Talking, reading, writing and thinking about self-confidence is far from new. I personally think about my body, my mind and my physique hundreds of times every single day. Girls talk about it among one another, and here on SFTL, you read about it often. And it’s amazing, don’t get me wrong – I advocate for the discussion of mental health and its correlation with physics beauty and societal pressures just as much as the next girl (perhaps more, truthfully) – yet, sometimes, the conversation can turn stale.
Let me define ‘stale’ for you, here: we say the same things, over and over and over again, expecting that an increase in words creates an equivalent increase in action. The discussion of self-love and confidence has evolved, and we need to evolve with it: it is no longer a matter of simply stating that we are all self-conscious, and that this reality is a problem (we’re all well and truly aware now, don’t worry) – the discussion needs to address the HOW. How do fix this? Or begin to fix it, because it cannot be fixed overnight.
One of the most commonly dished out pieces of advice, to young girls and boys as well as young adults, is to simply stop comparing oneself to everyone else. It makes sense – the less we compare, the less we notice unrealistic standards, and the more we fall in touch with our own physiological genes, builds and goals. But let’s be real here – we cannot stop comparing.
It’s as simple as that.
No matter how hard you train yourself, you cannot not notice girls on billboards, or your friends at the pool parties, or that stranger on the street, or your mother, sister, brother, aunt, uncle… True, you may be able to shift your notice of them from positive to negative, but the fact remains; you still notice.
Admitting this, it becomes difficult to claim that an end to all comparison is the cure to your lack of confidence. However, acknowledging such a reality is ironically – I believe – the very first step out of hundreds that will guide you along a path of genuine self-love.
I don’t believe that you need to stop comparing yourself – in fact, I encourage it. Notice the girls around you; notice how many girls there are in so many heights, shapes, sizes, ethnicities, passions, pursuits, quirks… Notice how very different each girl that catches your eye is, and most importantly, learn to compliment other girls – to think admirably of their being when you see them – without deducting from your own beauty.
You do not become sad when you spread your happiness to others – it’s infinite. So why should it be any different for confidence? Be confident in your comparisons of other girls; so confident that you know they’re authentic, magnificent and valid: and so are you.