you or a friend!

    Link to the book, here! Ashley was also one of our Wonder Women! Learn more about the career talks here!

  • Articles, GirlSpring.com

    How to be Your Biggest Supporter

    How to be Your Biggest Supporter

    Sometimes we are our own worst critics and our own bullies. Sometimes the only person standing in the way is ourselves. I used to look out into the world, and wish that I could feel a part of it; everyone seemed so happy and seemed to know what it was that they wanted to do with their lives. I thought I had to have other peoples guidance in order to advance myself in society. But truth be told, we shouldn’t have to carry these false idols into the foundations of our dreams. Sometimes pushing ourselves too much because of what seems to have on the outside will end in a way that we will regret.

    As a woman, in particular, I feel like we often to have to compete more based off of our looks. I do not think any woman is to blame for this, but I look at it more as a social conditioning. I often reference India Arie’s ‘Video Girl’ as a musical mantra to help me feel better about myself and to remind myself that my quarks are what make me who I am. More so, as a woman, I have struggled with the thought of comparison and if I presented myself in a more feminine way then that would garner a lot of attention. And although it was attention that I had gotten, it was something that made me feel less of myself. I realized that this was a social norm that I had to break and redefine for myself. I could not continue to be the tyrant in my own life. I had to make the decision to slowly let go of the thoughts and opinions, mostly, of those that oppressed me, but also the ones that I had created that kept me in chains.

    Being my own best friend was what brought me personal satisfaction. On www.kindovermatter.com, they suggested to “take photos of yourself [and to] take control of your self-image by taking charge of the camera or hire a photographer whose work you love to help you see your unique self-mirrored back at you.” Physically looking at myself helped me to process my identity more too. I was able to see things that I had never realized myself like how I enjoyed my smile and the way my cheekbones were constructed. I had wondered why I had spent so much time downplaying my appearance when that was not everything that made up who I was. I had finally seen it with my own eyes and knew that no one could take that away from me because it was something that was inborn. I had given it to myself, and that part of me was something that didn’t belong to anyone else. I was now in charge of whether or not I would be offended or upheld when someone had something negative to say about me or when I had something negative to say about myself. The only person that had control over everything was now me.

     

    Makayla Smith is a third-year student at the University of Alabama in Birmingham. She is completing her internship through Girlspring.