I so often encounter women who tell me of how they worry so much about what others think of them. They, in fact, worry so much that it affects their daily lives. Today I can honestly say that I do not understand why someone might torture themselves with such a thing that seems so trivial to me. But I was not always that way...
I always struck myself as a confident person in high school. I was captain of the dance team, had a great group of friends, was talented in the arts, and fairly successful in my studies. It was not until a very dear friend betrayed my trust in the most hurtful of ways that my world crashed around me (let us just say that it involved a boy...what else?). I struggled with bouts of suicidal thoughts and lost a great number of friends. I graduated without knowing who any of my friends truly were, gave up my position as captain of the dance team, no longer cared about being artful, and simply graduated with no honors. I had lost all confidence about myself and I only cared what others thought of me.
College brought about more of the same. I never cared to associate myself with most other students because they only seemed to care about partying. I cared about my studies. Heck, I was paying for it...why waste it away partying? I was an outsider and everyone around me let me know it. Because of this, I did not enjoy my college years too much.
I joined the Army while I was in college. It was scary because so much depended on what others thought of you. It mattered if the Drill Sergeants thought you were a schmuck, because they would treat you like one if you gave them that impression. And it mattered what you supervisor thought of you because they were your lifeline to being promoted. It took me a long time to realize that it truly did not matter what my peers thought of me. And once I accepted that, I was promoted fast. Faster than those who worried what their peers thought of them.
I guess being deployed to Kosovo and Afghanistan, being promoted so fast, and encountering so many different types of people in the Army is what allowed me to throw away my worries of what others thought of me. It has taken years (over ten) for me to get back to the confident person I thought I used to be. I've not taken the easy route. I have taken the long way around and it makes me appreciate the struggles that I have overcome to get where I am. I've realized a great number of things that make me confident and I would like to share them with you:
I am a beautiful woman, both physically and emotionally. I am not conceited by saying this. I know that I have a beautiful personality as I am kind, compassionate, and sincere. I do not look how I used to but am content with how I look now. And often, being content will lead to happiness. True, there are days where I hate the way I look. But overall, I feel pretty, and (typically after my husband tells me) I feel sexy. I've worked hard to get back to pre-baby looks, although my post-baby looks are different, I've accepted the things that will never change. To me, that is what makes a beautiful person. Regardless of what others think of my beauty, whether inside or out, I feel as though I am beautiful. So...feel beautiful about yourself...AND BELIEVE IT!
I am a good mother. Yes, there are days where I have yelled at my children in horrible anger, sent them to their rooms simply because I wanted a moment's piece and quite, didn't play with them every time they asked, or because I made them grilled cheese sandwiches well more than twice in one week. I tell them I love them and give them hugs every day. They are happy and healthy. A good mother gives them the basics and loves them with all the love there is to give. So...tell your children that you love them...EVERY DAY!
I am a successful and hard-working student. I'm a junior and I have a 3.995 GPA. Thank goodness my current Algebra course is simply credit or no-credit, or that GPA would have been flushed down the toilet. I study hard and give up many hours in an attempt to gain a degree. I want the degree for myself, but also so I may get a better job in order to give me children a better life. So...work hard...you will reap what you sow!
I am a loving wife. I have a sexy husband. And it's not because we've only been married for a few years that I think this. I truly believe it. I appreciate my husband for everything that he is and does because he is not here with me. I don't take him for granted. I tell him everyday that I love him, whether he hears me or not. He has faults and so do I. We fight. We sometimes yell. Sometimes we don't talk. But despite our troubles and difficulties we still love each other and we always let the other know. We never know what day might be our last together. Life is shorter than we think. So...tell your loved one that you love them...because you never know when you might not get the chance!
The rest is just trivial. These, to me, are the things that make me confident. I am beautiful. I am a good mother. I work hard in life. I am a loving wife. Take a look at what you have to be confident about. It may be more than you think. Everyone has that confidence within themselves. You just have to find it. The road will be long and it will be long, but you will find your way around. And for those who have troubles, I leave you with the lyrics to the Dixie Chick's song, "The Long Way Around":
I've been a long time gone now
Maybe someday, someday I'm gonna settle down
But I've always found my way somehow
By takin' the long way
Takin' the long way around