Throughout the years, my confidence and self-worth have had their respective highs and lows. It’s said that no one can love you until you learn to love yourself, and I learnt that the hard way, with first-hand experience.
These days, I’m more than happy to say that I’m now a glass half-full. I’ve started identifying, acknowledging and embracing my strengths, my weaknesses, my powers, my flaws, my opportunities, my possibilities, my potential. It’s all a very gradual process, and self-assurance or high self-worth doesn’t usually just come overnight. Like most things, they have to be worked on. Constantly. To me, self-worth can be an extremely delicate element, but it can also be the strongest. It takes time and effort to build it up, and like trust and faith, it can come crashing down in a second if you don’t take good care of it.
I’ve picked up the habit of believing in and standing up for myself, staying true to my time-developed values and making my own decisions along the way, and I’m finally comfortable in my own skin, being my own person. I now accept and what more, embrace myself for who I truly am and work towards becoming the person I want to be in the future.
All in all, I’ve grown to be much more self-assured, but it’s not to say I don’t experience the occasional hits to my self-esteem. Rather, it no longer is something which reigns over me, as it used to when I was younger. But that being said, it still does show its face every once in a while, here and there, sometimes at the most unexpected times, even. The difference between then and now lies in the fact that I no longer dwell and wallow in self-pity – I let it out, I pick myself up, and I move on, improving myself and growing stronger in the process.
A book I’m currently reading describes this perfectly: Confidence confuses people because they think it’s all about serene certainty. It’s not. Confident people are not always free of doubt. On the contrary, they may sometimes be full of doubts, and they know exactly what their flaws are. What makes the confident person stand out is that they embrace the flaws and the fear and get on with what they have to do.
They say your mind can be your greatest asset, or your worst enemy. Confidence and self-assurance, essentially, comes from within, an inner place deep in yourself, and your mind plays a leading role in it. It took me a long, long time to learn that, and I’ve come an equally long way, with an extensive list of experiences to boot. But in the end, the best thing is to know I’ve pulled through thick and thin and emerged triumphant, loving myself more than ever.
Photographed by Felina Hung, October 2012
I want to do a whole lot of things in the future, but if there’s something I really, really want to do, it’s to empower individuals to find their own confidence and to know and embrace their worth – because I know that this is the very thing that can make or break a person. I’ve been through it, and I’m still going through the process, but I know I’ll get there eventually, and when I’m in the position to, I want to inspire individuals to be the best they can possibly be.
There, that’s one goal written down to keep me accountable and in check.