"Never bend your head. Hold it high. Look the world straight in the eye".
- Helen Keller
Words are so powerful, and yet we toss them around, use them to unfairly judge people, or make cutting remarks in the heat of a moment without any regard as to how they will affect someone. I'm sure at one time or another, we have been at the receiving end of some not so nice comments that affected how we feel about ourselves. We let other people's thoughtless comments chip away at our self-esteem, it start to spiral out of control, and we think we're not good enough, or even beautiful enough. Think it's not true? According to a 2011 Dove Research Study, only 11% of girls (ages 10-17) globally are comfortable using the word beautiful to describe themselves. Very sad, but very true.
I wasn't always this confident. For many years I felt like I was wearing a mask. Big smile on the outside for the world, emotional wreck on the inside. Like many young girls, I went through my first love, my first heartbreak, and of course, my first "real" relationship. All of which convinced me that I was Carrie from Sex and the City (sound familiar anyone?). The only thing though, I couldn't quite pick myself up as good as Carrie by the end of a thirty minute episode. I let a bad relationship shake my confidence and self-esteem. I even thought to myself, "maybe I'm not beautiful enough", because my Latina face was different from the ones staring back at me in all the popular magazines. I'm sharing a bit about my story, because I wish someone would have done the same with me. I needed someone to shake me and tell me that "beauty" has nothing to do with looks, a magazine cover, and especially not a relationship. True beauty comes from within.
Here are some other tips:
- Control, in any form, is not love.
- Surround yourself with like-minded people.
- Life is to be lived, so take some risks and challenge yourself.
- It's ok to make mistakes. Call it "growing pains", a learning curve - whatever. We all make them. Fall, brush it off, and get yourself right back up again.
- When someone gives you a compliment, smile and say "thank you". Don't diminish what they just told you by disagreeing or apologizing.
- Find a mentor, or someone who is a positive role-model, who is doing what you want to do.
- Take it from me, no matter what you have done, or what life has put in front of you, if you want to change for the better, you can. You can reinvent yourself. It's never too late to start over.
Continue the momentum. This weekend, Dove is having events across the U.S. for their third annual Dove Self-Esteem weekend from October 5th - 7th. Read more about Dove's initiative with Vive Mejor, "Hablemos" (Let's Talk). You can also visit Vive Mejor's website to access free tools to motivate and inspire a young girl in your life, or Dove.com to learn more about their partners, Girls Scouts, Girls Inc., and Boys & Girls Club of America. A simple act, like starting a conversation about beauty, can make a world of a difference. Get out and get involved!
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Dove and Latina Bloggers Connect. As always, all opinions are always my own!