"I started to believe that I am beautiful, strong and worthy and that’s what helped me in achieving true and genuine confidence."
In this blog article Lacey (@laceyreynish) shares her self confidence story and her confidence journey, as well finding out what confidence means to her!
Towards the end of the article Lacey also shares some advice for other women who might be struggling with their self confidence.
Lacey is a young, fun loving woman from Southern California in the US. She is studying Public Relations and admits that she loves encouraging and helping others, and working together as a team to reach certain goals. She is also engaged to the love of her life, and couldn't be happier about her life right now ('YAY!')
We think a lot of women can relate to Lacey's story. What Lacey shares with us is something that may take some women their entire lifetime to learn about themselves.
This is why it's important for women to empower each other through sharing our stories, and is definitely the aim of this article today.
Now let’s get some more insight from Lacey, see our questions below and her responses.
What have you struggled with most in relation to your self-confidence and your own self-image?
"Being someone who has always struggled with my weight, I was always surrounded with friends that were much skinnier than me and I didn’t feel like they would understand how I felt about myself."
"I would pretend that it wouldn’t bother me that I couldn’t share clothes with them. I would pretend I felt comfortable in my own skin to the point where I was exhausted."
"I was exhausted from always pretending, not acknowledging my true feelings and facing them head on. I put up such a front that I would start to convince myself that this is was the real me, like; “Real Lacey is confident and loves herself; any thoughts that didn’t fall under that weren’t really me.”
"Those thoughts hindered me from actually loving who I am and instead causing me to love who I wanted to be."
What was the pivotal moment you realised perhaps you weren’t the confident person you wanted yourself to be?
"I honestly just got tired of faking it. I saw so many people around me who were filled with genuine joy and I craved that."
"This artificial joy that I put up just wasn’t enough for me anymore. I wanted to genuinely love me for me. I wanted to love the way I looked and love the way I was in my entirety."
After this realisation, how did you feel?
"I felt relieved. I definitely had to go through the tough reality that I wasn’t who I said I was. I had to come to terms with the painful thoughts and feelings that have consumed me for so long. It took some time, but once I got through that process, I ended up feeling so much better than I did when I was ignoring how I actually felt."
What steps did you take personally to help build your character and confidence?
"After that realization, I knew something had to change. I looked for places where I could be encouraged and uplifted. I started by reading my Bible intentionally and learning about who God says I am."
"I also reached out to friends and family and shared how I had been feeling and was shocked to find out how many people close to me felt so similar to me. I found so much peace in relatability."
You also mentioned that for you, being confident is a re-commitment everyday to yourself. Can you share with us what still weighs on your mind, what you struggle with on a daily basis and why this daily re-commitment to you is so important?
"Since the decision to fully embrace myself and love who I am and what I look like, I have felt so much joy and freedom. With that being said, those negative and harmful thoughts did not just go away."
"There are still times I look in the mirror and struggle with what I see. But what I have learned about confidence is, we all have these negative thoughts but how we choose to let them affect us is what determines who we believe ourselves to be."
"I decided to stop believing those negative lies in my head and started to believe that I am so much better than that. I started to believe that I am beautiful, strong and worthy and that’s what helped me in achieving true and genuine confidence."
Have you got any tips for anyone else going through a similar experience?
"Turning more towards my faith really helped me, I learnt that in God's eyes we are all unique, beautiful and that we are wonderfully made. Those words alone are incredibly encouraging."
"I also had to take so many steps in changing my perspective. Even though it felt silly, looking at myself in the mirror and verbally saying “I look beautiful” helped so much. Things like that might feel weird but there are so much power in words, so it’s important to verbally speak our positive affirmations to ourselves."
"I would also recommend talking to people about your struggles. It wasn't healthy keeping to myself about the way I felt all those years - I created this false reality that no one else could possible feel the way I was feeling - and man - that was so far from true. There is so much beauty in relatability so talk to someone!!"
"Lastly, follow accounts, like @herparade, online that make you feel good about yourself. If you stumble across an account on your feed that makes you fall back into those negative bad habits, unfollow them! It’s not worth it, no matter who it is."
Produced by Herparade in collaboration with @laceyreynish
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