Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Needing Some Kind of Inspiration

It's something most of us struggle with at some point in our lives, has its ups and downs, but is crucial for our well being.  What am I talking about?  Self Esteem!

Over the past few years, I've definitely struggled with this..... a lot.  Half the time, I didn't even really know how to put my finger on it, but there it was anyway.

I was a {painfully} shy kid, always hanging with the adults because I wasn't {always} sure how to act around others my age.  Don't get me wrong, I had some great friends as a kid, but I was usually the follower in every situation, the sheep, if you will.

I always felt different.  Mostly because I was an only child, spoiled with toys, and didn't understand the lives of my friends who had siblings and lots of "family stuff" that kept them from being able to play all the time. I was also pretty smart, with a photographic memory, so others thought I was weird for knowing some random fact, or remembering all kinds of details.  {If you knew my dad, you'd know where I got the random facts thing}
At the end of 5th grade, however, I was diagnosed with Scoliosis. {A very long blog post in itself}  I had to wear a backbrace 20 hours a day while I was in 6th grade- which meant I had to wear it to school.  Can you say, LAME?  It's not a pity party or anything, but that definitely contributed to my "weirdness"  

Not until 8th grade did I meet some of the best friends I'd ever had. I had fabulous teachers, and I started moving out of the "awkward teenage girl stage" -- you know what I mean.   The braces came off, I got contacts, and I felt a whole lot more "normal"

Anyway, I continued to come out of my shell, and once in high school, I made {and lost} a whole bunch of good buddies.  In fact, I was into the whole drama thing {Can you say DRAMA NERD?} and was even the President of the Drama Club, and had the lead in the musical my senior year.  

Well, at this point, I think my popularity turned into arrogance.  Looking back now, I think, "Man, I was such a b.....} you get the point.

From then on, I kind of faded into the background again, and my self esteem reached its lowest point through my first few years of college.  {doesn't matter why; in reality, I don't know why} Then I got it back, {enter, Nick}  but I still feel lacking.

Now that I'm an adult, and a whole lot more reasonable with more life experience, I know what I need to do to feel more confident.  I've thought long and hard about what I need to feel more confident, and have come up with a short list of some {really} quick fixes.

As I said, I still feel lacking in the self esteem department from time to time.  Definitely NOT around Nick.  In fact, he makes me feel like a princess {one of the MANY MANY reasons why I love him}

But around others, I feel like I still have something to prove.  {Another trait I inherited from my dad, and probably the one I dislike the most}  I want to feel important, contributive, talented, liked, loved and needed. In society as well as in my own head. --The latter being the hardest to fix.

But, the adult me also tells me that if I don't like something, I need to change it-take control and make it happen.  
This is something I've been doing for a long time now, but am also trying to add things to- to be more well rounded, if you will.

Lately, as we've been planning our wedding, I've been thinking about the future, and I'm kinda wondering what it is that I'm good at or what I want to do......and, well, that's where the lack of confidence comes in.

Some of the things that help me maintain my confidence are:

Take a shower every morning.

Duh, right?  
Well, some people shower at night, some people shower in the morning, and some people only shower when they get a second.
A morning shower is a big priority for me because it helps me feel that I'm starting the day out fresh.  {Nothing kills a self-esteem-high worse than a bad hair day, right?}

Putting on makeup

I'm not trying to be superficial- in fact, there are a lot of days where I don't wear makeup, but having my face done makes me feel "put together" and like I have enough self respect to want to look presentable, especially at work.
{Note, I'm sure this one is all in my head.  It's not a diss to those of you who don't wear makeup for whatever reason}  

{try to}  Dress Cute

This goes along with the whole "put-together" thing.
It's true, when you feel like you look good, nothing can stop you.  Now, I'm not the most fashion forward gal you've ever met, but I try my best to match, and to wear clothes that fit my body like they should.  It's another form of self expression for me; my lil artsy self.


We all know how I struggle with this one.
But ever since I've started working out on a regular basis, I feel a lot better about myself.  Even though I'm not at my goal size, I feel like I'm making some progress, and I feel stronger.  That's the point.  I love that feeling.  {Plus I looooove those endorphins!}


This wonderful thing is made by Emily at Jones Design Company.  I love it! It's an excerpt from Psalm 139, verse 14 to be exact  :)
to purchase it, click here  it's worth it.  Her blog and site are my FAVORITE to visit.  You'll love her too, I promise.

Anyway, the saying, "Sticks and stones can break my bones but words will never hurt me" is good and all, but I think we too often forget the incredible power of words.  I love words.  More than anything, I love to read them. Affirmations are great lil ditties to tell yourself when you're feeling like....well, like you need some confidence.  {I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and gosh Darnit! People like me!}  :)
I'm actually thinking of designing some art prints along these lines to hang in my house  {as well as purchasing this one from Emily} I've actually got a few on the drawing board.  more on that tomorrow!

Helping People

When I help someone, or am kind to them, it makes me feel oh so good.  About myself, about them and about life in general.  Afterall, we all want to feel important.  Making someone feel that is such a joy, and for me, makes me feel like a better person.  Double bonus!

Having great friends to confide in

ha, this photo made me smile.
I need more good friends.....ones whom I have stuff in common with.
It helps to have those we can talk to.  I'm pretty sure we all go through the same stuff......so why does it seem like such a big deal?  Good people can cheer you up faster than most things!

A warm Puppy.

ok, maybe this doesn't inspire much confidence, but it sure makes me happy!  :)

Anyway, I'm searching for ways to make myself a better person- in every aspect.   Sometimes we all need a confidence boost, and these are some things I'm going to work on.

Not that you need confidence.  I hope this post doesn't sound preachy.....More like me thinking out loud.  Hopefully I didn't sound arrogant.  I REALLY don't want to sound arrogant!

Anyway, I'm not really sure where this is going.
I think I just needed to talk about my self esteem issues for a minute. 
Thanks for reading it!

Do you struggle with your self esteem from time to time?
what inspires confidence in you?  


  1. Man, 8th grade was the best time of my life! Mostly because of you Dani! Hope all is well in your life! Congrats on your marriage and we should get together! Love your blog BTW

  2. Dani, you always dress oh so cute!!! Hope you know how wonderful you are!

  3. Aww thanks guys! Rach, right?!?!?! i totally miss you girl! when are you moving, because i must see you before you leave! and i'm glad you enjoy my lil blog! thanks so much!

    Lisa! you are so sweet, thank you! I am doing fine, its just every once in a while i feel down, ya know? I definitely need a direction. Missing you and hope things are going well in tuscon! ps we need to talk design! :)