By Kristen Donia defines self-confidence as:”realistic confidence in one’s own judgment, ability, power, etc. So how do we form our own judgments and beliefs in our abilities? Our self-confidence develops throughout our lives as we continue to come into contact with all the elements of existence. Our self-confidence is often tied to how we conduct ourselves and how we are perceived in the world, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically.

It is through our interactions with our family, friends, and caretakers, that we first learn about the world around us and our distinct place in it. Watching the dialogue our mother or mother figure has with herself about her body can largely influence how we understand and feel about our own bodies. After all, she is the first female figure we have in our lives.

Throughout our childhood and adolescence, the road to self-confidence can be rocky as we move around, trying to find our space in the world. A safe space where we feel comfortable learning, growing, and expanding into who we are. No matter our upbringing or social status, we all struggle with who we are and what other people think of us. It’s human nature. It is deeply ingrained within us to be concerned with others because we are social creatures.

The trick that you learn as you grow into supremely, unique you, is that you are not defined by how you look. Just like how you are not your thoughts, you are not your mind, you are also not your body. You are so much more than the words you speak and the outward appearance you display to the world each day.

You can be messy by nature but keep a very organized to do list or journal. You can be naturally shy yet love attending parties or get togethers. All of these (and more) that at first glance seem like unlikely combinations are perfectly imperfect together. We are all perfectly, imperfect. And it may sound cheesy, but you can be anything you want to be. You don’t have to fit in a box, you don’t have to please others, you can be misunderstood. In fact, that misunderstood place is where you might just find yourself. Where you might find your truth, what you want, and what you don’t want.

The road to self-confidence is often paved with self-doubt, there’s no other way to cut it. But this doubt will give you the opportunity to remind yourself that you are good enough, on the regular. It will challenge you to work through it and trust yourself, making your self-confidence stronger each time you do so.

We all have a unique journey with self-confidence and it is our job to tend to it regularly. And to understand that there is no one else in the entire world like us. We are unique and perfect simply for existing. So the next time you catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror stop, close your eyes, and say thank you, because you are, just as you are, which is perfect.