My mother was one of those moms who swore her kids were extremely exceptional and any who begged to differ just had to be jealous. She’s still like this, smh. This loving environment with positive words constantly floating throughout the atmosphere birthed and developed my confidence. I believed I was beautiful and smart and that the world was mine for the taking because I heard it every day from the people that I loved and respected the most. As I grew up, of course I’d encounter occasional teasing and bullying as all children do, but the sting of it never lasted long because there was my loving family nearby to wipe away the tears and shoot down any negativity. I, the third of four children and the baby girl, received constant validation (and still do). I honestly can’t recall a day that went by where I didn’t hear how beautiful and brilliant I was.
After undergrad, I moved to Albany, New York for graduate school. Due to my southern drawl and savvy style sense, my classmates grew very fond of me, almost as if I was the MSW program trophy. While they wore SUNY Albany sweat shirts, jeans and crocs; I opted for cardigans, pencil skirts and stiletto pumps. In an advanced standing program at one of the country’s best schools for social welfare, with a macro concentration (lobbying, non-profit administration, that type of stuff), charisma and fashion varied from the typical norm. And, after about two weeks into my program, I knew that as much as I loved advocacy, I could not spend the rest of my life in that profession—it was emotionally draining and lacked creative expression.
Sometimes during the week (and often on the weekends), I would go to New York City. I began to seek opportunities in the broad entertainment industry, more specifically fashion and beauty. After all those years of hearing, “oh you should model,” I tried it. Result? FAIL. I tried multiple times and still failed. I tried landing beauty campaigns and commercials. Fail again. This went on for a year. What was happening? I didn’t understand. I had never had to deal with rejection of this magnitude. Soon I realized the characteristics that made me an exception in Albany were just not that big of a deal in New York. Maybe in my small hometown and in my master’s program, but in the heart of NYC, I was one of a multitude of pretty, intelligent and charismatic girls all on a mission to “make it.”
Because I was thousands of miles away from home, I no longer had my family there to combat the letdowns. I started to wonder if I even belonged and if I had fooled myself into thinking that a girl like me from a small suburb in Georgia could even leave a scratch, much less a mark, in the Concrete Jungle. I spent many of my days crying and trying to figure out where and how I fit in. With less than six months before graduation and still no plan, I had to check myself. I was forced to stop with the pity parties and get it together. After some self-discovery, I realized that my confidence was only circumstantial. It was only alive when other people validated me; I was dependent on their approval. I had to modify and reconstruct my confidence to be solid and unshakable, regardless of circumstance and who did or didn’t affirm how special I was.
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To get past this, I began discovering my value on my own, without someone pointing it out to me. I heavily leaned on my faith and prayed that the natural attributes my Creator blessed me with be revealed along with how I was to use them for the betterment of myself and others. With lipstick, I wrote positive adjectives reflective of myself on the mirror so that I’d see them every day when I woke up–eventually, I began to believe them. My confidence was now organic and it translated as such to other people.
Others started seeing something special in me because this time I genuinely believed in myself. As a result, more opportunities were presented. I brainstormed professions that would allow me to use my attributes and strengths in a creative form. Just in time, with a little less than two months before graduation, a fashion and beauty writing opportunity came my way and I didn’t even have to search for it. Since then, it seems as though the door of opportunity and progression has been revolving.
Many of you can relate, as you too have left, or will leave, the comfort of your hometowns in pursuit of something greater. In your journey, rejection is inevitable and may provoke feelings of self-doubt. Ask yourself, “Is my confidence circumstantial, and if so, how do I fix it to be unconditional?” If you find yourself second guessing what you have to offer every single time a door doesn’t open for you, try some confidence reconstruction exercises:
Note the pros: Write a list of your natural skills and positive traits.
Place them somewhere visible: Write them in lipstick on your mirror or type them on paper and stick them around your room. Read the words aloud with conviction every day.
Talk to yourself: I know it sounds a little crazy, but when things don’t work, verbally say to yourself, “This is no reflection of my shortcomings. I have what it takes and in due time my opportunity will come.”
Rely on your faith: If you have a Higher Power, ask that your strengths be revealed to you and how you are to utilize them. I’ve found that often in the event of rejection, it’s because we’re trying to do something that we weren’t destined to do. When we use our gifts and skills in areas we’re supposed to use them, our confidence will enhance because we feel a natural sense of belonging.
Hello, Beautiful! Do you have any Confidence Reconstruction Exercises? Can you relate? Share it all below with your fellow beauties!
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100 Reasons Why I Can't Stop Looking At Blue Ivy
1. Mommy & Me
2. Blue. #May10 #NYC
3. Blue Ivy & Jay Z Sip Tea
Blue is surely the apple of Daddy's eye.
