For the past year and a half, I’ve been bumming it. No, literally. As a busy college student, I basically let myself go. I stopped styling my naturally curly – but not quite curly enough to look cute – hair. I stopped wearing make up completely, and possibly the worst of all, I began to live in my sweatpants, Nike baseball caps, and baggy hoodies. I have nothing against sweatpants, in fact, I probably love them a little too much, hence my love-hate relationship with my wardrobe. Which, by the way, has begun to resemble that of someone who was recently heart-broken, fresh out of a relationship. To top that off, I was always sad, often found myself crying, and just overall miserable. To complete the stereotypical look, I often ate ice cream straight out of the carton late at night. I felt helpless. OK, who am I kidding? I still do that. Baby steps, right?
Here’s the deal with my recent fashion choices though, I wasn’t someone freshly out of a horrible relationship. I wasn’t heart-broken. I had no excuse to blame my appearance on anybody but myself. I just became too comfortable, and lazy. I always believed it was important to be comfortable in your own skin, and especially comfortable with your appearance, but trust me when I say, I took comfort to a whole new level. Of course, I still believe that, but for me, I felt like I had taken it a step too far. I became so lazy with taking care of my physical appearance, that it began affecting my social interactions without me realizing it. Since I was subconsciously aware that I didn’t feel like I looked presentable, I started talking to people less and less. I stopped complimenting my peers in college like I normally did, simply because I didn’t want them to judge me for the way I dressed. I used to openly compliment others, on say, their new glasses or cute outfit, not only because I believed it, but I also think it’s simply good karma to be kind and make others feel good. However, since I didn’t feel good about myself, that deterred me from complimenting others. I just didn’t want to draw any attention to myself.
I had no excuse to blame my appearance on anybody but myself.
I used to be a social butterfly, but as my daily beauty routine began to diminish, so did my confidence, and deep down, I began to miss who I once was. I think this also affected how some people viewed me. I used to be more approachable because I’d always have a smile on my face, and have a welcoming look. At one point, I’d see people almost come over to talk to me, but then stop in their tracks, and change direction. I’ve seen people linger at the coffee stand, deciding whether or not they should sit at the same table as me. Something made them change their minds, and whether it had to do with my appearance or not, that’s what I always assumed. Dressing out of my comfort zone had taken over my social interactions, confidence, and eventually corrupted how I viewed myself too. I stopped putting in effort to maintain friendships, and I had officially bought into the idea that nobody would ever want to be friends with me. This spiraled into something much larger than I had anticipated. Since I was too shy to interact with others, to make plans with friends, and make new friends, my social circle eventually sized down to population of one: me.
I stopped going out on the weekends, I stopped thinking positively about myself, about my self-worth, my appearance and even my intelligence. I didn’t consciously decide to change my usual wardrobe, I just got so wrapped up in other things that I forgot to take care of myself. Although I was saving money by not purchasing new clothes, I ended up sacrificing my mental health and well being in exchange. Now, you may be thinking, “Don’t be so melodramatic, looks aren’t everything.” To which I would reply, I completely agree. However, an appearance you’re happy with helps boost confidence, and no matter how much we deny it, your appearance is the first thing people notice. It you’re not happy with how you view yourself, you can’t expect others to view you in a better light. I went from a social, extroverted personality to being afraid to start a conversation with my peers, and in the end it all came down to one core reason.
I had all the excuses in the world not to put on a pair of booties and nicely fitted jeans, regardless of the fact that this is what made me feel good.
“I just have one college class today.”
“I’m not going to see anybody I know.”
“I’m saving time in the morning by getting to class sooner.”
All of these thoughts slowly turned into actions, eventually changing who I was. That just goes to show how powerful the mind is, and how thoughts manifest into actions and how deeply the laws of attraction affect our everyday lives. I knew I had to make some changes when a friend pointed out that I always seem 100% happier when I have my makeup on and/or hair done for the day. That’s when I officially decided, it was time to be happy again.
Just recently, I’ve started applying a little bit of lipstick again. I’ve made it a point to wear actual jeans, instead of leggings when I go to class. I’m still working on managing my nest-like hair, though. Regardless, I’ve noticed a boost in my confidence immediately. Just the other day, I spoke to so many classmates I’ve never met before, and had great conversations with all of them, without constantly worrying about what they may think of me. I laughed and smiled, and most of all, I felt confident enough in my own skin.
Confidence is the best accessory a girl can wear…
So, I guess, what I’m saying is, take care of yourself in a way that makes you feel your best. Just as it’s important to take your vitamins daily, and drink plenty of water, it’s important to dress in clothes that make you feel comfortable and happy. For me, I feel better with some pretty red lipstick on, for you, that may mean something else. That could mean dresses and heels, athleisure clothes, or maybe a lot of makeup or none at all. My point is, there is no right or wrong. But I can tell you this, when you feel good on the inside, it reflects on the outside and you excel in many more ways than you’d initially think. You could do better academically, within your social circle, at work, and every other aspect of your life. Confidence is the best accessory a girl can wear, so wear it like you mean it.
Here are a few small ways you can make some big changes in your own life:
- The Law of Attraction. You attract into your life what you think and feel. So, start your day with some positive affirmations. You can repeat them out loud, or simply acknowledge them every morning by having some written out on sticky notes in the bathroom mirror.
- Stop comparing yourself to others. I know, it’s easier said than done. However, you can take small steps in order to achieve this. Don’t check your Instagram feed first thing in the morning, or throughout the day. Start your day with a clean slate, without comparing yourself to anybody through social media.
- Compliment others. It’ll make them feel good, which will make you feel good, and there’s just no bad that can come out of a genuine compliment to others, and you could make a new friend along the way.
- Dress nicely. Put a little effort into wearing something you feel great in, by maybe picking out an outfit the night before, or waking up a little earlier.
- Exercise. Your body will release feel-good endorphins, automatically making you just a “smidge” more positive.
- Be grateful. We all have something to be grateful for, whether that’s your family, friends, career, or just the simple things in life. When you begin to get down on yourself, remind yourself of a few things you’re lucky to have in life. It’s an automatic confidence and happiness booster.