OOPS! a post I thought I’d published on Monday… Here it is…
I’m a little nervous today – a feeling I haven’t had for a while, the tablets usually numb the feeling a little, but it’s feeling quite strong at the moment. I can tell i’m starting to gain my confidence back as I found myself critically observing my clothing in the mirror this morning, something I can’t remember the last time I did. I’ve always taken great pride in the way I look, even when larger than I am now, or smaller, I feel there’s no excuse for leaving the house looking a mess. That doesn’t necessarily mean dressed up to the nines and face caked in makeup, but just neat, tidy, and (hopefully?!) classy and stylish in some way. Although having worn the same style clothes for the office, I just hadn’t cared so much about it, just chucking on a usual ‘well known’ match and shoes and just leaving the house. I knew I was presentable and that was it. I wasn’t taking pride in my appearance.

But this weekend – I went to have a hair cut. Had quite a lot chopped off, and whilst I was at it I had it dyed red. Bright red, danger, excitement, look at me, I don’t want to hide in a corner red. A colour I love, a hair colour I used to be for a long time until I dyed it black. Black was a colour which didn’t get me noticed, a colour I could hide in the background, a colour I didn’t realise I had used as an escape. The change was a change to my esteem as much as gaining my old image back, compliments such as ‘wow – I love that colour on you it reflects your personality‘ came my way, and it’s amazing what a boost a compliment can do for you.

I always try to compliment my colleagues on things I like – for instance new shoes (I am known as ‘shoe queen’ so, it’s expected I should notice shoes really…) It can be anything – but I urge you to try it. Just chatting away to a friend or colleague and casually drop in ‘I love your top’ or ‘that colour looks wonderful on you’ or even stop a complete stranger in the street if you like their coat – tell them! That one smile you get back from them will make your day I can promise you. One smile can make all the difference.

And so, bolstered with compliments from my image change gave me the confidence to look in the mirror again this morning and smile back at myself. It’s something you forget when you are so used to putting on masks for others, smiling at others gives happiness to others, but in trying to help yourself, just once in a while, learn to smile back at yourself and love yourself. You are stuck with yourself for a very long time, and whilst I don’t mean arrogance or vanity in the ‘loving yourself’ situation, what I do mean is take the courage to look yourself in the eye and concede that maybe you’re not all that bad, and stop giving yourself a hard time. It’s amazing how much easier the day ahead seems once you’ve given yourself a compliment at the start of it.

Where are my nerves coming from? I think it’s because I’m worried I’ll lose this clarity, this fleeting moment of happiness and a grasp of how I used to feel. I know that won’t happen as I’m determined to keep this feeling, this quiet confidence. I need to harness it and start applying it to other parts of my life – and this scares me too. But i’m at the start. I know it’s possible, and if there’s one thing I’m good at, is putting up a good fight for what I want.