Throughout the years, I have been given many different tidbits of advice. Some of it good, some of it not so much. However, one of my long time friends told me something incredible when I was barely 14 years old.
Now if you are anything like me, you have a couple of friends that you have known since you were just 9 years old. Fal is one of those people for me. Though she lives half way around the world at this point and we seldom speak, every time we catch up, it is as if we never spent more than a week apart.
She may not remember this conversation but I remember it quite vividly, possibly since it was a critical point in my personal development. We were in middle school and I was going through a growth spurt which caused me to grow horizontally versus vertically at first.
My weight jumped from about 130 pounds to 168 pounds (you do not forget some numbers when they impact you that much). This caused some insecurities with my image and led to me wearing baggy clothing. Although I fully adopted my new style, I was not truly happy with my body.
As I was finishing my last year in middle school, I had become more active by playing soccer year around. Combined with the vertical portion of my growth spurt finally settling in, I began to show my muscular structure and lost a bit of body fat. Exciting times indeed! Unfortunately, my wardrobe had not yet caught up. Though, out of celebration of not being as "husky" as I had been, I went to Express with my mother and purchased a blue graphic tee that was slightly smaller than what I had been previously buying. The proceeding day, I had no choice but to flaunt my new shirt. That was when Fal changed my life.
After going through the day with murky confidence, I spoke with her closer to the end of the school day. She told me, "You should wear more shirts and clothes like what you are wearing. It shows off your frame more and you have a lot to be confident about." Those words changed everything.
So maybe you are reading this and struggling with your image or confidence. It is all a mental block. If you feel inferior in a certain area, work to improve it. Your physical image is easily controllable. Workout, eat well, sleep. Your romantic situation can be improved. Get out of a bad relationship, get into a great relationship, work on your communication, take her out on more special and sentimental dates. Your intelligence can be improved. Read, go back to school, get certifications in your field of work, go to workshops, get a mentor. Invest in yourself. Most everything is within your control to make some kind of change or improvement.
Above all, listen to Fal's excellent advice. you have a lot to be confident about so do not hide behind your mental barriers.
Oh, and Fal? Thank you.
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