I’ve had some horrible things said to me during my life. When I had a nail biting habit, I was told that nobody would love me – that no-one would want to hold my filthy hand, let alone marry me. I’ve been repeatedly called stupid. I’ve been told to lose weight because nobody likes a fat girl. I’ve been told that having pimples on my face meant that no-one in school would want to be my friend. I’ve been told that the glasses on my face made me look ugly and that I had to take them off any chance that I got. I really did live through that emotional abuse, but luckily for me, I realised that those comments had no value or substance.
Digging myself out
No matter how strong a person is, when they are insulted, criticised or judged, it hurts. It was the same for me.
For the first 18 years of my life, I believed I was worthless, useless, unlovable. I was made to believe that in order to be loved, I had to change everything about myself. That I had to do whatever it took to make someone else happy. I eventually realised that isn’t how relationships should work at all.
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I have been let down by people most important to me, heartbroken by those who promised me the world, and cried over others who didn’t deserve my tears at all.
But I slowly dug myself out of that hole. Piece by piece, I put myself back together. I reclaimed my identity. I stopped caring so much what other people thought. I started believing in myself. I started believing that I was capable of making a positive difference in this world.
Forgetting the haters
But my journey came at a price. When I started to gain more confidence, I discovered who my true friends were. Many people grew envious of my success, of my confidence, of my ability to stay incredibly focused on my dreams. As a 25 year old today, this is still an ongoing problem.
But I’m not going to apologise for being a confident person. I’m not going to apologise for digging myself out of my own Depression. I’m not going to apologise for all the traumatic experiences that I’ve gone through and overcome to be the person that I am today. I’m not going to apologise for being crazy enough to believe that I can change the world. I’m not going to apologise for wanting to live a life that I’m proud of. I’m not going to apologise for wanting to use my painful experiences to help other people.
And you shouldn’t have to apologise either.
You’re going to have haters: people who put you down, people who judge before they empathise, people who don’t know your story. Forget those people. Live for you. You know who you are. You don’t need to be validated by anyone else.
Overcoming a life without confidence
I didn’t start off with the best of beginnings. I didn’t have the best emotional support. I didn’t have many people who believed in me and my future. But I overcame it all.
I’ve realised now that confidence starts with yourself. Don’t let someone else’s views or opinions define who you are. Only you define who you are.
Don’t let anyone stop you from being proud of how far you’ve come – they don’t know what it took for you to get there.
So, hold your head up high, believe in yourself and in your dreams.
Even if you’re living a life without confidence now, I’m proof that you can change that.