Where Does Confidence Come From?

Today I thought I’d start with a prompt I didn’t have an immediate answer to:

Where does confidence come from?

Confidence, an unassuming little word, encompasses and impacts more of our daily lives than most of us would probably care to admit. But what is confidence? Where can we find it? Can it be bottled, captured, or taught? And why does it matter…?

Confidence can be seen from a mile away.

If you’ve ever looked in the mirror, given a speech, or had to work with a team, then you likely already know the basic concept here. Confidence, in the best terms that I can describe, is the assuredness in one’s own thoughts, being, or actions. And it really is so powerful and so important in achieving our dreams, because it lifts us up into a state of believing in which anything is possible–as long as we are driven and determined (ie: Confident) enough.

Confidence can be seen from a mile away. It’s in a person’s smile, their stride, the way they dress or how they behave around others. Confidence makes us better individuals, because instead of turning to dark or bitter thoughts, we gravitate towards the positive in life. Yes, confidence itself lives in the very realm of the positive, and it’s always waiting there, for whenever we happen to venture on by.

I don’t suggest trying this.

You don’t need to be flawless–or fearless–to be confident. You don’t even have to be confident all of the time (I know I most certainly am not). Confidence, like all things in life, has its cycle – its time and its place. Some of us have too much (raise your hand if you know someone); others could use a bit more (give yourself some credit!). But I wanted to delve more into the finding of confidence here, and how we can work to build and maintain a healthy dose of it.


Step One: Say Good-bye to Your Negative Nancy.
Each of us has a negative voice in the back of our minds; usually a fearful, timid little voice, whispering “What if’s” and “should have/could have’s” in our ear. And believe me, it’s not a bad thing. In fact, that worried little voice just might function as a survival instinct. We rely a lot on our perceptions to tell us what (and who) is a danger to us. So the first step here, is really, learning not to be afraid. A confident person isn’t a person who won’t recognize dangers or experience fears, but rather acknowledges all of these, and then chooses to express that they themselves are unthreatened.

You should definitely be like this kid, though.

I hate to go off on a tangent here, but consider if you will for a moment the behavior of dogs. If you see a dog that is barking at everyone that walks past, lunging at other dogs, and not listening to its owner, you might just assume that it is either badly behaved, or aggressive. The fact of the matter may be though that the dog is merely scared and not reassured of its owner’s leadership abilities. Neither of them have any confidence in what they’re doing, and so the dog goes on the offense (another survival instinct). In contrast, a confident dog owner will provide greatly needed direction for their pooch, and a dog that has a confident owner is going to be more self-assured in their actions as a result.

It’s all about attitude – which brings me to my next point.

Step Two: Fake It Until You Make It!
If you’re not naturally confident in a project, a person (yourself), or a situation, the very best thing that you can do is pretend that you are anyways. Stand up straight, pull your shoulders back; you can smile or keep a calm countenance – whichever you prefer. The important thing though is to tell yourself (and others) through the use of body language that you are assertive… that you really know what you’re doing. Confidence inspires confidence. And what I mean by that is, if you appear relaxed and assured in your circumstance, it will help other people to feel more at ease as well. If you seem to have a firm grasp on what’s going on, you inspire others to feel confident in your character and your abilities.

It’s really a positive, self-rewarding system.

Step Three: Embracing a Better You


Human beings are truly incredible creatures, and our ability for adaptation and change is nothing short of remarkable. Have a trait you don’t like? Guess what: you can change that. Unhappy with your personability or how you present yourself to others? It’s all something you can work on and improve. Anything, from our behaviors to our personalities, can be re-shaped and molded into something exciting and new. And this can definitely be applied to our topic of choice.

The biggest step you can make in coming into a brighter, happier self is changing your mode of thinking. Try to compliment yourself, quietly or out loud, as often as you like. Reward yourself with praise when you know you’ve done well, and don’t be afraid to accept praise from others. The instant we accept that we can be as amazing as we want to be, the whole world just opens up to us. As if to say: “Here it is! Anything and EVERYTHING you could want is at your fingertips. Please, just reach out and take it!” My advice? Take it. And don’t let that little demon called doubt try and hold you back.

Roar and thump your chest. Get a little proud of who you are and what you’ve accomplished. And if there are things that you still want to accomplish, go out there and do them! When you erase limitations from your mind, you put yourself in the very shoes of Confidence itself. And nothing is better than being the very thing that you want.

 

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News!

