I saw this quote on the Instagrams a few week ago, and it seriously resonated with me.
I was always slightly shy but relatively confident growing up. I did well in school, I was at least nominally athletic, I had friends and a supportive family. I had a bunch going for me, I thought.
Going away to college, I gained the Freshman 15. And then some. And then some more. Being the chubby girl around a bunch of skinny friends started eroding my confidence.
Only you can choose how you feel, but I didn’t choose to change my mindset, and I slipped further and further down that path.
I moved to NYC in 2008, started this blog, and lost 50 pounds. I got a job I loved, and in mid-2010, I felt absolutely on top of the world. Unstoppable.
I lost that job in mid-2011 and so set a chain of a few years of further confidence eroding, for various professional reasons that trickled far too much into my personal life, and that I wish I’d been able to cut off earlier.
It sounds so silly to keep saying that a press event for some pretty and fancy spandex pants gave me the kick in the butt I needed…but it did. Lorna Jane Clarkson and her brand truly embody the Never Give Up motto, and that became my mantra for everything in my life.
To not give up on any of my dreams. That I was worth it.
I wish I could say it was as easy as flicking that switch and deciding that. It took some therapy, but more importantly, it was listening to the people in my life who believed in me so much. I finally stopped telling them they were full of it, and accepting their compliments and letting myself believe that if someone was unsolicitedly saying something nice to me, they probably meant it. (Let’s be real, we’ve all done a little fishing for compliments now and then, no?)
There’s several new friends I’ve met in the past year who’ve truly embodied this quote above. These new friends are the ones that both know when to give me the pep talk I need to give myself and when to give me the tough love that helps me cut the crap that holds me back from being the best me I can. The manager-turned-friend who believes in me as an employee and a friend. They’ve also helped me see the stuff that old friends and family have been telling me for years. If you’re reading this, you know who you are.
When I wrote that Cosmo article last year, I thought the headline was so sensationalized. I still think it was a little bit much, but I think the editor was more prescient than she realized. I wouldn’t say I’ve been unhappy at all since I lost weight, but there was definitely some baggage I had to work through…and I have. With a little help from my friends. And family, of course.
Maybe I’ve faked some confidence on this blog in the past few years in a fake-it-until-you-make-it kind of way, but this? This is the real deal, and I consider myself so lucky to have people in my life to help me get here.
How did you start believing in yourself?