What do you think is beautiful? Do you have a favorite color, style, or motif? How do you define beauty? Those are a lot of questions, but they are important ones. How you define your own beauty and finding what makes you feel beautiful is a key component to being confident in your own skin and with who you are.
Sometimes we are so busy with our lives that we lose track of what we think is pretty. We are bombarded by external messages and influenced by opinions and we forget to check with ourselves about what we truly think is beautiful - inside and out. This can affect us in many ways.
Take a look at how not knowing what you prefer can derail your confidence:
You lack confident opinions- Following trends or the opinions of others can lead to not having any of your own. Not only does this strip down your confidence, it makes you look unattractive. People are drawn to people who have an identifiable style and opinions. They want to connect and do their best when they can clearly see who you are and what you stand for. Ambiguous isn’t a great place to be.
You forgo what you love in service to others- Having a servant’s heart is a noble thing. There is a difference between being of service and becoming a doormat. Not knowing your definitions of beauty and what makes you feel amazing can lead to taking on trends and looks that don’t feel right. You may look great and do great things in others’ eyes, but in your own, you feel empty. That’s not a confident space to be in.
You can become a martyr- Over time, setting aside your opinions for the sake of the ‘team’ can lead to martyrdom. This is the last place you want to be. Being a martyr is not the noble Biblical stance. It is the passive-aggressive space people fall into when they have given up their dreams and preferences to appease others. Done with horrible amounts of resentment and anger, this can destroy relationships, cause depression, and a host of other unnecessary results.
You can define what you think is beautiful and own it, no matter if or how it fits with anyone else’s ideas. That’s the beauty of beauty- it only has to be beautiful to you, the beholder.
If you struggle with owning your own definition of beauty, ask yourself these questions:
2. Was a significant person overly controlling of your clothing or other choices as a child?
3. What messages did you receive in your younger years about the music, books, clothing, or decorative styles you preferred?
If these questions bring back specific memories of someone squashing your personal preferences, you may need some healing to get back to the space of owning your own ideals. Never fear... that is totally possible.
If you find that you have been derailed by outside opinions and have lost your own sense of beauty, simply start to notice what you prefer. Pay attention to what you like and start to keep track of what you find pretty or eye-catching. The next time you need to make a purchase or get dressed up, emulate it or express yourself in this new way. It may feel awkward at first, but the more you lean into your heart’s preferences, the better you will feel and more confident you will become.
An exercise that I love is to make a notebook of fashion items that I like, including the colors of the latest styles. I choose what I like and what inspires me. This becomes a great resource when I shop. My closet represents the different categories of style that I have chosen...mostly fun! I use my casual jackets, tops, and shoes to remind me that it's my choice to have fun; they are colorful and vibrant, and when you look closely, an image or word may be featured.
What makes YOU feel beautiful and confident? Any particular styles or colors? Fill your life with beauty. William Morris once adviced only keeping what you find beautiful around you. What do you own that is functional and beautiful?
I'm off to check my closet.
Until next time...
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