Self esteem is one of those things in life that can feel difficult to hold onto or gain. For some it comes and goes, others have it and flaunt it, and some feel like they’ve never had it. For many of us, our self esteem is reflected by who we surrounded ourselves with at a young age. The smallest words can shatter that self esteem or it can build it up.
I’m 36 years old now, but I still remember things people did or said, or even the things I said to myself when I was 15 that shattered my confidence. Some of those things took me years to get over.
I remember looking at photos like this (I’m the one on the left) and back then I thought I looked chubby. What? I was around 102 lbs when this photo was taken. My confidence was so rocky that I thought that was unacceptable and I needed to lose weight.
It really wasn’t until years later, after I had my son and gained several more pounds that I started to feel more confident. My self esteem grew when I cut out toxic people in my life. I surrounded myself with people who loved me for me. I knew I gained each and every pound by bringing a life into this world. Somehow in doing the one thing I was fearful of (gaining weight) I stopped caring what others might view it as and my self esteem soared. Part of that was having people who told me I look great and helping build that self confidence.
I still have moments of doubt, I won’t lie about that. But I distinctly remember one morning I was getting ready for work and nothing seemed to fit right, my hair wouldn’t cooperate and I had a meltdown. I felt ugly.
My boyfriend heard me and came into the bathroom and hugged me. I finished getting ready and off to work I went, still feeling miserable. About 2 hours later I got a huge bouquet of flowers with a note that simply said “You always look stunning. I Love You” and it turned my day around. Not so much the flowers, but the simple sentence of ‘You Always Look Stunning.’
Sometimes all a person needs to hear (or read) is that someone is proud of them, or that someone is thinking of them. I wish I had that when I was 15, and I wouldn’t have felt so down. I wish I could have said that to myself.
This is why the Dove Self Esteem Project is so important to me, and to other women. Sometimes just the simple act of saying “You’re doing great” or “I’m proud of you” can boost someones self esteem more than you could possibly imagine. Think of all the things you wished someone would say to your younger self, and turn around and say it to someone else – whether you think they need to hear it or not.
Not a day goes by that I don’t tell my son I love him, I’m proud of him and that he’s incredible. I raised him to respect himself, love himself and to treat those around him as he would want to be treated. I don’t want him to have the same self esteem issues I had, and I don’t want him to give anyone else a reason to have self esteem problems.
To support Dove and their Self Esteem Project, I pick up some Dove products at my local Ralphs during my weekly shopping trips. I love using the Dove Dry Antiperspirant Spray and Foam Wash, plus the boys love the Dove Men+Care line.
Want to join in on this important conversation? Head over to Dove.com/Self-Esteem and share your thoughts.