Loving myself was not something that came easy to me. During my formative years I felt like an outsider. Women I looked like were deemed as undesirable and played up to the stereotypes of the angry black woman or always had a point to make. This made it hard for me to make my needs known out of fear being labelled as the opinionated black woman. My ugliness (I thought at the time) was reinforced by lack of diversity in local beauty stores. I was bullied for being dark skinned. I recall whispers ‘blackie’ as I walked along corridors. I was told by family members I was too dark and to lighten up. I dabbled with skin lightening creams because I wanted to be accepted in my community. I didn’t want to be known as the dark one. Little did I know they were projecting and playing along with the discourse being light skinned equaled beauty, success and acceptance. This had been taught throughout generations in the Caribbean community.
I found solace joining communities where people that looked like me conversed and uplifted one another. I listened to women of colour speak about their experiences. I educated myself about colorism, racism and black feminist perspective. I understood how they took their power back. I learned I had to be my own best friend. Not be fearful of advocating for myself. Accept who I was flaws and all. Truly believe it was okay to be different. Once I found confidence in myself and treated my self with respect this set the tone for how others treated me.
Fast forward I am clear on my strengths, weaknesses and goals. I check in with how I am feeling on a weekly basis. Chart my alignment with my purpose. I make an effort to connect with others that have a similar background and interests as myself. I make the decision to surround myself with positive people to uplift my mood.
How can you build your confidence?
I have included 5 tips to build confidence.
- Self awareness. Who are you? What do you stand for?
- Set goals. What are your goals?
- Set reflection check in points.
- Be intentional with your time. How can I live intentionally? How do I want to spend my time?
- Find and surround yourself with others that have similar interests. What and where is your community?
I hope my story resonates with you and can be used as a guide for building confidence.
Please share your story and how you increased your confidence.