I got a new car! And a dog! And a job driving for UBER!! Okay, so that last one wasn’t me. But I’m excited enough for my fiance that it feels like I’ve been blessed with this amazing new opportunity. Consider this a check-in, check-up, update, due date, LONG overdue synopsis of my life.

So, makeup and fashion have taken a slight back-burner to the rest of what’s going on. But my passion for health, beauty, and confidence have not waned, friends. Oh, no! If anything, taking a reprieve from a couple of things (like my old job and horrible, beaten up car) have refreshed me in an indescribable way. It’s funny how much what you do and what you drive can impact your mood. It’s almost comparable to the influence of what you put on every morning.

Bonus news? I’ve lost weight. About a 60% paleo diet and some serious yoga and strength training are getting me in the best shape of my life, and I’ve never been happier. We’re right around the marker where I’m cracking down, getting serious, and taking this baby all the way. Wish me luck, and lots of sweatproof foundation. Speaking of, review coming soon for some phenomenal face makeup that I just can’t stop raving about. Wear it to the gym, wear it in the rain, wear it when it’s 100 degrees outside– with this stuff, it doesn’t matter. Wait for the review. If you haven’t tried this brand already, you simply must. Well, that’s all for now.

Ta lovelies! TTY Soon.

Jenn

Update: Overload

Just a quick note to let all readers know my posts may be a bit sporadic in coming. Obligations have reared their head, and between my two (three?) jobs and other responsibilities, I’ll be cutting back. Ack! Not what I want to have to write, and probably not what you want to hear. Dang life–always getting in the way. 😉

I realize this is a little late in coming as it’s already been awhile since my last post. However, better late than never is a motto I now choose to fall back on. So! Please expect a review and some fun free-writing in the following days. And beyond that, I’ll be here… reading all your lovely blogs and (sporadically) maintaining my own.

Thanks so much guys!

♥ Jenn

How to Hog the Bathroom, Effectively

Men are great. Truly, they are. But if there is one thing my man will never understand, it’s that sometimes, a girl just needs her privacy. The sound of him banging on the door is one I’ve come to loathe. Such is the way of things when you live in a two person household with only one bathroom. Usually, this isn’t something that bothers me. I’ve lived too long slapping an outfit together or some concealer on my face though, and I won’t do it again…  never again.

To quote the greatest video game of all time:

So how do you hog the bathroom, effectively?

Perhaps I should rephrase that. The real question becomes: How do you get the space you need for your morning/nighttime ritual, without offending the person you share half of your life with? And truthfully, that’s a hard question to answer. The key here, though, is in compromise–and some very careful planning. As Sun Tzu said, the path to victory is in knowing one’s enemies, as well as oneself.

If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.    -Sun Tzu, The Art of War

If you want the upper hand, then play to win. Getting to know my spouse’s schedule has been key in working around these little incidents. If I can anticipate when he’s most likely to need time to get ready, or wanting to shower and shave, less stress abounds for us all.

I know what you’re thinking… Should it really be that hard though?

Sometimes you give up certain privileges for companionship. And being in a couple means learning to live around each other. There are reasons people stay single; usually, finding happiness with someone just outweighs the little benefits of living alone. (I may revoke this statement periodically.)

The last piece that you need is: Communication. If there’s an issue, try talking to each other! I know if I just approached my guy and explained that I wanted time for some personal things, he’d be more than happy to give me that courtesy. Respect is a big part of a solid relationship, and one that you both should work to build upon. I think as girls, we fall into this mindstate of needing to look flawless all the time. It’s difficult, having someone see all your imperfections–especially when it’s someone who you only want to show your best to. Just be open and sincere. Homeostasis… that all comes in time. 😉

And to leave things off on a lighter note, Andy Grammer!

Tag: Beauty Bares All

I had so much fun with the recent Tag post I did, I decided to make one of my own! Here are a few questions I challenge all beauty bloggers to answer. Steal these and fill in the blanks on your blog!

Okay, let’s get started…


1. Spring, Summer, Winter, or Fall?
Fall is my favorite season. The time for warm colors, chunky scarves, boots and soft sweaters! If I could live in one season, year round, it would have to be fall. Brisk enough that you want to cuddle close, but not so nippy you’re just hiding in your house.

2. What does your ideal date notice and compliment you on?
My impeccable timing. Alright, no jokes. I think I’d love it if a guy recognized how much time I spent on looking good. It’s one thing to feel fabulous for yourself, it’s another to have someone else appreciate all the effort that went into it! Also, I adore when someone complements me on my jewelry.

3. Would you rather give up lipstick, hair products, or mascara for an entire year?
I don’t think I could get by without something to control my hair. Lipstick, now that I could go without.