4. Blue Ivy & Beyonce Smell The Roses
Beyonce seems like the coolest mom.
5. Blue Ivy & Beyonce Soar The Big Skies
6. Blue Ivy & Mommy
7. Daddy & Me
Blue Ivy walks across mommy's at-home photoshoot, but it's the most adorable photobomb ever!
9. One Big Happy Family
The royal family, Bey, Jay & Blue are all out shopping and we're sure they spent our entire life's savings in 30 minutes or less.
10. Beyoncé, Jay Z & Blue in Beverly Hills — Nov. 11
Beyonce in these heels though?!
11. Beyoncé & Blue in NYC — Nov. 4
Look at Blue in her adorable little bow!
12. Beyoncé & Blue spotted in NYC — Nov. 4
Blue holding on to mommy for dear life.
13. Beyoncé & Blue spotted in NYC — Nov. 4
Momma Bey looking fierce with her mini me in tow.
14. Blue dressed as Michael Jackson.
15. Blue & Ivy
Just look at that face. Seriously, Jay could never deny this child! She knows how to make all his mean mugs!
16. Beyoncé, Jay Z & Blue in Beverly Hills — Nov. 11
Look at that cutie!
17. Beyoncé, Jay Z & Blue in Beverly Hills — Nov. 11
OMG Blue in a top knot? Yasss!
Blue has grown up to be an adorable toddler! We're swooning over this photo of her playing on the beach.
Looks like Blue is taking a walk in mom's shoes...literally.
20. Beyoncé & Blue
There's nothing like being cuddled up in mom's arms.
Blue is looking all kinds of adorable! Look at that left hand go! LOL.
22. Blue On The Big Screen
Bey & Jay look at Blue during a video played at an "On The Run" tour stop. How precious!
23. Pardon Blue's Back
She's growing up so fast! We're loving the top knot. Take that Blue Ivy hair critics!
24. Jump Around
Bey & Blue share an adorable moment on the trampoline. Hello summer!
25. Rocking Some Cute Ponytails
Blue Ivy was spotted with a new 'do! Bey & Jay's mini-me was holding on to her father during a little day stroll.
26. Strolling With Mom & Dad
Blue, Jay and Bey all spotted in East Hampton.
27. Blue Has A Manicure Day With Mama Bey
"Me and my Blue, and my Blue Blue, riding🐝"
28. Hanging Out With Mom
Baby Blue is walking to the door, and it looks like Bey is trying to keep up!
29. Trying On Some Heels
Will Blue be slaying a performance in the near future?
30. Holding On To Mom
Blue looks like she has something to say to Bey.
31. Playing A Game Of Tennis
Blue walks on the tennis court.
32. Cuddling With Mom
Blue & Beyonce have some much-needed cuddle time.
33. Blue Ivy
"The blueprint 🐝"
34. Bey & Blue Take A Stroll
Doesn't Blue look adorable with her colorful dress and cute hair ribbon?
35. The Carter Lounge Together
The family was seen out and about.
36. Jay Z Carries Blue While Bey Looks On
Jay carries Blue in his arms.
37. Leading The Way
Blue Ivy looks too cute with her bowler hat and Mama Bey watching from behind. She's really growing up!
38. Out On The Town
Blue Ivy & Momma Bey enjoy some much deserved time off in Spain.
39. Traveling With Mom and Dad
Blue is used to traveling with Mama Bey and Poppa Jay, but she also looked a little flustered at some moments. It's ok, baby Blue!
40. A Day At The Park
Poppa Jay Z lets Blue Ivy have her way with the bouncy horse.
41. It's A Family Affair
Beyonce, Jay and Blue jetsetting in Dublin.
Blue dressed up like a hipster and plays a quick game of peekaboo! How adorable!
43. OMG It's Blue's Beautiful Face!
FINALLY! We get to see how beautiful Blue is! Look at the adorable headband! "Blue 💙"
44. Blue Ivy
Life's a beach!
45. Brooklyn Stand Up!
"Beyonce & Blue"
46. Blue Ivy's Got Her Own iPhone
"Momma, what's your password?"
47. Beyonce's Lazy Day With Blue
"Momma, I asked you for your password!"
48. When Blue Ivy Takes Your Phone, Beyonce Be Like...
"Fine, I'll go ask Daddy!"
49. Blue Ivy On Tour
"Bey & Blue"
50. It's Playtime
Beyonce & Blue take some time out to play.
51. A Chilly Day In NYC
"Beyoncé, Jay Z and Blue Ivy in NYC - Jan. 19"
52. All Bundled Up
The royal family makes their way to their fancy car.
53. Kisses From Dad
Blue's all bundled up, getting love from Daddy.
54. Blue At The White House
Blue Ivy's taking after mommy and writing a letter.
55. Blue Loves Bo
The White House pup, Bo is showing Blue Ivy some love.
