Why self-confidence is more important than you think
There’s a saying that to wish you were someone else is to waste the person you are. After recovering from an eating disorder, PumpUp member @beckysomerville521 now has a positive body image and she bravely discusses why it’s important to be, first, and foremost, self-confident.
Self confidence is something that many people lack. It’s perfectly understandable: media outlets and social media networks make us idealize perfectly skinny and fit bodies by throwing them at our faces at every opportunity that they get. One little flaw is shown to be the worst thing.
Nobody is perfect. Many of us fall victim into seeing another person and thinking that, “Wow! She [or he] has the perfect body. I wish I had that.” But what does ‘perfect’ actually mean? There is nothing wrong with having someone else’s body as a goal, but you should never put yourself down by comparing yourself to others.
Being self-confident is such a wonderful thing and it helps with actions and thoughts that impact your everyday life. It helps you get to the gym and work towards that goal body. It helps you feel good in your clothes, even if you feel like you have more improvements to make.
Look in the mirror and say to yourself that you are beautiful, strong and can do anything you put their mind to. A lack of self-confidence can lead to potentially destructive behaviour. According to a fact sheet compiled by Do Something, a US-based non-profit dedicated to youth-driven social change campaigns, 75% of girls with low self confidence reported engaging in negative activities like smoking and disordered eating — versus 25% of girls with high self-esteem. Moreover, Heart of Leadership found that more than 90% of girls between the ages of 15 and 17 want to change at least one aspect of their physical appearance, with body weight ranking the highest. Thus, it’s likely that the person whose body you constantly compare yourself to probably doesn’t feel comfortable about themselves just as you do.
Growing up I was never overweight, but to me I felt a lot larger than I was. I had a very hard time in high school thinking that I didn’t look good enough or I wasn’t skinny enough, which led to me having an eating disorder. Eating disorders are not something you just decide to have one day, and they are so dangerous. But like others, I thought this was taking the easy way out. My weight dropped that year, and by the time I began my senior year of high school, I gained a little more confidence.
I spent the next year eating whatever I wanted and never exercising, but actually lost weight due to my fast metabolism. This led me to having an extremely low weight of 92 lbs at 19 years old. After gaining about 25 lbs I lost all my confidence and have only recently increased my self-esteem. But in my head I still look back at that point in time and wish I looked like that sometimes. With more self-confidence, I see that 92 lbs isn’t and should never be a goal weight, and that my current weight isn’t too ‘heavy’ either. I may not be 100% happy with the way my body looks, but that gives me more motivation to reach my goals the right way, by eating healthy and working out! It’s nice to walk around and be able to say out loud that I’m beautiful. I hope you all can do that because it truly is a wonderful feeling, something I would love to help others towards achieving!
Follow PumpUp on Tumblr for more inspiring stories. Keep Becky motivated on PumpUp @beckybeckysomerville521 and on Instagram @beckysomerville.