4. If you could leave just one message for the world to hear, what would that message be?
Stop fighting. No, seriously. We’re not 2-year-olds. You can learn to share.

5. A genie appears and offers you a wish. What one beauty task would you never perform again? First of all, I feel a bit gypped only getting one wish; but if I had to choose, I would probably wish that hair only grew on my head. No trimming, grooming, waxing, shaving, etc. Smooth from head to toe–other than some gorgeous locks. And did I mention, perfectly styled?

Wait, can I change my wish?

6. You have two options: Money or happiness? Additionally: Infinite wardrobe or flawless face?
I know some people are going to fight me on this, but money doesn’t equal happiness. They’re not exactly exclusive, either. But… if I was at the brink of having either all of my potential money or all of my future happiness stripped way, I would have to choose happiness. Oh, and clothes. I’d definitely want an endless supply of clothes; as long as I wasn’t cursed with never knowing what to wear.

7. Are you a tea lover, a coffee hound, or a fan of something stronger?
Coffee and I don’t get along. Two large cups once had me dizzy and disoriented for days! And I’m not much up on drinking, either. Tea is my happy place – my morning pick-me-up. I love it before breakfast, at lunch, and around bedtime. Also, it’s good for you. *cough* DRINK TEA!

8. Have you had a “perfect day”, and what did it entail?
I think I was 8. It was just me, my grandma, and a mickey mouse fanny pack (did I just admit to that?) taking on Disney Land. We rode on every ride I was tall enough for. I got to hug my superheroes, and had mint choc. chip ice cream for dinner. Yeah; I don’t think there’s any topping that.

If I had to choose a more recent memory, it would be Valentine’s Day, last year. My boyfriend and I woke up before the sun had risen, trekked through a huge, overgrown field, and watched the day break underneath this massive tree. We lit off wishing lanterns, which was terrifying surrounded by dry grass! And then, our lives no longer threatened, watched them float away across the sky. My V-Day present was a necklace he’d set with a stone I’d been holding onto for years. ♥ That’s my perfect day.

9. What do you splurge on the most?
It’s a close tie between skin products and jewelry. Jewelry takes the cake on this one though. It’s my fantasy to one day have one of those automated jewelry organizers straight out of the Princess Diaries.

10. I have not lived until I’ve seen ______!
Venice! The city on the sea.

And finally…
11. What are you guilty of doing when nobody’s watching?
Checking my hair/makeup in every reflective surface. *facepalm*


Give these ones a whirl and let me know your favorite in the comments below!

Tag: Confessions of a Beauty Blogger

In a constant effort to define ourselves as writers, sometimes we stop to ask some pretty simple questions. I spotted this feature on a blog I subscribe to and thought it would be fun to fill in the blanks with my own splash of color. So here it goes!


1. How many hours a week do you spend planning/writing/uploading posts?
Sparse, I’d say. Ideas come to me like bolts of lightning, and are usually fleshed out the instant I dream one up in my mind. Transcribing it though, now that comes later; and like a quote I’m quite fond of states, is usually far from the initial concept. Evolution of an idea sometimes helps you to lose your inspiration along the way… Think about that, kids. Creativity waits for no one.

retro-lady-with-money2. Are you a spender or a saver?
My heart says saver, but my wallet tends to open more times than a revolving door. Money and I have a great relationship. As soon as we’re together, we just decide to take a little time apart.
Clothes and cosmetics help wildly in that regard.

3. When is it easiest for you to write your posts?
When the world stops spinning and nobody needs anything from me. But, since that’s less likely to occur than a daily eclipse, usually just whenever I have a moment free. I tend to do my best writing at night, and love jotting down posts in advance.

4. What makes writing posts comfortable for you?
Tea, my favorite chair, and some sunshine on my face. Despite being a night bird, the thing I crave most for my writing is sunlight and the consequent happiness that follows. But the thing that makes it most comfortable for me to write is honestly having something worthwhile to say. There’s nothing worse than trying to force inspiration when there’s nothing there to give. #writersblock

5. What’s your worst makeup/hair habit?
I wash my hair almost every day, which can be drying and strip it of moisture.
Also, I don’t take as great of care of my face as I should.

6. What’s one quote you wish the world would live by?

Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.   -Abraham Lincoln

7. How long do you spend getting ready every day?
That depends entirely on the length of my hair. Right now, shower time excluded, let’s say half an hour. Hopefully the boyfriend doesn’t read this and call me out on that!