56. The Carters At The White House
Check out the royal family checking out the scene at the White House.
57. It's Christmas Time Again
Blue and Bey checking out the White House Christmas tree.
58. Blue Lovin' Bo
Blue Ivy, dressed like a Princess, showing Bo some love.
59. Like Father, Like Daughter
Blue playing dress up with Daddy's hat.
60. Fun Times With Mommy
Blue Ivy spends some QT with mommy.
61. Mommy & Me
Blue and Bey take a break for some snacks.
62. Silvery Blue
Beyonce carries Blue, while the adorable toddler rocks a metallic jacket that we want and need.
63. The Holy Grail
Blue, Bey & Jay
64. One Big Happy Family
"#miami #newyear #2014"
"Beyoncé & Blue 💙"
66. Blue & Daddy In A Blue Jacket
"Jay and Blue 💙 #NewYear #2014 #Miami"
67. Hold On To Me
"Happy New Year Mommy!"
68. Dora Dora Dora The Explorer
"Beyoncé, Blue and Dora the Explorer"
69. Daddy & Bey
"Look over there Blue, you own that too."
70. Blue's Big B-Day
"Mommy make sure they can only see the back of my head."
71. Painted Faces For Blue's Bday
"Let me get down Mommy, I wanna play!"
72. Kisses From Mommy
Beyonce and Blue prepping for Momma Tina's Masquerade Ball
73. Talk To The Hand!
Beyonce, Jay Z and Blue Ivy were spotted leaving Joey's restaurant in Miami, on January 8th, and Blue had a message for the paps! Talk to the hand!
74. Me & My Daddy
While Beyonce's arm rested, Jay carried Blue from Joey's restaurant, in Miami on January 8th.
75. Blue's First Words
"I'm ready to slay right along with you, Ma!"
76. Imagine The Sound Of This Lullaby
A newborn Blue Ivy gets serenaded by her superstar mother.
77. Don't Mess With Blue!
Every now and again, Blue Ivy reminds you...she is her father's child!
78. All Gold Everything
Blue Ivy takes after her dad's swag. The inseparable duo were spotted in South Beach, Miami illuminating the streets outside their hotel with their yellow luster!
79. All Of The Lights!
"Mommy! All the pretty colors are so blinding! I'm...just..so..overwhelmed! When's my shot coming?! When's my shot coming?!" Blue plays on set with Bey at her 'Blow' video shoot.
80. Hey Blue!
"I can be happy sometimes, see?"
81. Blue Ivy With Daddy
"Why are we clapping, again? I'm not in the shot."
82. Jay Z Tries To Get Blue To Listen To "Magna Carta Holy Grail"
"Daddy, I'm more of a Nas fan."
83. Stepping With Mom
"Wait, Ma. I want the camera to see all angles of this sick dress!"
84. Splashin' & Playin'
"Mom, this water is clean, right? Because I'm not trying to splash in water I can't trust."
85. Beyonce Discusses Important Matters
"Mommy, I completely get it. Yes, I promise to watch the throne."
86. Mommy's Hugs
"Ok, Ma. I love you to pieces, but I like oxygen too." Bey may be the Queen, but this scene from her video "Blue" makes it look as if she can't get enough of being Mom.
87. Blue Ivy Twirls
"Aaaahh, I'm having so much fun not thinking about anything...wiippeee...oh, wait...getting a little sick."
88. Just So You Know...
"I run things. Don't get it twisted."
89. Mommy & Me Loungin'
"Oh, Mommy, I'm so tired of seeing the wigs you snatched last night all on our floor. It's so exhausting. Like, when're they getting picked up? Not now? Oh. Ok."
90. A Kiss For Blue
"Mommy, let me sleep, dang!"
91. Slurpin' On That Milk...Slurpin' Slurpin' On That Milk
"Mommy, gimme that bottle!"
We could watch this adorable GIF of Blue Ivy nonstop forever!
93. Jay Sneaks In Kisses
"Dadddd! Get..Away!..I don't want...No, ugh..No kisses!"
94. Blue Stares Back...
"Hey! Who's that?!"
95. Blue Still Doesn't Get Why Anyone's Here
"No, really, who are you? You're getting to close."
96. Blue and Bey Out For Lunch
"I'm over this now. People just won't let us be. Mom, why can't we just be?!"
97. Blue Is One Tough Cookie
"Ma, please let me just kick them in the face. Like, please, I can't see through all these lights."
98. Blue Jetsets With Jay
"Dad, do we own this boat? I just figured we owned everything, so..."
99. Beyonce Keeps Blue Covered
"Mommy, I think you forgot my feet. I'm cold right now. Are we inside?"
100. Beyonce LOVES Her Blue
Look at that face, how could you not kiss it?!