Updated: Dec 9, 2019
Let's get personal. I open up about my journey with body image and self-confidence. I also share my top 3 ways to build confidence and self-love.
I don't post too many personal experiences, stories, or photos. I am quite protective of my personal life. But today I choose to let you in on a little more intimate journey of my life.
I want to talk to you about confidence, aura, and attraction.
One of my work friends said the most amazing thing to me recently that I still can't stop thinking about because it makes me feel proud of what I've accomplished.
She said, "Daniela, don't you look beautiful today! There's something like an aura about you! Good for you!"
The reason why this meant so much to me was because the hard work I've been putting in had started paying off. Nowadays you can hear the expression self love almost anywhere.
As a woman and as a health coach, self love has been part of my journey since the beginning. It's been a roller coaster, an experience that caused pain and suffering, but also brought love and happiness.
I've been thinking about things I want to happen to me in the future. I've been watching inspirational talks by mentors I like. I've had deep chats with my sister about why certain things happen with ease and others don't happen at all. It's led me to awaken to the thought that I must become what I want to attract in my life.
Of course, as a health coach, I focus mainly on the self. My mission has been to inspire women to feel confident and empowered in their own energy and presence. I offer many tools and resources to helping them develop that state of being, but to be completely honest, I've had to take my own advice.
I remember one of our chats with my sister. I said to her that I feel like all the answers are literally right in front of me, but I somehow I can't see them, blinded by fear and constant state of worry and distrust. I never feel good enough. There is always someone better than me, smarter, prettier. It is very hard to be honest with yourself because you have to admit your missteps and face your fears and weaknesses.
It's funny how we say opposites attract, when in fact, like attracts like. To find what we seek, we must become that which we are seeking.
For example, you want the perfect guy or girl. You have a list of traits you want them to have: funny, charming, intelligent, caring, passionate, ambitious, adventurous, etc.
You must become what you want to attract.
If you want someone who's vulnerable and honest, first look into your own life, look at yourself. Are you vulnerable? Are you honest? Are there people in your life who are honest? Vulnerable?
What you're seeking is seeking you. You must become the things you're looking to attract. You must find that vulnerability and honesty you wish for, but you must find them within yourself first.
I've discovered these ideas are true for me. Once I made it my goal to become more self-confident, I really began daily practices of training my mind and body to think and act as if I was already as confident as I wanted to be.
Struggling with body image and self-identity, I must say that I feel the most confident I've felt in my life. And I'm still not 100% completely where I want to be, but the progress I've made makes me feel amazing.
Some days I don't like the way my body looks or I highly criticize the way I've handled a situation, but now I'm more aware of my thoughts and behaviors during those times, which helps me take what I need and move on.
I've been going through changes physically, mentally, and emotionally that have manifested in some way in my daily life and people have been noticing.
I want to share some of the things I've been doing to feel confident and peaceful, which in turn has helped me attract more of the things I've been wanting in my life.
I believe so much in the power of deep breathing. I know the effects it has had on my mind and body. I believe that deep breathing can ease mental and physical pain.
There was a period of two years during which I did deep breathing exercises twice a day, every day. Then I stopped. I lost motivation. I think the biggest reason for that was uncertainty of what it was that I really wanted and valued. Once I established my priorities, it was easier to jump into such a routine and actually keep it up. I think that's my number one tip. Sit down with yourself and really think about what it is that you value. What are your goals? Why do you have these goals? What are your priorities right now? Do they align with your goals? To make changes to your life you must become clear on what you want and why you want it. Knowing why something is important to you will help you stay motivated. Wim Hof is known as the Iceman, founder of the iceman breathing method.
Beginning each day with breath work, I've found myself being more leveled in stressful situations, which has helped me build that self confidence. A lot of my lack of confidence stems from overthinking situations and worrying about making the wrong decision. I question my intuition and emotions. I don't trust myself to make the best decision. So breathing exercises help me take a few moments to reconnect and realize that somethings are out of my control and that's okay. Believe me, there's a long way to go, but I'm definitely happier with the small progress I've been making.
We must celebrate our little successes along the way and learn from our struggles to really appreciate the journey.
There is plenty of information and resources about the subject. I think that breath work is a wonderful tool with great benefits that anyone can use and customize to their lifestyle.
When I thought about what I wanted to attract in my life, I realized I wanted to be connected to confident, present people with common interests and values. The experiences I wanted to have that were not showing up for me were also experiences that confident people would experience. That's what I needed to become - confident and present.
I'd like to tell you about what confidence means to me. Confidence is self trust, clarity of one's values and beliefs, trust in one's actions and decisions. Confidence is being open-minded to change and situations out of one's control in a patient and poised manner. Confidence is owning any space you're in, any group of people you're with, because you know yourself, you love yourself.
So, to rewire my subconscious, I started to visualize myself being in those situations and communicating with those people. I visualize myself walking, talking, acting, laughing like a confident person.
Visualizing can seem hard (almost as hard as meditating is to some), but it really isn't when you find what works for you.
I tried to follow the experts' ways of visualizing. The music they used, the guided meditations, the affirmations. It didn't work for me. It wasn't my cup of tea. I learned a lot about the process, the benefits, the methods of visualization, but things didn't change for me until I came up with my own system, personalized to me.
I knew what I didn't like, so I just did the opposite. Whenever I would do a guided visualization, I'd keep repeating mentally "I don't like this. This is not true for me. How do I visualize this when I don't want this, I want that? I don't like this music." You can see how much visualization I was able to do. So, I took these thoughts and used them to create my own guided meditation.
