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How You Become A Confident, Empowered Woman

May 8, 2019 in Confidence, The Tough Stuff - 8 min read
When I really think about my past before I got to really know the real me, I feel therapeutic in a way because it was such a butterfly story. Like I’ve mentioned before, I was a late bloomer. With everything. Especially when it came to the intimate parts of my life. I had my first real boyfriend in 6th grade and we were together on and off for about 3 years. Like my first boyfriend ever. No puppy love boyfriend in pre-k or elementary school but I wasn’t even thinking about that back then. I was just having fun being a kid.

Being born 10 pounds, I continued to be a chubby kid in my childhood but the fact that I was never crossed my mind until that doctor’s visit. No one had ever pointed it out to me before in such a negative way and it really hit me hard. I became desperate and even a bit obsessed with trying to get rid of the pounds.

It wasn’t until middle school when puberty started to hit that I began to notice the female-male dynamic and the changes in my body. All my friends were getting boobs, their periods, glo ups and all the boys. While I was told I was obese by my doctor at 120 pounds and in games, always picked last on the list of girls the popular guys liked. I thought every girl was prettier and thinner than me and no guy would ever like me. Thankfully I didn’t struggle with acne but my weight became my only thought. Being born 10 pounds, I continued to be a chubby kid throughout my childhood but the fact that I was never crossed my mind until that doctor’s visit. I’ll never forget that day. No one had ever pointed it out to me before in such a negative way and it really hit me hard. I became desperate and even a bit obsessed with trying to get rid of the pounds. I went through a phase where I was on a strict diet counting my calories, intentionally skipping meals, constantly weighing myself and comparing myself to others. I even tried to throw up my food because I felt that would help. I remember stepping on the scale, seeing my weight and bawling my eyes out for an hour straight. Times I couldn’t even look myself in the mirror without crying. I was so depressed and insecure.
I didn’t have my next boyfriend until 11th grade. We went through a lot but I am so happy I met him. He was the start of helping me realize who I was and loving her. I felt so vulnerable but eventually started to embrace this discovery of myself. Though it was a late start, I now see that it kickstarted my self esteem journey. By this time after middle school (which was the worst for me out of elementary, middle and high school), I was beginning to feel comfortable in my own skin but still not 100% there yet. With him entering my life accepting and encouraging me emotionally, mentally and sexually, I learned how to accept and express myself by using my voice, body and mind. I lost my virginity to him and I don’t regret it til this day.

Something clicked in me when I finally woke up and realized that I am one of one. A rare and bomb combination of heart, beauty, and brains with a voice that mattered. Now I am learning that it matters on an even bigger scale than I imagined so it’s exciting to see everything coming even more full circle.

If you read my post about college, you’ll be familiar about my personal journey of self awareness and discovery and how it changed my life. It was all internal. Every time I was going through personal and interrelationship experiences, I would take them all in. Don’t be me wrong, I was never that girl who thought I was the shit but I was confident enough to know that I was a little much onto something. I was still going through my glow up stage but I knew. It was a continued journey from high school and hell ! I’m still on it now. However, I know that it was exponential compared to the average girl. Something clicked in me when I finally woke up and realized that I am one of one. A rare and bomb combination of heart, beauty, and brains with a voice that matters. Now I am learning that it matters on an even bigger scale than I imagined so it’s exciting to see everything coming even more full circle.
Now I bet you’re thinking I’m happy for you but what does this have to do with me ? I am confident in my faith, relationship with God, my self image, who I am, my beliefs, values and my sexuality. I feel empowered and I want the same for you. It took time and experience but nevertheless was very natural. Based on the stories I’ve told some of my friends, I know that my experiences are unique and only happened as a result of me being comfortable with myself, expressing myself and always having my own back. That’s what you must do as well.

I embraced each situation I was given and opened my mind to be taken on the journey because I knew no matter what, I would be molded into who I am meant to be anyways. Most importantly, I always do my part. I put in the work.

