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How do I build up my own confidence? Struggling.

Old 07-05-2016, 06:03 PM
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Unhappy How do I build up my own confidence? Struggling.

I am not sure where to put this or if I should even be writing it in this forum at all.

I am just at a stand still. I am not a poor, pitiful me type of person. Inside, though, I really struggle. I struggle with feelings of not being good enough, mostly in looks. I critique the things I dislike about myself and constantly compare myself to others. It's becoming detrimental in my relationship. I have an awesome boyfriend of nearly five years. He has never done me wrong in any sort of way and has always treated me with respect and made sure to build me up. Even so, I feel myself pushing him away because I am always doubting myself. On the lake, I look around at all of the other girls in bikinis with great bodies and perfect hair and faces and I just start to feel the insecurities building up. I end up taking it out on him when he's doing nothing wrong; I basically accuse him of being embarassed of me in crowds and I really have no reason to feel that way other than what I feel internally about myself.

I gained a lot of weight and am working hard to lose it. I am down 20 pounds and have a good 20 to go. I love weight training and eating right and feeling accomplished each day. I know that when I've been at my goal size that I was extremely confident in myself, but I think I need to learn to be that way at any size. Another 20 pounds is another 2.5 months away. I need to learn to feel good even when I'm not in my best shape. I am in the habit of rolling out of bed for work without fixing myself up so I'm thinking maybe I can boost myself by taking the time to fix my hair and make up each day rather than just on the weekends.

I know I have to get a grip and I am being ridiculous, but have any of you struggled with this? How have you learned to overcome it? I want to be the kind of person who doesn't constantly compare and wish I were "more" but it is so much easier said than done. Any reading? Or daily habits to start bettering myself. I am literally crying as I type this because I feel ridiculous for writing this here. I'm just not the type of person who is comfortable appearing "weak" to those close to me so coming to strangers seems so much easier.

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Old 07-05-2016, 06:25 PM
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The first thing you need to know is that you are not alone in feeling this way. We all feel this way at one point or another. Even the prettiest of girls have something they are insecure about. There are a lot of literature out there to help you with your self-esteem. There is no one book for everyone so just stop by a barnes and noble or some bookstore and buy whichever speaks to you. I'm also still struggling with my own self esteem.

But what I have read that I feel can apply to anyone is posture/ body language and positive reinforcement. Our body language affects us greatly. Start by correcting your posture, sit straight, stand tall, etc. Don't make yourself small. Power poses work, you can look them up online. 2nd positive reinforcement, an example is thinking of 5 things you are thankful about before you go to bed: it reminds you of your blessings. This one might sound stupid but I think it works, write down as much things that you love about yourself. And let #1 be that you are beautiful. In the morning when you wake up, say these things to yourself in the mirror, like "I am beautiful. I'm smart. Etc"

Learning to love yourself is a life long process. There will always be times when we feel down. But keep trying. See the beauty that your boyfriend sees in you and know that you are still much more than that.

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Old 07-05-2016, 08:16 PM
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You are definitely not alone! As women, that's what we do, compare. We can't help it. How many men have you heard say "This place isn't that great, but the people watching is awesome!" It's in our nature to compare. You just have to switch your focus on what you are seeing and how you are seeing things. Things are not always as they seem. Those girls don't look in the mirror and see perfection. They see flaws. We are our own worst critics.

Instead of seeing what you don't have, look at what you do have. You are one of the few lucky ones that can roll out of bed without coating yourself with gallons of foundation, cans of hairspray, and products to prevent you from melting like the Wicked Witch of the West (Wizard of Oz, I'm melting!! Ahh!!) Just imagine what you'd look like if you had mascara streaming down and foundation sliding off your face like slime at the lake. Not cute. I'd give anything to be able to walk out of my bedroom without a full face of makeup on. But I can't. I have a lot of acne and perioral dermatitis scarring and my husband and my son have not seen me w/o makeup in years. Embrace your "I rolled outta bed looking this awesome" face!!

Now on to the switching focus part. When you see a girl at the lake, or anywhere else, and you start to have the feelings of self doubt, compliment her suit, purse, top, whatever. Instead of feeling like you're beneath them, (which you are not) you'll feel good inside for making someone else feel better by lifting them up. If complimenting them is just impossible (on a lake, I could see where it would be difficult), just look away and smile and remember that they too have their own insecurities.

As for the boyfriend...who's he looking at? He's looking at you! Pushing him aside because you feel that you are so flawed, will drive him away emotionally eventually. I bet he thinks you're perfect. If he didn't want to be with you, he wouldn't be.

Once you love you, your body will love you back. You have to love something to take care of it, find what you love about you and make that work in your favor. Congratulations on losing the 20 lbs! That's awesome!