8. What’s your favourite post on your blog?
Honestly, it’s too early to tell. I’d say my best post would have to be my first —
Real Beauty: A Cry to Bare It All.

9. Who is a beauty blogger that you think deserves more subscribers than they have?
Dorkchops; the person I stole this prompt from. If you want a really down to earth approach to cosmetics and nails, give her blog a gander. Dorkchopsworld.wordpress.com

shopping10. What’s one thing you’re excited for in the coming year? New clothes. The chance to go out and buy clothes. Clearance wracks. Dresses, scarves, and shoes… in particular.

11. What’s your favorite blogging moment?
Deciding I wanted to start blogging again, and then taking the plunge. There’s nothing more exciting than hitting the ‘create’ button on a new project. And learning to keep up with it as your passion evolves is my favorite part of any writing experience.

12. How long does it take to prep for a post?
Define prep… I’m not a fantastically organized person, so generally I have a post in mind that I’ve already sort of finished from beginning to end before my hands even hover over the keyboard. I’m a bit of freestyle and a tad bit mental planning. I guess it happens unconsciously, while I’m working and doing laundry, or other menial stuff.

13. Are you wearing jeans/skirt right now or are you wearing pajama bottoms?
Jeans / gym clothes. Can’t seem to decide where I’m going…


Well that was my questionnaire. Whoo! Finished in record time.
Feel free to snag this little interview and answer for yourselves if you like!

♥ Jenn

Real Beauty: A Cry to Bare It All

What is beauty?

I found myself deciphering that question one day while watching the unknown faces drift by. Every one of them I managed to summon some positive comment or characteristic for. Surprisingly, most of them were less about physical attractiveness and more about personality. A gentle smile, a kind laugh… the natural allure of a person’s sparkling eyes. Beauty, the most undermined and over abused topic in our daily lives, is not dead, my friends; it’s merely strung up in a coma and in desperate need of some fluids.

Let’s talk for a second about what it means to be beautiful. 

Beauty comes by many definitions. This, perhaps, is the most compelling:

The qualities in a person / thing that give pleasure to the senses or the mind.

So beauty, by our very definition, is a fallible, feeble concept. A matter, as we so often put it, of taste. And yet we have been bombarded, dare I say overwhelmed in our waking lives with the all-consuming trends of today. “Buy this, and you’ll know allure.” “Wear that to receive acknowledgement.” “The brighter, flashier, younger–the better!” Beauty has become a beast we can no longer afford to feed. Thanks to outrageous societal norms, even the most naturally blessed can now look at themselves and find flaw. It’s not enough to merely be beautiful, or thin, curvy or fair; golden skin and flowing locks just don’t cut it anymore. We’re in a generation of disappointment and dashed expectations. If I don’t look like the men/women/kids in magazines, if I can’t command the presence and glamour of the stars in the media, then I’m undeserving of attention. Less than is our new popular phrase.

The unworthiness bug is catching quick, and hundreds of petitions and cries for realistic role-models aren’t changing things any. The fact is, this is a worldwide crisis, and it starts with judgement. Now I’m not talking about judging others strictly, but rather drawing from the outside and coming to judgments about ourselves. My nose is too big, my calves could be smaller, and on and on! Just a short time ago, awareness of our own image wasn’t even that great – and now we have social media and other self-obsessed hobbies to keep us company. It’s no wonder that public morale is down. Instead of spending time with others, we’re turning all of our energy (and destructive energy at that) inwards. In a world of so much connectivity, we have never been more alone… and we’re suffering for it.

What we’ll find is that we’re filling this world with angry, unrealistic people. People who watch television and think that celebrities look that flawless all the time, or that someone who has good skin or a great figure doesn’t have to work hard to achieve those things. Instead of expressing our humanity in a positive way, we reflect negatively upon ourselves and spend time brooding over how we could be better. And makeup is largely to blame. It’s one thing to improve your appearance and boost your confidence by covering up a pimple, or dabbing a little color on your lips. It is far another to conceal and fearfully hide every aspect of your true self.

Best accessory? Your smile.

Best accessory? Your smile.

And if you respond with, What if that is my true self?” Here is my answer: Does any of that make you happier? Each day, does it get easier to accept that you are a beautiful person, inside and out? Or is that mask on your face just helping to grow and fester your own backwards sense of insecurity? The truth is, beauty comes from inside. Cliché, I know, but that’s realer than any woman in a Covergirl commercial. And if you don’t believe me, try going without that face for one day, and see how, emotionally, you fare. Until you can step outside with a bright smile and a confident heart, maybe it’s time to reconsider your daily “beauty” routine.