Embracing imperfection…or unlocking confidence?

For some reason, I’ve always struggled with confidence. I have waves of it, but other times, I am filled with self-doubt. Sometimes it can be something as little as not liking the way my stomach looks in the mirror to throw me into a tailspin of nitpicking imperfections, massive self-doubt, and a sheer inability to see myself for the good, just the flaws.

Enter today.

My problem is that I only see the imperfections in the mirror these days…even though I feel loved, I feel beautiful (I don’t think a day goes by without M telling me that, or my seeing it in his eyes), and I am happy, healthy, and have a great life ahead of me.

So why do I have such a major case of I-hate-myself-itis? (meaning my body, not myself in full). My sister thinks that because so much is going right in my life that I am looking for the bad. I don’t believe that. I just believe I simply have a bad case of self-esteem issues at the moment, and feel as though my body isn’t what it could be.

Perhaps it goes hand-in-hand with ‘letting routine go’ (or trying to).

Perhaps it’s my mind *thinking* I’ve ‘let myself go” because of said remiss routine.

Perhaps I indulged a bit more than I should have over the holiday (hello wine, my BFF…).

Or perhaps I really am just in need of shaking myself out of this body funk I have going on.

I really don’t have an answer for it.

I do know this: it could always be worse and if my whacked body image issues are all I am worrying about at the moment, then life’s pretty damn good. I mean, really, it is. Why am I nitpicking myself?

And why am I going in circles with this blog post? I am probably rambling and if you aren’t following, that’s okay, this blog is more for me to get out my feelings on this as it has consumed my mind all day long. And the fact is? Nobody can give me body confidence, I need to do it for me.

But the truth is? I’m perfectly imperfect. We all are.

~~

Recently, my sister (followed by Heather) wrote about being imperfect and why it’s okay. I read them, I loved them, and vowed to write one of my own. I am doing this in part to help me get back to believing it…I’m imperfect, but that’s okay, we all are. Being imperfect shouldn’t take away your confidence. It should unlock it.

…I have more ‘fat’ days than I care to admit (and I hate to admit that I call them ‘fat’ days since I know I am not literally fat).

…I actually hate to compromise. I wish it was always ‘my way or the highway’ (I know, as a Libra, I should love this, and while I love balance, I hate compromise. Odd, right?)

…Sometimes I look in the mirror and just see flaws (clearly).

…Other times I look in the mirror and love my smile (but hate my cheeks).

…I wonder if my 50/50 view on wanting kids (or not) means I’m selfish, or if it just means I’m not ready (but I will admit I am more 60/40 than 50/50 than I used to be, and that says something, right?)

…I *still* struggle with confrontation, even though being direct is the approach I want to get to, in my professional life, and personal life too. I hide behind puppies and rainbows more than I’d like to.

…but, at the end of the day, I’m a good friend, sister, daughter, and girlfriend, with unwavering devotion and support. And that, my friends, means more than flat abs any day.

Sometimes I just need to see the forest from the trees and just writing this out makes me feel better already.

Nobody else will do it for you.

I have to do it for me.

Embrace and unlock.

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27 thoughts on “Embracing imperfection…or unlocking confidence?

  1. Beautiful! I’m wondering if you’re having self-esteem issues because of the REALLY big change coming your way next month with the new job. That’s on top of the big change with M…it’s a lot of good and change all at once. Sometimes we want to change ourselves because it seems like something we should be able to control when everything is going a little crazy. And you’re fabulous just as you are!

  2. I struggle with this a lot as well. My manager is always suggesting to me to be more assertive and say things in a more declarative way to get my point across more clearly. On rare days, I think I’m fabulous, but more often than not, I’m not happy with what I see in the mirror. It’s hard to know what’s a healthy evaluation of flaws you want to improve on and what’s low self-esteem talking. I must admit nothing puts a smile on my face like Mr. Perfect listing all the different things he likes about how I look. A little more of that in my day could help tremendously πŸ˜‰

    1. A little more of that would help anyone tremendously, right? πŸ™‚ It IS hard to know what a healthy evaluation of our flaws is, you’re so right on that. That’s my struggle completely! Except you said it way better than I did in my rambling post.

  3. maybe it’s because i used to be pretty heavy, but i still look at myself in the mirror, especially in the stomach/hip/thigh region, and see a big girl from time to time. it’s been weird to wrap my head around, too, because everyone i saw on my trip home said, “oh, have you lost more weight?” i can’t see it. it’s tough.

    body image is, without a doubt, the most thorny issue i think women deal with. (i’m sure there are men with this problem, too, but i don’t know any.) it’s tough. i have no answers, except that if i make decent choices with food and activity, i feel more ok than if i don’t. maybe that’s all i can do…

    and venting definitely helps. πŸ™‚

    1. You’re right…it’s one of the hardest things for women to contend with, hands down. I know what you mean about ‘seeing’ someone overweight when you aren’t anymore…I haven’t even been overweight per se, just a few extra pounds here and there, and after working hard to get to a place that I want to be, physically, when I feel bad about myself, I get so frustrated and half the time can’t tell if it’s legitimate cause for concern or just me having a bad body day. Ya know? Gah! venting…!

  4. Well first – thank your for admitting you hate compromise because I’ve known that for years and you would NEVER admit it to me. hehe. Sorry, I’m your sister, I had to go there πŸ˜‰

    And second of all, it makes me SO sad to read your struggle with confidence and positive body image. I view you as so strong and confident and THAT is beautiful to me. You ooze confidence after all you’ve been through so to see you say you sometimes fight confidence makes me sad…but it also makes some sense, because you never were as confident as you are (or can be) today. It’s something that’s evolved in you over the last couple of years and maybe that’s why it’s not always there. It was sort of a learned behavior versus innate. So it’s a struggle for you sometimes, it’s not necessarily second nature. But make it second nature, sis! That’s my advice. EMBRACE who you are. OWN it. LIVE it. LOVE who you are.
    Because I sure do and could count a bunch of others who do too.

