“It took me a long time not to judge myself through someone else’s eyes.” ~Sally Field.
I have this thing, some may call it cliché. Above my bed, on my bathroom mirror, and in the notes section of my iPhone are quotes. Quotes purely about self confidence. I’d call them mantras because they’re pretty lengthy. That’s on purpose. I need them lengthy. I need to preach to my own self. If you can’t uplift yourself you can’t expect anyone else to do it. My most recent mantra is exactly this, “My flaws are just that, my flaws. My imperfections are just that, mine. I have one body, one mind, one soul. I need to get used to it, embrace it, and rock the HELL out of it. I myself am my own motivation. I must push myself. I am beautiful, and I will remain beautiful. No matter the words thrown at me, the hate spewed at me, and the things that happen from this moment on. I am in charge of my life, and my soul, and it will remain this way.”
Nothing hurts me more than when I hear my family, friends, and even strangers say, “I don’t love myself. I feel ugly.” I hate that. It’s not only ugliness from within I’m speaking about. It’s both inside and outside. What I hate even more is who and what installs this notion in them. Confidence has always been something I struggled with. Whether it’s my weight, my speech, my intelligence, or my demeanor. I always hated the fact that I was extremely awkward in a lot of situation, that I was so skinny and disproportioned, that people were more “beautiful” than I was, that I wasn’t as voluptuous as some of my the people around me. It wasn’t until a few months ago that I had to instill my own mantra into myself and walk with it in my head daily. I had to wake myself up. If I didn’t push myself, find peace in my solitude and comfort in my body I don’t know where I’d be. The whole “You only have one life” and “life is too short” mottos have always been instilled in us. I had to take it one step further and start the wheels to my own motivation. For those of you struggling with acceptance into society let me be blunt with you. You are beautiful. Life is too short to give a damn about who accepts your flaws. They can take it how it is or leave you how you are. As far as the fact that someone you are in love with or like hasn’t accepted you just forget them. The same goes with family and the people that we call friends. It’s easier said than done, I know. I look at it like this. The same person that left you for someone else or the same person who hasn’t felt the same way about you for whatever reason can hit the road. You will, and I guarantee you WILL find someone else. Someone who appreciates you simply because you appreciate yourself. They may even come way far down the road in life but who cares. Be patient and love yourself first. It’s never going to be an instance where society will give you 5 stars and tell you how amazing you are. Do it yourself. Stand up for yourself and take control of your thought process. Start today by referring to everything you feel is a flaw as a unique attribute that no one can duplicate. Imperfections are the things that we were created with to show the world, “Hey, I’m not like you and gosh darn it I love it”. You have one body and if it’s not as perfect as the next persons then screw it. Only one person has to look at it at the end of the night. That’s you. Let that confidence shine. Allow no one to break you, hurt you, or force you to mold yourself into a cookie cutter perfect image. What is that anyway? Let me leave you with this. No one is blessed with everything. That person you aspire to look like may be conventionally beautiful and accepted for their looks by an entire society but it’s more than beauty. They may not have the intelligence that you have and vice versa. I don’t wish to be anyone else because along with their perfections, I’d have to have their imperfections. Physical beauty doesn’t always match the soul and a beautiful soul doesn’t always match the physical. I haven’t found one person who is perfect in every way. I still struggle with being 100% confident in every situation and that is something I’m working on. I want you to do the same. Take those imperfections and ROCK THEM! Tonight , sit down and write your own mantra and say it in the mirror every morning you wake up for the next 4 months. With every stressful situation repeat it. Every time someone comes at you with a comment that could make you break say that same thing. Do it. Be your own sunshine. You’d be pleasantly surprised at the positivity that begins to enter your life when you allow it to.
A toast to our differences and a forget you to those who refuse to accept them. Love yourself and the rest will follow. Set a new trend and love everything about you. Be the king or queen of your own castle!
Shaquana J. Chaneyfield, Intern Extraordinaire, Project Eve