DO NOT feel ridiculous for writing this here. This is a board full of women and plenty are in your shoes or have been in your shoes.

Last edited by BooBitties; 07-05-2016 at 08:18 PM.
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Old 07-06-2016, 07:36 AM
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I'm 38 and have struggled with this my entire adult life. And I can tell you it really doesn't matter how thin or gorgeous or successful or smart or anything you are - so many women feel the same way as you do. It's all relative. I weigh 108 lbs and constantly beat myself up about the 4 extra pounds I want to lose so my butt and thighs will look smoother. Or the dark circles under my eyes that are hereditary. Sometimes I think about these things instead of or more than the fact that I have nice arms or a tiny waist or a strong body that can run miles even when Im not in shape. Or the fact that I run my own business or live in an amazing town and have wonderful friends, etc. It is very easy to spiral into a really negative state of mind, very quickly.

Part of it is to do with being a first born perfectionist who thinks about things waaayyyy too much, and part of it is just part of being an emotional being.

These are the things that help me:
Reading short, inspirational quotes or poetry. It's kind of cheesy but it lifts me up and gives me perspective. Cheryl Strayed just released a little book of short quotes from her writings that I love to read when I feel down

Really hard, aerobic exercise. For me its running, usually on a treadmill, HARD for 3 miles. Or doing a really hard class at the gym. Sweating helps.

Yoga. With the right instructor. It forces me to be present and its a loving, kind activity that gives me perspective and forces me to breathe.

Getting **** done at work or around the house. When I feel accomplished I am much kinder to myself. Cleaning my house. My mom used to tell me to go and wash the windows and it helps.

Therapy is an amazing release for some people. It isn't for me but I do think everyone should try it.

Try and welcome the feelings and use them as a tool to help you evolve. Why do you feel this way? It's probably not just about how you look, its about the value you place on yourself and what you think you bring to the table. I'm working on it every day. I don't want to feel this way in 10 years!

I don't think I will ever be 100% satisfied but I bet if I looked like Jennifer Lopez I'd still feel the same way.

Be gentle with yourself!
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Old 07-06-2016, 09:25 AM
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I love what the previous posters said to you.

my sister had a small placard in her room that said "I may not be perfect, but parts of me are [I]wonderful[/I]

I have spent a lot of time hating my body and unfortunately still do, I have big feet and I focus on them every day. But, even when people say nice things about my smile, figure, legs, eyes, etc, I don't really believe them, because I have big feet, so that outweighs everything else.

What a waste of energy! I am sure the legacy I leave behind will be what kind of a person I am, the good I have done and the people I love.

Your boyfriend sees your beauty, I hope you can believe him.
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Old 07-06-2016, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by joyful View Post
I love what the previous posters said to you.

my sister had a small placard in her room that said "I may not be perfect, but parts of me are [I]wonderful[/I]

I have spent a lot of time hating my body and unfortunately still do, I have big feet and I focus on them every day. But, even when people say nice things about my smile, figure, legs, eyes, etc, I don't really believe them, because I have big feet, so that outweighs everything else.

What a waste of energy! I am sure the legacy I leave behind will be what kind of a person I am, the good I have done and the people I love.

Your boyfriend sees your beauty, I hope you can believe him.
I totally agree with what everyone else said. I also think that your thinking will improve as you get older. You will still compare yourself to others, as that is human nature and a female thing. But if you really focus on your blessings and not what you don't have, it will eventually stop bothering you. At least that is my experience. I was much more insecure and unhappy when I was younger. I was shy and quiet in groups. Always feeling like I wasn't as funny, pretty, etc. as others, even when the mirror showed I was decent-looking and I could carry on a conversation generally.

Now people think I'm the life of the party. I love to laugh and dance and be silly, and I don't have trouble talking to people any more. I'm not worried about what they think about me, so I can relax and be myself. I have game nights and wine- and beer-tastings at my house, even though it isn't big and fancy. I'm tall and pear-shaped. (think thighs not stomach! lol) I have big feet. I was flat-chested. All these things bothered me a lot before. Thankfully, I'm no longer flat-chested, which I admit makes a huge difference in how I feel about myself. But even before my BA last August I was more confident than in my 30's.

So listen to the great advice of the others, focus on being the person you want to be, and not worrying about the things you can't change. It will get better.
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Old 07-06-2016, 12:49 PM
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fitbboobies101 you are not alone.
Second of all, I think you are a very "strong" to have posted here for advice/help.
I feel ridiculous for writing this here. I'm just not the type of person who is comfortable appearing "weak" to those close to me so coming to strangers seems so much easier.