    That is all.

    1. How did I know you’d like that one about compromise? ;-P

      and thank you sis, for almost making me cry. I guess I didn’t realize you didn’t even realize my confidence issues. or maybe you just didn’t see them. It is a learned behavior, and I need to well, learn it more than I have lately. Thank you sis.

  5. I agree with Jess maybe you’re doubting things because you’ve got a lot going on in life and lots of changes with the new job. It’s lovely to hear that M tells you that you’re beautiful everyday but you have to believe it and see it too because you are beautiful, easier said than done though. Why are we always quick to see our flaws and faults, I can point out mine in a second.

    1. You’re right, I need to believe it for me, not just hearing it (though it’s nice to hear it, admittedly!). It’s a battle I guess, that we all take with us, we see our flaws instantly, others don’t see that.

  6. I think it’s natural to be a little critical of ourselves. I know I am. (Oh, but I have help…in the form of a teenage daughter and S.)

    For the most part, I’m happy with me. And I recognize that my criticisms are all part of my growth.

  7. You’ve got a lot of change going on in your life right now…new relationship,new job, it’s only natural that you’re going to feel those waves into lots of parts of your life. Go easy on yourself, okay? This too shall pass.

    *hugs*

  8. I think you just wrote that post for me.

    I echo those thoughts…daily…hourly, even, sometimes. The “I am SO fat” days. The kids/no kids. The “I hate X about my Y.”

    And then, sometimes, I remember how blessed I am. I remember how many things I actually have while others are without basic needs. I remember that the things I *do * have far outweigh my own insecurities. And I try really hard to be direct with people…though that’s still a challenge.

    You’ll get there. To the “you” you see inside, desperately wanting to come out and just BE. I know it’s frustrating…but it’s all a process…learning curve…patience tester (oh, joy). πŸ™‚

    1. Ahh…yet another perfect comment, thank you! I am glad I am not the only one, and that you could relate to this as well. It’s true, I NEED to regain my perspective, I am blessed, I am healthy, I am happy, what more can I ask for? The rest will fall into place…paging my patience pants…where are they? πŸ™‚

  9. Gasp, you’re human! πŸ˜‰ We all have days like this… Sometimes they last all day, sometimes they’re gone in a flash. Either way, you will eventually give yourself the swift kick in the butt you need to remind yourself that you are absolutely fabulous! Some days, you might feel slightly less than fabulous… But what’s slightly less than fabulous? That’s still freaking awesome!

    1. I AM human! I know, a not so positive post from me today, even though I tried! I felt less than fabulous yesterday, but today, am feeling a little more clear-headed. Sometimes you just gotta let it sit, feel it, get over it. Slightly less than fabulous can still be awesome…I love that!

  10. I challenge you to find a woman in this world who does not have body issues. I mean it, I’d bet even the most famous, most beautiful women in the world sometimes stand in front of the mirror and pinch their fat. We all do it. Here’s the thing, it isn’t even about whether we are actually fat, it’s about our perception and our feelings about ourselves. All of these hangups we have about ourselves whether they are flaws we think we have in our bodies or our personalities are normal, they are part of the human experience. I think this is actually one of those times when it is good to know that you aren’t unique, you aren’t unique in that you have insecurities we all do, we’re all fighting the same battle everyday. Keep fighting, because you are beautiful inside and out.

    1. Sigh. Thank you Ronda, I needed to hear that too. It’s SO true, we all have these insecurities, I am not unique in that. If I didn’t have any insecurities, I think there might be a problem with me, right? πŸ˜‰ Thank you for the support!!

  11. How about you write a list of things you love about yourself as opposed to things you hate? For example: I love my cheekbones, my eyes, and my rack (lol but seriously). What do you love about yourself? Make a list and then remind yourself.

  12. I certainly over-indulged this month. I’ll be up several pounds by the end of this weekend. Hopefully that’s it, and you’ll feel better in a few weeks. However, I have seen recent pictures of you, and I must say that you looked amazing. I’m not just saying that. You looked great! As girls we are probably programmed to see the imperfections, but most of the time you are the only one who sees them. Besides all that, you also rock in all other aspects of your life. πŸ™‚

    1. Aww, thank you, you are so sweet and I know this sounds weird, but hearing it from a woman’s perspective is sometimes all you need. Ya know what I mean? XO!

  13. Heartfelt post! You’re right that it’s up to you to do it. But, it’s important that you’re recognizing your body image issues. I know that my body images issues in my late teens and early-mid 20s stemmed from my perfectionist nature. I wanted everything to be perfect, and I wanted to have complete control over something. I believe that God’s message when I started to go paralyzed was to remind me of what’s really important and to let go a bit.

    With respect to not having children, I actually feel that the reasons people want to have kids are selfish. It’s not selfish not to want kids; it’s honestly assessing the responsibility of parenthood and what your goals are. I feel like a lot of parents try to pressure others to have kids. There’s no right or wrong. Just don’t do something or feel bad about the choices you make for your life because others or societal norms tell you to do or not do something. xoxo

    1. Wow, what great insight, as always. I think you are right about the body image thing and it’s about letting go and not being so hard on ourselves because it does become paralyzing and all consuming. As for the decision to have/not have kids, I also like that perspective because it shouldn’t be a given that everyone has them. It should be a decision to have them, just as it’s a decision *not* to have them.

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