This post is brought to you by my wife, the self proclaimed lady of fiber herself, Miranda Ring! Without further ado, let’s jump right in!
At first you may be thinking, what does self-confidence have to do with fiber? Which I would answer, everything! The whole purpose of this website is to help people live a healthier, happier life and although mental health is something that gets overlooked, it is imperative for a wholesome lifestyle. I am by no means the authority on self-confidence, as I’ve battled feelings of unworthiness and self-doubt most of my life, but I know that I’m not the only one out there.
I know that for women especially, self-confidence is not something that comes naturally a lot of times. I sometimes shake my head with amazement at my husband when he says things with 100% assurance about his abilities. I believe one of the prevailing reasons women struggle with self-confidence is that we have so much pressure on us from the media (which now-a-days you can’t escape from) to be beautiful and have it all put together. It’s an unnatural thing to put so much value on your appearance when there’s so much more to you than just how you look!
I do believe that you should work hard to stay healthy, but not to just impress others. The unattainable definition of ‘beauty’ is pervasive in our culture and it is much more important to think about how much better YOU feel when you take care of your body. I’m about to drop a big ol’ cliché but stick with me here! If you are beautiful on the inside it radiates outwards.
Looping back to my original point, mental health and how you treat yourself is so important, but like all things there’s a fine line. This fine line exists between loving yourself and loving yourself so much that you belittle other people.
With that in mind let me go through three ways to build self-confidence without overdoing it!
1) Get Off the Grid (as Much as You Can Handle)
Our generation has grown up completely surrounded by technology. While I’m not going to complain about modern comforts due to technology, I believe that our generation has some interesting challenges awaiting us due to being too ‘plugged in’. Furthermore, we have completely exposed ourselves to whatever advertisers want to sell us.
Think about all the places you see ads now, websites, road signs, Facebook, tv commercials, Pandora, etc. All of these ads have beautiful people sending the not too subtle message that happiness is eluding you.
The art of advertising is the art of emotional manipulation and after lots of years of practice the advertising industry has found ingenious ways of making us feel one step behind happiness. What I’m saying isn’t news to anyone, but it is an inconvenience we’re willing to deal with to stream music, communicate with friends, and watch our favorite TV shows.
My advice is to try to unplug as often as you can, even if it’s just for an hour a day when you shut your phone off, don’t check twitter, and avoid watching TV. Instead, read a book, play the guitar, crochet something, do anything that doesn’t involve technology!
Even if it’s only for a small amount of time you’ll be amazed by how much you can gain from doing something that doesn’t involve starring at a screen (I’m one of those that still prefers reading a real book instead of an e-reader). This is especially pertinent since a majority of us (myself included) spend our days at work doing noting but looking at screens.
I have to confess I’m an old soul and always have been, I get along better with 80 year old women than my own peers. So for me being off the grid is something I immensely enjoy. I realize that for others being being off the grid feels more like being quarantined and is extremely uncomfortable.
I still challenge you to try it, even if its only for a small amount of time. I personally got rid of my facebook account a while ago (well technically it still exists and its just deactivated, I don’t think I could fully get rid of it if I wanted to). Removing Facebook was something that was extremely uncomfortable and I felt like I was cutting off my own arm or something.
When I did finally remove myself from it, ridiculous concerns filled my mind with doubts like how would I know what my high school lab partner was having for lunch? How will people know how many times I worked out this week? Will I not get invited to things anymore?
None of these concerns were well-founded and I have since reaped many benefits from deactivating. I’m not saying that you should take drastic measures to avoid social media, what I am suggesting is giving yourself some time to get lost in your own thoughts and feelings. It’s refreshing and will give your mind a break from trying to impress everyone.
Take the time spent unplugged and use it to become familiar with yourself. I promise your self-confidence will soar when you are content with who you are!
2) Compliment Others as Often as You Can
This may be counter intuitive but it is proven to work. As humans we get a sense of satisfaction from helping and complimenting others. We also tend to believe others regard us in the same ways that we regard them. By being kind and generous to others you open yourself up to believing that others will treat you with the same respect. And although this is not always the case I strongly believe that it is better to be kind and risk not getting the same response from others.
I’m not suggesting that you go around throwing out random compliments that you don’t actually mean. Most times there are things that you really do appreciate about others that you assume they know but this is probably not the case! When these words of encouragement are left unsaid there’s no way to tell if the other person knows or not.
Next time Bob brings in coffee for everyone at work don’t forget to tell how much you appreciate it. Next time Doris wears that super cute outfit you love, tell her how much you like it.
Doing this is an extremely effective tactic to bring up your self-confidence as well as all of those around you. If people gave each other more slack and showed more support everyone would be much happier and much more willing to help others. Try it and you won’t be disappointed by the results!
3) Give Yourself a Pep Talk
This may sound silly but I know that at least for me it’s extremely effective. When I’m at work and extremely stressed out, I’ll go into the bathroom, look myself in the mirror and say (quietly of course) that I am smart and capable and I can handle whatever is going on.
I wouldn’t suggest doing this if there are a lot of people around (unless you’re comfortable with that, in which case more power to you!). Regardless it helps to actually hear that you can do it. Sometimes as humans we get so caught up with telling ourselves in our mind that we can’t handle it, that we convince ourselves that we can’t.
As a side note this strategy not only works well with building self-confidence but also with pushing yourself harder in workouts. If you’re going for a run just keep telling yourself that you’re strong and fast and just awesome in general.
To Recap- unplug often, compliment continuously, and talk yourself out of your self-doubt. If I can do it anyone can!
Please let me know if any of these ideas work for you, and definitely share if you are already using some of these strategies and finding success!
–First Lady of Fiber–
Miranda Ring is a creative and passionate old soul. She enjoys frisbee, crocheting, and playing guitar. She is the video production director of www.fiberguardian.com of which she creates videos and blog images. She enjoys every minute she gets to spend with her husband working on these projects. For more on her projects check out her Etsy Page!