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BY: FIRDAUSH YASMIN

We live in a society dictated by the need for approval; approval of family, friends, our bosses, and even people we don’t know on social media sites like instagram, twitter, or facebook. Amidst all these people however, it’s easy to lose sight of the most important approval you can get; yourself.

Nowadays, everybody wants to be the “most” something: the most happy, the most beautiful, the most successful, the most fit or the most popular. The list could go on for ever. All women madly look left and right to verify themselves and their identity by listening to what others have to say about them, but how many of you actually have looked in the mirror and just asked yourself?

“Am I smart enough?”black-and-white-person-woman-girl-large

“Am I beautiful enough?”

“Am I funny enough?”

“Am I good enough?”

If you had, you would know that if all your confidence and strength were to be solely dependent on you, you would have no insecurities at all. If all you compared yourself to was your past self, then  you would see how far you’ve truly come.

Unfortunately, that’s not how our society runs. People are insecure because instead of competing with themselves, they are competing with each other. All around us there are individuals that have lost faith in being able to become the type of person they desire to be, simply because they trust that there will always someone out there doing it better. Such thoughts are discouraging but ultimately, it’s the most prominent way for women to think.

Looking and comparing ourselves to successful and prominent actors, politicians, musicians,  athletes and business people has made us all insecure and afraid to show our true potential to the world. Looking at these individuals, all most people take away from them is their success, fame, glamorous lifestyle– everything that’s superficial. If only women listened and looked beyond all that, they would realize that the best way to make themselves into the people they idolize, is through accepting themselves as they are.

woman-model-sunlight-sunglasses-52739Confidence and poise surrounds these people because they know their own value and don’t need anyone else to validate it. These people online, on TV, or in magazines, that so many women lust and obsess over are all individuals that achieve their self-worth through themselves. They flaunt no insecurities because they trust and rely solely on their own approval to validate their identity. As much as we’d like to blame all the celebrities and successful people of the world for our insecurities, the truth is that we are part of this problem as well.

Yes, others may be critical of you because of the precedent set by these famous individuals, but more than anything else, they are critical because you allow them to. By listening and accepting the critiques of strangers you become the one giving whatever they say value and validation.

Women need to realize that their identity is not the outcome of the approvals the receive from others, but the approval they receive from themselves.      .

Confidence is believing in yourself. Confidence is trusting yourself. Confidence is relying on your own approval.

But hey, don’t take our word for it. Here’s what some of the most prominent women in the world have to say about about your insecurities:

1. “I wouldn’t want them to feel lonely or outcast ever in any way. And no matter where they were in the world, I’d want them to always feel incredibly confident about who they were and proud.”

– Jennifer Beals

2. “Just believe in yourself. Even if you don’t, pretend that you do and, at some point, you will.”

– Venus Williams

3. “ It is she who has enough confidence to define success and failure for herself who succeeds.”

– Sophia Amoruso

4. “The only way to be happy and be a more enjoyable person to be around is to embrace what you’ve got.”

– Mischa Barton

5. “Do not allow people to dim your shine because they are blinded. Tell them to put on some sunglasses, ‘cause we were born this way.’”

– Lady Gaga

6. “I don’t like to gamble, but if there’s one thing that I’m always willing to bet on, it’s myself.”

– Beyonce

7. “If you believe in yourself and feel confident in yourself, you can do anything. I really believe that.”

– Karlie Kloss

8. “Everyone has that inner voice, the one that’s a Negative Nancy. I’d say to ignore that voice and to be confident and follow your heart.”

– Katharine McPhee

9. “Be your own artist, and always be confident in what you’re doing. If you’re not going to be confident, you might as well not be doing it.”

– Aretha Franklin

10. “There are no makeovers in my books. The ugly duckling does not become a beautiful swan. She becomes a confident duck able to take charge of her own life and problems.”

– Maeve Binchy

11. “My theory is that if you look confident you can pull off anything – even if you have no clue what you’re doing.”

– Jessica Alba

12. “Confidence is key. Sometimes, you need to look like you’re confident even when you’re not.”

– Vanessa Hudgens

13. “Everyone has insecurities, but I try not to focus on them. It’s important to be confident with what you’ve got.”

– Eliza Doolittle

14. “No matter what a woman looks like, if she’s confident, she’s sexy.”

– Paris Hilton

15. “I have no control over what people think of me but I have 100% control of what I think of myself, and that is so important.”

– Beth Ditto

15. “I was once told that I had become too confident and that it made me less likeable. Many successful people will get this at some point, because the people who haven’t followed a similar path can be threatened by someone who has and is unabashed about it.”

– Aimee Mullins

16. “We live in a world where it’s difficult to be a woman who is strong and confident, so I like to surround myself with friends that embody that same principle and idea.”

– Mandy Moore

17. “When you’re an insecure teenager, you build walls and defenses and masks, and those are incredibly satisfying to perform and chip away at. I mean, when I was an insecure teenager, you’d have had no idea what I was insecure about because I hid it so well. Only confident people are comfortable wearing their vulnerabilities on their sleeve.”

– Sarah Steele

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