If you’re reading this and struggling with your self esteem/self image, I’m here to tell you it gets better. I grew into myself. I didn’t hide who I was or try to be someone I wasn’t. I embraced each situation I was given and opened my mind to be taken on the journey because I knew no matter what, I would be molded into who I am meant to be anyways. Most importantly, I always do my part. I put in the work. Especially when I feel uncomfortable and out of my comfort zone. I ask myself why I feel uncomfortable in the first place and most of the time it’s vulnerability. Then I look at that vulnerability as an opportunity to tap into something new and raw, get stronger and lastly, I grow from it.
If it’s something physical that you can change without harming yourself, do it but make sure you do it for you. If you read my post about how working out changed my life, you’ll know it was a physical change for me that made me more confident. However, it started with rewiring my brain into thinking more positive first. Some people put in all this work, just for validation from others. While for most people, the hardest part is the mental. I make sure that I get rid of F.E.A.R. aka False Evidence Appearing Real because that’s exactly what it is. Whether it be the fear to be yourself or finding out who you are in the first place, it takes work and it starts internally.

I know it sounds and feels like it’s been forever but the longer you’re in there, the better. When you finally burst out of it, you’ll be glowing up all by yourself from all the growth and confidence you radiant. That’s what makes you beautiful while others may be fading out.

I know this is hard but stop comparing yourself to others ! It’s unhealthy and unrealistic. Everyone has a different combination of DNA, genes, interests and experiences that makes them who they are. Some girls glo up before others but take it from a girl who glo’ed up late- it’s better that way. While they are in their butterfly stage, you’re in your cocoon/pupa stage. I know it sounds and feels like it’s been forever but the longer you’re in there, the better. When you finally burst out of it, you’ll be glowing up all by yourself from all the growth and confidence you radiant. That’s what makes you beautiful while others may be fading out.

It isn’t linear by any means but it’s real and it’s progress. Regardless my circumstance, I find myself and I stay true to her.

You have to be willing to be open minded to learning about you. Who you are, what you like, and who you want to be. Then you be that. That’s when you are empowered and the best thing is that no one will take that that power away because THEY CAN’T because it’s within you and shines so bright. Be honest. Be genuine. Be the real you for you because they’ll feel it and so will you. And most importantly, they’ll start to respect you for it. If you don’t like something, say it ! If you don’t agree with something, say it. If you feel like you’re getting taken advantage of or disrespected, use your voice and say that. The more you stand up for yourself, the stronger you’ll become.
That’s how I’m becoming a badass. It isn’t linear by any means but it’s real and it’s progress. Regardless my circumstance, I find myself and I stay true to her. I still have bad days and I allow myself to have them every now and then. But then I exercise positivity and remind myself that I am the driver of my life. Not a passenger and finally I’m ready to kill it again. I’m 25 years old now and am looking forward to how much finer like wine I get with the more experience, wisdom, and class coming my way. I hope on your journey you remain encouraged and know that no one or nothing can take your confidence if you never give it to them in the first place.
Don’t forget to subscribe to the She 3.0 Newsletter to keep up with all the empowering posts. It’s only once a week so you don’t have to worry about spam. Also please join our Facebook group. It is a safe haven for women to be 100% themselves to vent, inspire and support one another. I would love to have you !
With love,
Shantel

2 Comments

  • Taimeka Vidal March 26, 2020 at 4:30 am

    Hi Shantel. Thank you for writing such positive and uplifting messages. I appreciate your openness and the candor you emit with each posting. This one was very refreshing to read and it helps me to realize that we are all different and on an individual journey through life and we should appreciate every experience that comes along with it.
    I hope more young girls do read your blog and accept the messages presented, this would really help with boosting self esteem down Confidence that I am also familiar with experiencing when I was also a teenager.
    Such an amazing perspective, we need more positivity like you in social media and in the world.. keep it up !! This is beautiful

    • shantelchambers April 3, 2020 at 11:10 am

      Thank you so much for taking the time out to write this thoughtful comment. I truly appreciate it and look forward to empowering as many women as I can! It all starts with supporting each other. We can definitely do with more love in this world!

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    About Me

    About Me

    Hi Empress! I show women the endless opportunities to be themselves by empowering them to embrace and grow from their shared experiences through vulnerability and community. I help you accept that you'll always be a work in progress and complete at the same time so you can take back power over your life and reach your full potential!

    Shantel

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