Tuesday, 23 January 2018

The Confidence Myth

"Fake it 'til you make it!"

I cannot tell you how many times I've seen that phrase, and although I understand the sentiment, it hasn't been one I've ever really embraced. You see, I'm a self reflector and have always tried to be honest with myself about my feelings and emotions, so looking in the mirror and telling myself that I feel amazing when I don't, just doesn't sit right. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying we should go about our daily lives unloading onto the person unfortunate enough to sit next to us on public transport, and I'm not saying we should wear sandwich boards with our mood of the day (although I secretly think this would be awesome!), but we at least owe ourselves the truth.

We live in a society where, if the cashier in Sainsbury's asks how we are, we are expected to smile and simply say "Good thanks, and you?", and I too fall into what is socially acceptable in this instance, but I refuse to lie to myself in regards to how I'm feeling in the hope that I may convince my brain otherwise. I know, I know, this sounds like a bleak outlook on life, but it really isn't because I do love one thing - affirmations. I enjoy the practice of taking time to re-train the mind and teach the mind to be kinder, to nurture, to love, to be positive, without having to lie to myself. I find that affirmations are much better for my mental health and a healthy mind helps my confidence no end.

There are days, however, when even affirmations don't help. You know what I'm talking about. Those days when you wake up and feel the doom in the pit of your stomach and you know you're going to struggle. Sometimes those feelings last more than a day - sometimes those moments last weeks, months and even years. We all get these moments in varying waves and anyone who tells you different is lying to you and themselves. That's right, I'm talking about the confidence myth.
 Jumpsuit: In The Style 
Pumps: Simply Be*
Sunglasses: Spitalfields Market
Take this amazing In The Style jumpsuit for example. If you follow me on my blog or my Instagram, you'll see that my style is very much a dress and a cardigan situation. As much as my style of dresses may vary, I very rarely stray far from that aesthetic. But here I am, not only not wearing a dress or a skirt, but wearing an all-in-one, without any kind of coverup. While looking in the mirror, I felt at odds with what I was wearing, but the more I looked and the more I rotated and checked myself out from various angles, the more I was feeling it and feeling myself. My brain did a good thing and my confidence clicked into place at the exact right time.

It doesn't always go that way though, and social media can be the worse place when we're not feeling great. We scroll and see other people smiling, laughing and loving through their lives, and we're made to feel like there is something wrong with us because we're not constantly "on". We look at these perfect lives and feel like failures because we don't leap out of bed, throw on clothes and strut though our day with a never ending supply of confidence. But we fail to remember something. We fail to remember that those tweets, pictures or Instastories are snippets of a moment in time. We fail to remember that, for the other 23 or 22 hours of their day, it may not have been so great. We fail to remember we only see what people want us to see and social media is just that - social, like the very same social encounters we have with the cashier in Sainsbury's when we tell then we're "Good thanks".
Having a wobble doesn't make us failures. We need to stop beating ourselves up for not "living our best lives" (oh how I hate that phrase!) all day everyday. It just isn't realistic. We're all human and we all have ups and downs. Some will have more ups than others but we all have to work through our shit. I for one have been struggling at the start of the year. I haven't felt like myself and my mind is often swirling with doubts about how I look, friends, family, work, and everything in between. It would be so easy for me fall into the abyss and write this year off before it's even really started. However, I've really taken comfort in fellow bloggers acknowledging that they too have had a hard start to the year. It isn't about enjoying someone else's misery, but about taking comfort in the fact that I'm not alone.

And those are kind of people and personalities I gravitate to more than anyone else - not the perfect lives, but the honest ones. To that end, you should check out an article I contributed a quote from this post for. Simply Be US have shared some inspiring advice from my fellow bloggers all about how to deal with the summer period. You can read it here.

'til next time!

Love and hugs,
Isha xxx

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