First, I can't stand 20 minute visualizations. I get impatient and bored. I prefer a 5 or 10 minute session much more.
Second, I don't like most music used in guided meditations. I know some people even prefer no music, but I need music, just not that kind of music. I like instrumental Italian love songs. I am completely aware of how strange and unusual my taste in meditation music is, but I have a thing for Italy and it works for me. I don't need to force anything. I also like nature rain sounds for meditations.
Third, a visualization must be personal. I can't stand guided meditations where they tell me to imagine something that doesn't have relevance to me and my life. And when I somehow finally get to that place they've been trying to take me, they move on and I get frustrated because I feel rushed.
Basically, when I go to a place in my mind that I really like, I want to stay there longer, I want to really feel it. When I'm visualizing, I go to happy places I've been or really like to visit, I spend time with people I love and people I'd like to meet someday, and I stay there for as long as it feels good. No rush.
And you know what the funny thing is? It really ends up being a 20 minute visualization that feels more like 5 minutes because I was really present, I really did enjoy it.
There's other things I've found that work for me, like laying down on my back on my bed, not sitting on a meditation pillow. I like doing them at night when it's dark, right before I go to sleep, not in the morning. I just get more relaxed when it's dark in the room. And the list goes on and on.
This blog post is already like a book long, so I'm going to move on, but hopefully you get the idea.
3. Act as if
As hard as it is to act as confident as I want to be, I have to make little steps to get my mind and body used to the feeling.
I think the "taking action" part is the most difficult because you're obviously getting outside of your comfort zone, which can trigger resistance, worry, fear, but once you make that very first step, you realize it's not as bad as you imagined.
And taking action sort of comes naturally. Once I decided in my mind that it was time to step into my light, things naturally started to happen.
For example, my sister is a fashion blogger. I've been taking all of her photos for the past four years. That's how I got into photography. A few months ago, when this whole process began, I had this desire to be the model, to be in front of the camera.
Not many people know this, but I used to do modeling. My sister and I used to take classes and I even had a professional photo shoot. That was back in 2011-2012. I loved it. I loved the way I felt in front of the camera. I felt confident. A lot of things changed since then, but only for a short while. I'm not doing all this work for nothing.
Of course, I kept this desire of mine secret because I was afraid and embarrassed of what people would think. Everyone knew I was the photographer. It would be too weird to say, "Hey guys, how about I stand in front of the camera today?" Everyone's been hearing me say that I love being behind the camera, which I totally do, but it got to the point where I used it as an excuse to hide.
As a fashion blogger, my sister has been making connections with local boutiques, stylists, and photographers. I've been going to events with her as her photographer.
We met Gerand, a Las Vegas photographer, at a Driven Boutique event. He decided that he needed to do a sister photo shoot. In my mind I resisted. In five seconds I came up with thousands of reasons why I couldn't and shouldn't do it. At the same time I was jumping up and down with joy like a 7 year-old, but playing it super cool on the outside. My wish was about to be granted. What were the chances?!
We did the photo shoot that week and it was something I'll remember forever. I just felt how the energy around me and inside me was shifting, how the universe was aligning with my dreams and goals. It was incredible!
Sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith. Life happens for you. The fears and insecurities we have are almost always a product of our own imagination.
I hope you're still reading this! I'm going to start wrapping things up. There's so much more I want to talk about, but I don't want this to become the longest blog post in the history of blogging!
There's one more thing I want to add. I know that the subject of makeup brings up many different opinions and arguments, which is absolutely fine. Everyone is entitled to voicing freely their beliefs and views.
I'd like to share my view and experience.
I would say that life happens for you 100% of the time. I am sure of it. You may never plan or wish for something to happen, and then it happens. At first, you may be taken aback, but you quickly understand why it happened and how it ties in with what you're going through at that exact moment.
I didn't plan to work at a beauty store. And then I did. And I'm so grateful. Because it was exactly what I needed to learn and experience at the moment that supported my self confidence journey.
I learned about make up. I was surrounded by women who embraced art and creativity. I was in a setting that promoted confidence through inner and outer beauty. I learned how to apply my makeup to bring out my confidence and enhance my beauty.
You would never have seen me with lipstick or eye shadow or nice eye brows before, but it was required of me to wear makeup during working hours, and let me tell you, it completely changed the way I look at makeup. It's truly one of the simplest ways to grow your confidence. When you practice and do it in a way that enhances your natural beauty, it truly becomes a wonderful tool for building confidence.
In my opinion there's nothing wrong with enhancing your outer beauty and physical features through makeup, fashion, fitness, or cosmetic procedures, as long as it's done gracefully and tastefully. I think that confidence is an inside job that can be very beautifully manifested on the outside. But that's a whole new blog post.
It really is an inside work - work with the mind. It's a commitment. If your mind doesn't believe it, you won't achieve it. You have to start with the mind, breaking down old beliefs and building new ones. Just like you're working out to keep your body physically healthy, you have to work out the mind to build new thoughts and ideas that will take you closer to your dreams.
Everything is possible.
Tell me about a struggle you have or have had in the past? What are you doing or have done to transform it into a positive learning experience? I'd love to hear from you. As a health coach, I listen to all sorts of stories. It's humbling to know how similar our life experiences actually are.
Have a wonderful day,