She spins furiously around the living room wearing a princess crown and a pink innertube turned skirt. Her laugh pulls from within her and at four years old she is fearless as she continues to twirl around and around.
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The confidence of a four year old is unlike anyone else. There is something about that age where confidence just alludes so far from within that you are fearless. From outfit choices to befriending everyone in the supermarket, there is nothing a four year old can’t do.
Fast forward to high school and that same girl who once twirled the world with so much boldness is now shy and changes thirty times each morning before school. Why is it that we lose that sense of self? It might not happen overnight and it may shatter some more than others. We all, at some point, lose that confidence within us.
So how do we find it? How do we gain that sense of self we once had at four years old again?
It’s simple in theory, you have to stop caring what others think.
I know that seems impossible. We are constantly being fed things that deter us into looking a certain way, dressing with these trends or wearing these hair styles. Heck, Gen Z is even telling me that I can’t use a laughing emoji anymore. Since when did being “cool” have to come at such a judgmental outward perspective?
When people meet me today, one of the first things I get is I come off strong, assertive and confident. Meeting people is one of the ultimate highs for me. I love connecting with someone and finding things we have in common. I’ve learned over the years that I can come off as incredibly intimidating at first because I allude this confidence.
I wasn’t always this way. I struggled a lot with confidence and voicing myself in middle school and it wasn’t until my parents uncovered my learning disability (I’m ADHD and dyslexic) and pulled me to another school that I found my sense of self. Moving schools was the best thing my parents ever did for me. I not only learned I needed to learn differently from other kids I learned that I was different and there were so many things about me that deserved to be celebrated.
I remember coming back to my previous school for high school and a lot of people didn’t recognize me because of how sure of myself I was. This also awarded me most bossy in high school (something my friends and family still say is true about me today).
So what changed? What was this path I took from that confident four year, to that shy teenager, to the bold, bossy, assertive person I am today? I just stopped caring about anyone else but myself. My mom really helped me get here. She always encouraged me to be whoever I wanted to.
I know it’s hard to play the comparison game. To look at others and constantly have this outward perspective of “I need this,” or “I’ll never be as pretty as her.” But we have to stop comparing ourselves to apples from oranges. We will never all be the same and that is what makes each of us so uniquely beautiful.
I am going to give you some of my best tips for how to stop caring what others think because just because I am in a really good spot right now doesn’t mean I don’t ever get back there and find myself stuck in caring what others think.
LET IT GO.
Let go of the idea that things have to be perfect or good all the time. Letting go of this sense of perfectionism will allow you to focus on not caring about what it means to be perfect and live without caring.
LET THEM TALK.
What other people think of you isn’t any of your business. You will never be able to please everyone and there are always going to be people who don’t like you. Stop trying to win these people over and just let it go. Let them talk because they are going to talk whether you worry about it or not.
At the end of the day, no one’s opinion about you matters but your own. If you go to sleep every night feeling loved by yourself and happy at how you treated people that day then you are winning in every sense that matters. Being happy with who you are is truly the biggest thing you are going to have to overcome to care less what people think. Because their opinion of you doesn’t matter and no one knows you better than you.
KNOW YOUR PEOPLE.
Knowing yourself and being 100% yourself will attract those like you to you. Surround yourself with people who build you up not tear you down. If your friends are a problem and talk about you or other people then you need to move on. Remember hurt people hurt people and nothing good is ever said when someone is not around.
JUST DO IT.
I get asked by girls all the time how I had the courage to start a blog. Some people can be so worried what other people will think about them when they put themselves out there. You think I wasn’t worried when I started? Wrong. I would have started four years prior if I just had the confidence to just do it.
Stop obsessing over the instagram photo and just post. Wear the outfit you think is out of style. Wear your hair with a freaking side part. My advice? Just do it. Start. Go. Whatever it is, if you exude this passion for something, others are going to believe it too. Let them talk, you are someone worth watching!