Who are you when the world isn’t looking? In a world of social media presence so strong, we compare ourselves to the perfectly Photoshopped pictures and the smiling couples—it’s easy to want to “compete.” Sometimes, we want to be the girls on Instagram so badly, that we tend to forget our own authenticity. Instagram has taken over where magazines left off. Apps like Facetune make it easier than ever to get flawless skin, brighter smiles, and smaller waistlines. No wonder social media cheating is at it’s highest and our opinions of ourselves are at their lowest. How can we possibly keep up with perfect? The answer is we don’t have to.
The best thing about being a woman is that we can decide what makes us feel beautiful. For me, I’ve noticed that I feel my most beautiful when I’m learning and growing with a great personal development book, and practicing its teachings daily. I feel beautiful when someone compliments my character because that’s the best project I’ve ever worked on. I feel best about myself when I compliment others. Giving is always better than receiving.
The point is that outer beauty is a shell and oftentimes the outer beauty we see in others is superficial and often not even real. They don’t even look like that, I promise you. When I have done makeup on models in LA, they’re gorgeous… but not as flawless and they are on Instagram. It’s an image. It’s supposed to be eye-catching and pretty to generate attention. But in real life, they’re just like the rest of us. And usually, the most beautiful people have the loudest insecurities. So, I think we should work harder on feeling more secure in our own skin and learn to be happy with who we are when we are laying in bed at night with the quiet of our own thoughts. What does your self-talk sound like? Are you telling yourself all the things that are wrong with you and how you’d like to wake up tomorrow tanner, thinner, with clearer skin and no pores, with long hair and a few inches taller? Or are you thanking God for blessing you with the ability to change the things you want to, and thanking God for creating you in His own image?
I found my journal recently from when I was 22. (I was 26 when I found it.) I remember reading through the pages with big tears in my eyes because I was so lost. I wrote, “I see the person I’m supposed to be, but I don’t know how to be her. I know exactly who I want to be. I just don’t know how to wake up and be that girl.” I wish I could go back in time and tell the 22-year-old me, “you become her, just wait.” I’ve grown exponentially over the years; so much so, that I feel I could reintroduce myself to everyone I’ve ever met. While I’m still growing every day, I find that I’m living a life that feels authentic on the inside. I’m still working on how to live my truth from the outside, but that’s a whole different blog for a whole different time. But I started with me outlining who that girl was that I saw myself being. I felt like a traitor in my own body. I was being someone I knew I was better than. I know I’m not the only girl who has felt this way at some point. Once I got clear about what the authentic me did for fun, what she did for work, the things that made her sad, the things that made her happy, the things she wanted to do with her best friends, the quality of friends she kept in her life, etc., I found that I slowly, but surely, became exactly her. I am her. It feels so good to be me. I wouldn’t want to be anyone else. That’s what I want for you to feel as well.
Make the list. Also…
I challenge you to write a list of 20 things you love about yourself. Hang it on a refrigerator or write it on your bathroom mirror. Make sure you can refer to it whenever you start feeling like you aren’t something enough. I also challenge you to write a list of things you would change about yourself. Then ask yourself: “Is this something I can change about me?” If the answer is “yes,” then remember to love that part of you anyway, and then take steps to change it. If the answer is “no,” then feel a rush of gratitude that that part of you makes you who you are, and accept it.
In closing, I just want to tell you that you are enough. You’re reading this blog for a reason, and that’s because you needed to see that you are everything you are supposed to be. You are exactly where the universe wants you to be at this very moment because it’s a part of a divine, greater plan. No matter where you think you’re supposed to be, remember that you’re there right now. Feel thankful that you are here in this moment right now. If you’re happy and content in your life, remember to feel that gratitude for it. If you’re living a life that feels authentic to who you truly are every single day, then wake up every day engulfed in overwhelming gratitude. If you feel discontent with where you are mentally, emotionally, physically, financially, or geographically, then please feel gratitude for the discontent, because, with hard work and dedication, you’re going to be able to change the things you’re not content with, and start living a life you love. Get out of your own way and make it happen. Your fear is the only thing holding you back.
It’s never too late to live an authentic life and live in your truth. Be the girl you want to be every day, and you’ll always feel empowered.
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