I began thinking about self-confidence more after an oiled up, doe-eyed naked celebrity slipped their way through my social media stream last week.
A magazine shoot designed to break the Internet netted an astonishing $43 million dollars for this woman who is most renowned for rising to fame from her own explicit video.
It takes a lot of self-confidence to put yourself ‘out there’ like that. It’s an extreme example for sure, and not even an overly remarkable one.
With the Internet so culturally embedded in our existence, we have access to an on-demand digital stream of the world’s consciousness. It floods us online in the form of content from what has largely become an over sexualised society.
Digitally-altered images of models in magazines have become standard. Plastic surgery seems ubiquitous, as people seek an eternally youthful appearance. Some reality television programs even glorify the process under the guise of makeover and reinvention.
So how does that impact the average person and their self-confidence?
Does anyone else find it strangely disturbing that 2014 has been labelled the Year of the Butt?
Even thirty years ago, our obsession with physical appearance didn’t stretch much further than Jane Fonda’s Workout. True, we had Olivia Newton-John’s Physical in 1981 as well as R-rated magazines. But it’s nothing like the barrage of data and the X-rated visual, sensory overload available today with technology as the enabler.
I bet if you’d floated the idea of Year of the Butt back then you probably would’ve been laughed all the way to the nearest games arcade. Year of the shoulder pad however – that’s a different story!
Thirty years ago in 1984 I was an ordinary teenager in my first year of high school. Like my peers, I experienced the typical adolescent growing pains. I had floppy cropped hair (thanks to New Wave influences and the skills of the resident hairdresser – aka mum). Every Sunday without fail I watched Countdown with Molly Meldrum, loved Madonna, The B-52s and was a fan of Boy George and Culture Club.
Michael Jackson’s Thriller was big on the charts and thanks to MTV, music videos had become mainstream entertainment. It was also an epic year for classic, feel-good movies like Back the Future, Ghostbusters, Karate Kid, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Sixteen Candles and Romancing the Stone.
It was a time of coming of age for early Gen Xers and one song which resonated with me back then was “Girl on the wall” by Australian artist, Jane Clifton. This song delivers a feisty portrayal of self-confidence, self-image, insecurity, body perception and perfectionism from the viewpoint of a woman questioning society and the media’s representation of the female gender.
The heart of the song’s message is ‘the girl in the mirror, aint the same as the girl on the wall’. There’s a self-confident swagger to this song that deserves a listen. Check out the video and let me know what you think.
The issue of self-confidence and women is well documented. Women in particular can experience a loss of self-confidence due to body issues and a perceived lack of self-worth, especially in the early stages of adulthood and motherhood.
Self-doubt is often the partner in crime here – the mistrust of our instincts, procrastination over trivial details, and uncertainty of our abilities. If left unchecked, these psychological constructs can manifest into ongoing negative thought patterns. The negative thought patterns can become more destructive over time and potentially erode our core emotional stability, disrupting our overall state of wellbeing.
As children we are often taught to believe in ourselves and that we can do anything. Yet what if somehow along the way that learning never quite sunk in, or perhaps, through circumstance, you struggle with self-confidence and self-esteem issues that prevent you from fully loving yourself, owning your success and believing in your true worth?
Anyone who doubts their own abilities and questions their worth can take measures to improve their personal outlook and foster true self-confidence.
Stay tuned for my next post which will delve into strategies to help you build and maintain self-confidence.
Personal development questions:
Answer the following questions and look for personal growth opportunities. What are your thoughts on this topic? Leave your feedback below and share if it resonates. Or connect with me to explore further. I’d love to hear from you!
What does self-confidence mean to you?
How would true self-confidence feel?
What are your strengths?
What self-confidence transformation do you need to make?