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  • Writer's pictureSkye Clark Images

Find your confidence by being YOU.

I've struggled for much of my life with having confidence. I never felt like I was pretty, skinny, smart or a good hand.

Part of that came from being teased horribly in school. We were pretty poor growing up, and only wore hand me down clothes that other people or cousins would send us. And, we could only wear 2 pairs of clothing a week.

We had to wear the same set of clothes everyday to school, then when we got home, we had to change into our work clothes and wore the same pair all week.

I'm not complaining. I didn't even realize that was a "bad" thing until kids started teasing me in the 3rd grade for it.

I also didn't have the "right last name" and our family didn't go to church, so after about 5th grade, most kids and their parents didn't want me around. That was also fine with me as I am a natural born loner. But it also made me hide out more.

Jr high and high school were the worst days of my life. To this very day, I regret not dropping out and just getting my G.E.D. I was a ranch kid that didn't have nice clothes, stunk like cattle and cigarettes (my mom smoked), didn't play sports or go to church and had a lot of freckles. That combination put a huge target on my back from the older boys, the preppy cheerleaders and basically everyone in between.

I survived, but I BELIEVED all the mean things said to me, and started telling myself those things and much worse. I was by far my own worse enemy. I was so hard on myself and wouldn't ever hear any compliment I received. If I did get them, it went in one ear and out the other. I would tell myself "they are just saying that trying to make me feel better but they don't really think I am smart, pretty, a hard worker", etc.

That led me to constantly want to be someone else. To look different, have a different lifestyle, etc. When all the time I was actually HAPPY doing what I was doing.

So for about 20 years, I was downright miserable because even though I was HAPPY being me and living life how I was without realizing it until recently, I kept trying to be someone and something I wasn't.

I can't tell you really when, where or why, but one day a few years ago, I was thinking a typical thought pattern of something like "I'll never be as pretty as her or have any friends or get invited to...……..", when after that thought, for some strange reason, I asked myself, "If you did get invited to...….x, y, z, would you go? WHY would you want to go?"

Then I realized, I had absolutely no desire to be invited nor go to anything that I was feeling sorry for myself about. And it was a snowball effect. I started asking myself similar questions anytime I started comparing myself to others or feeling sorry for myself. It took my many years, and at almost 40 years old now, I still struggle but VERY RARELY.

I now watch others be successful and accel, and instead of watching with envy and hatred, I appreciate what they are able to do and applaud them for it. If I start feeling down and telling myself "She's so talented at x,y,z", I also ask myself "If you had a teacher and was able to practice x,y,z, do you think you could do well also?" And that usually leads to, "hell yeah I could, but I don't want to spend my time practicing x,y,z because it's not really something I want to do."

I'm sure I sound like a whacked out nut, and I am, but maybe this will help someone who might struggle with comparison as well.

I now appreciate what I have, the talents and gifts and opportunities I've been given and I WORK HARD and keep LEARNING and PRACTICING the things that interest ME. I know I'm good at what I do, I enjoy what I do and in the end that's all that matters.

Learn to love and appreciate what you have, work and practice to improve on what you LOVE to do and also appreciate what others are good at. When you can do that, you will find confidence, happiness and contentment.

PS- LISTEN and ABSORB the compliments you get, but also GIVE YOURSELF compliments too! I know it sounds crazy, but it works!

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