I also agree with what everyone has posted previously.
Boobitties is right about complemeting others. If you like the bathing suit, or the hair style of another girl, then tell her. They will like that, & you may even start a new friendship.
I have a male friend who smiles all the time. One of his goals is to meet someone new everyday. He smiles & says hello to everyone when he is walking down the street. This goal has only every helped him. He knows sooo many people & has good relations with everyone he knows.

angeldust is right about the posture thing. Strong shoulders is a "proud" body. I hold my shoulders down & back, everytime I am standing in a checkout line at the gas station, or Wlmart, or grocery store, etc..... Nothing wrong with holding the tummy in, & shoulders down/back while waiting in a line. The posture idea is similar to "putting your best face forward" idea(with a smile of course) that has been around for more than 100 yrs. Lol.

I also agree with Blujay. I need to workout intensely(running or step aerobics) daily. I think it keeps my body & emotions balanced. I am able to clear my head or refocus when I have that exercise time for myself. Running is very easy to just go out your front door, jog around the neighborhood for 30 minutes or more as you head back to your house. I have also made it easy to workout my step at home also. I get a paper towel & cleaner ready, then workout, & wipe down my step, put it back, & go on with my day.

Overall, if you want to change, you must take baby steps, & keep up the new good habits, & build on those good habits
Sometimes taking a class at a local college in a subject you like(not just for your work), like photography, or writing, etc or sewing/knitting etc.... this helps you meet new people, expand your knowledge of something you like, & perhaps gain new friendships, etc....

I love Tennislover´s words about being yourself, loving life, & how she now does wine tasting parties, & game nights at her house. My fiance & I like to socialize with other couples, & we have dinner & game nights also. We are always thinking "How can we "out-do" ourselves for this upcoming dinner?" It does not involve more money, just what card games, or special horderves we can make that our guests will like?



Sorry for the long post, girl.
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Old 08-28-2016, 09:14 PM
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hi love!
I agree with all the ladies here - focus on what you do have, what you are happy about, and it will expand when you focus only on the good things, it feels as if everything is good, and more good things come your way. challenge yourself to make a self love list. keep it on your mirror. every day, add one thing to the list - something you love about yourself, something you promise to start doing for yourself, etc. this has helped me be conscious and intentional about thinking about these things for myself - every single day.

have you ever tried yoga? I am kind of addicted, kundalini especially has helped me accept myself as I am, in this moment, with no judgement for past present or future. xoxo
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Old 08-29-2016, 12:21 PM
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My new favorite thread!!!! I loved reading every single reply, and found them all to be so insightful and so true! In fact, I'm leaving this page up because I want to re-read them all later... These are words of wisdom we all need to hear and reflect upon periodically... So you are definitely not alone in your journey to self-acceptance

Btw...I think it's wonderful and very admirable how much weight you have ALREADY lost... That must have taken a lot of dedication! So, as previous posters have mentioned, instead of focusing on how much you have left to lose, why not celebrate the weight you've already lost by rewarding yourself with something that'll make you feel good about yourself, like a new haircut or an outfit that makes you feel amazing in your "right now" body. I'm not one who has the time (or the babysitter!) to go to the spa, but I have found that aromatherapy with a diffuser and some high quality essential oils (like lavender) go a long way in balancing my own mood whenever I feel depressed or "self-defeated."

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Old 08-29-2016, 01:32 PM
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We are all full of self-doubt, and engage in critical (sometimes hyper-critical) self-examination. No one is immune. Even the most gorgeous, young, perfect body hollywood actress, lingerie model, bikini model, etc. have self-doubt and find something to envy on another woman. Some of us naturally do it destructively and it can harm ourselves and our lives, including those around us whom we love. The trick IMHO is to do what you can to improve what you can to become what you want in terms of looks. There are things we can all do. I was on a journey to look the way I wanted - my body (including boobies!), my hair, face, etc. I was focused, but in a positive way. I posted photos of women I admired on my fridge for incentive - not knowing if i'd ever get close to what I wanted. I worked really hard, spent money, and have been able to maintain what I achieved. Once you get there, it will be easier to see positive in yourself and to maintain it. Every little thing you do will help. Some things require effort, sometimes lots of effort! Other things require money, and yes... sometimes lots of money! Life is short, so set your self a goal, work toward it with dedication and without unrealistic expectations of destructive self-criticism. Don't feed the envy monster and turn it into a beast that will destroy your life and derail your goal. Your body, face, etc. will likely never be exactly what you want, but you can get closer than you think! We all have physical limitations that we simply will not be able to overcome, but we can do much to move ourselves in that direction. If you don't like your body, diet and exercise. If you don't like your hair, look into hair extensions. Don't like your face... look into lash extensions, botox, fillers, etc., etc. There are tons of options out there for us all. Don't get discouraged, but work to be the best you, that you can be! ; )

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