Photography By Studio 52
It’s funny how some people think that they know all that there is to know about a person just from meeting them once or from the persona they portray. I often have people writing to me or telling me in person how confident I seem and they ask me what things they can do to let their guard down and just feel comfortable in their skin. To be totally honest with you I don’t think there is a magic formula or series of steps one can take to achieve a feeling of confidence. I always refer to my own confidence as a journey, I have my good and my bad days just like everyone else but in my case I think a combination of different things has all contributed to my being the way that I am.
My family is massive! I have tons of family members on both sides and a bunch of people who may not carry the same blood line as me but they are very much a part of the bunch also. Being around so many people who have large bold personalities can make it a challenge for some to find their own way and stand out in a positive light. Many of my friends have come from situations where they found it hard to find their voice in a sense. In my case my childhood was filled with my family, friends and of course many tumultuous times. As many of my readers know I was severely bullied in school from the age of 4-18 and always struggled with fitting in and being comfortable. My weight has always been with me despite countless diets, exercise regimes and emotional headaches. I always had a constant war going on in my head because I had the confidence of a raging bull when it came to taking the stage and entertaining people whether that be singing my heart out, acting, public speaking or otherwise. The thing is, knowing that your talent shines bright is one thing but it can easily be diminished when you’re not comfortable in your own skin…
For me I had to go through many situations and experiences with people all over to realise that I get my confidence from truly knowing who I am, what I stand for and having the courage to stand by whatever it is that I believe in. I have never been the quiet silent type unable to express myself and I know already that I’m not the sort of woman who will ever become a shrinking violet. I stand high on my morals, my faith and my relationships with the people who matter most to me in my life. All of these things have allowed me to feel confident. I guess it’s that fight of flight sort of thing; you can make a decision to panic which more often than not does nothing and can exacerbate a situation or you can stop, pull yourself together and do the best you can in a situation. I tend to be someone who takes the latter option and with this my self confidence when it comes to my self image has started to get the message.
When I was 25 years old I came to the realisation that I love who I am as a person and a woman. I figured although I had a lot to learn and a lot of growing up to do I couldn’t continue to spend another day hating the way that I looked. I had pretty much spent a quarter of a century beating myself up for not looking like other women and I eventually realised that I’m not meant to be like anyone else. I need to be the best Mayah that I can possibly be and that instead of looking at my glass as half empty I needed to look at it as half full, focus on all the things I love about myself and build on those; eventually overshadowing the doubts I had in my own mind.
Confidence isn’t something that I feel you can buy through any sort of beauty product or clothing item. These are things that can help enhance what may already be hiding beneath the surface. I think the key is learning to love parts of yourself that you previously may have hated. Take my hair for example, I have always had a constant war with my hair and when I finally realised that it is the way it is, I learned to find things about it that I enjoy and I build on those. I think the same can be said in other aspects of who you are. If you love to be creative then surround yourself around creative people who will uplift and inspire you to do the same for yourself. If you want to be more introspective then find ways to channel that energy in a positive light and the rest will follow. The old saying can also be true “fake it until you make it” it worked for me on many occasions. I think basically it’s a trial and error sort of thing and is a process that takes time. I have those days when I look in the mirror and think ewww I look hideous but I try and just take it for what it is, a bad day and I keep pushing on. What I’m saying is that when you’re having a down day try and focus on the aspects that you love about yourself and don’t feed into that negative energy. Eventually the paradigm of your thoughts will change.