My struggle with self-confidence and how it took me years to stop stuttering and be okay with being myself.
It was not easy, and this is a story I’ve never shared publically before. But with so many people on social media, it can be easy to lose your self-confidence.
Whether your comparing yourself to an influencer or trying to achieve the latest trends. Take it from someone who has been there. You will be way happier just being yourself. Don’t let the world change you. You change the world!
I always say now red is my confidence color. It’s bright, it’s bold, and how I say it’s me. I put on that red lipstick and go out, and I am ready to conquer the world. I keep my shoulders back and hold my head higher when I wear that red lipstick. It gives me the self-confidence I need to love myself.
But I wasn’t always like that. I used to struggle with self-confidence growing up.
When I was younger, I used to stutter so badly. I hated having to talk in front of anyone at school because I wouldn’t be able to get the words out, and then other kids would make fun of me. I was bullied, too, for not being in the ‘popular’ group, which only worsened my stutter. It was terrible, and the more I got teased about my stutter, the worse it got.
I used to ask my mom not to send me to school because facing anyone with my stutter was too painful. But slowly, my mom would tell me to take a breath before I spoke or picture what I wanted to say before I said it, don’t feel like I needed to rush. It slowly calmed my nerves, and my stutter got better until, one day, it wasn’t there anymore.
But the bullies remained.
After I managed to get my stutter under control, I discovered that the bullies just moved on to something else to tease me about, like my hearing loss. I would have to sit in front of the class to hear the teacher, which was something else the bullies made fun of. I thought I needed to get my haircut or get acrylic nails that would make them like me and stop teasing me. Wrong. Every time I changed to change myself, it gained me no friends.
It only made me more unhappy inside. I didn’t like having to change who I was. Yes, I was quirky, but aren’t we all? Yes, I loved reading Nancy Drew in middle school, so what? Yes, I loved dogs and preferred to stay at home over going out, again, so what? In eighth grade, I finally stood up for myself and walked away from doing things that didn’t make me happy.
But having self-confidence wasn’t an overnight thing. Because I suffered from a lack of self-confidence for so long, it wasn’t until I was in my early twenties that I said yes, I have self-confidence. I was ready to wear bold red lipstick and try a funky fashion I liked rather than what I saw others wear.
Now, I’m okay with wearing no makeup and a sweat outfit to the grocery store. It’s who I am. If I want to stay home and relax rather than go out, that’s okay too.
Self-confidence isn’t something that I woke up overnight, and I had. It took time. It took finding the belief in myself and a support system around me that accepted me for who I am and was okay with my quirks. For me, having self-confidence means standing up for myself and what I believe in. It isn’t always easy or popular, but I use my voice now and am not afraid to say what’s on my mind.
If you do or don’t have self-confidence, it’s an invisible thing only you know you have. I always say you never know what others are going through. It’s easy to assume that someone is in a bad mood or doesn’t like you, but they may have something on their mind. So I say smile at them if you’re walking by or say hello. Even hold the door for them. It may appear like they don’t notice but take it from someone who has been there, that one smile—that one wave—that one hello—it makes a difference. It made me stand taller and decide to smile wider. It gave me those notches in my self-confidence that I really struggled with.
So don’t be afraid to help build others up in the smallest of ways. It makes a difference. It may make someone like me put on that red lipstick and decide to go out to make a difference. It may change their day.
Self-confidence is something that was gained inside of us, and it’s why I like to tell my readers that while I may be bubbly now and ready to share my favorite reads and outfits, I’m also here to tell you I wasn’t always like that. I struggled with my self-confidence severely to the point I could barely articulate my words. So remember, don’t judge others. Be there for them; your smallest gestures could give them just a nudge to help someone’s self-confidence.
Have you or do you struggle with your self-confidence? Message me your story!