Self-esteem, confidence, and positivity…….What do these words mean to you? Who in your life has made an impact in your self-esteem and level of personal confidence? I hope that the experiences you can think of, are positive and inspiring, because the people that lift us up in the world are the ones that make each day better! In reality, with positive experiences come negative ones as well. I understand if there have been negative times in your life because we all go through life with these, but YOU can be your own positive role model as well. This week for the weekly word of wave, I will be discussing confidence and empowerment, and the impact it has on our self-identity and personal view of ourselves.

Social media has been an influential and detrimental form of empowerment, inspiration and creation, but I feel as though our perspective is developed by how we interpret the images and information that we access. For me personally, I have mixed feelings about social media because when I was younger I was highly influenced by the perception of perfection and body image ideals. The way that media outlets such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter control how we think of ourselves can be damaging for people who may not ‘fit’ the expectations that are imposed on us. We are constantly exposed to these unattainable levels of perfection, whether it is a #iwokeuplikethis Instagram post, body ideals of being tall and thin, or having a flawless face 24/7. I want women to support women and for individuals to be proud of who they are, but social media has forced us into a mold of who we need and should aspire to be. To all my friends, family and the blogs that truly encourage body positivity and empowerment, I thank you. These are the individuals and groups of people that inspire me to be myself regardless of what society expects us to be, and challenge others to bring a positive light every day.

Profile pictures and the ‘likes’ are another factor of social media, that has projected the expectations of being somebody or someone that we are truly not. Often with the ‘perfect’ images that we see on social media, it can impact how we see ourselves in the world and make it more challenging to accept who we are. An alternate personality may be formed, that represents who we wish to be rather than expressing the true self that we are. It can be easier said then done, but I encourage you to find one thing that you love about yourself each day. The true beauty comes from within, so shine bright and show the world what you can do! Talking to my friends and family about this issue, has opened my eyes to the different struggles that they have each faced over the years and still to this day. Starting this year, I want to focus on self-love and awareness, by empowering myself and others through action. It is about ‘doing more rather than saying’, because actions speak louder than words. Take the time to recognize where you are in the present and cherish the people that are around you. Beauty is everywhere and ‘those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind’.