After reading Rachel Hollis’ book, Girl, Wash Your Face, I was excited to read, Girl, Stop Apologizing. I found the latter part of the book to be much more applicable in my own life than the first part and have shared my recommendations on what to read at the end of this post. While reading this book, it got me thinking, what advice would I give to you, to grow in your self-confidence so that you can be your most authentic self?
Having “self-love,” or having a “hot girl summer,” is a phrase that has been used often, particularly in the black community. Straight from a google search, “Hot girl summer” is a meme, originating with rapper Megan Thee Stallion, about feeling confident in who you are—and having fun and looking good while doing it. It often involves women posting selfies with summery swag and style using the caption (I heard it’s) hot girl summer.” Google defines “self-love” as having a regard for one’s own well-being and happiness. This is something that I appreciate about my community, there is often an invitation to walk boldly and unapologetically for who you are and what you look like.
However, while our IG post or snap chat pic portrays pride, I have met with many clients and have had my own experience struggling with self-confidence. So how do we get to the point where we believe to our core that we are fearfully and wonderfully made?
Be A Student of You
Discover Your Strengths
It’s important to grow in greater awareness of who you are, not who media, culture, or even your inner critic says that you are. You know your inner critic, the one that is the thief of your joy, that motivates you towards perfection, and is a shame champion? For this step, I’m gonna ask you to turn your ears away from those voices and instead focus on this truth: “You are fearfully and wonderfully made.” So, start with your strengths and talents. What are they?
I highly recommend personality assessments that can help you figure out how you were uniquely wired. Strengths Finder 2.0 and the Myers-Brigg are two assessments that can help highlight these for you. Strengths Finder assessment and results are given when you purchase their book. You can take the Myers Brigg online for free. In addition, ask your close friends and family what your strengths are. You may even consider these questions: When do I feel most at joy? What things do I do that when I do them I feel competent or confident?
Acknowledge Your Areas of Growth
Once you’ve gotten a sense of what your strengths are, it’s time to take a look at the areas that you could continue to grow in. Why would I recommend this? Because when you don’t address your woundedness or weaknesses, you are more likely to struggle with guilt, shame and embarrassment. Brene Brown suggests that once those feelings settle in, you are unable to be vulnerable or be connected with others and yourself.
One tool that I believe is highly valuable is the Enneagram. Now, for those of you who may have listened to Truth’s Table’s episode on the Enneagram, please don’t check out here. I give them mad props and believe that they are the genius voices of our generation. With that said, while I agree that no tool should be treated as the ultimate “truth teller,” what has me intrigued about the Enneagram is that it looks at your childhood wounds AND the sins that you most likely struggle with. The Enneagram helps you to see how these things have shaped you, and gives you room to consider how you can experience wholeness. It’s a tool that, while it seems to be most present in the majority culture, has rich value and application for all.
What Parts of The Book Would I recommend?
Hollis drew me in with, Wash Your Face, through her personal stories of struggle within her upbringing and in her relationship with her husband. Those struggles for me, made her seem much more relatable. In, Stop Apologizing, there were less moments that I felt connected to her experiences.
So what did I like? I enjoyed the chapter on “Building Foundations for Success” as she spent a majority of the time describing different ways to improve your physical and emotional health. I’ve incorporated waking up earlier and hydrating half of your body weight in ounces because of her recommendations. Furthermore, she encouraged women to incorporate rhythms (habits in her words) that will enable you to be successful in the places that you want to be. Her Chapters on Learning to Say No and Asking For Help were also relatable.
If you find that you want to have a greater sense of love and appreciation for yourself, I’d love to talk with you. Counseling is a place to grow in greater awareness of yourself and to feel empowered as you highlight your strengths and find healing from your woundedness. Call today!
Written by therapist Pamela Larkin