Self-confidence is extremely important in almost every aspect of our lives, yet so many people struggle to find it.Self-confidence, or self-esteem, is how we value and perceive ourselves. More often than not though, we depict all our flaws and break ourselves down into nothingness. We focus on feeling as though we’re worthless. We worry about what others might think about us. We blame ourselves for things that aren’t our fault. We lay out our weaknesses, but fail to see our strengths. Instead, we should realise that there is only one of us, and we should be whoever we want to be.This blog post has been sat gathering dust for a while. I’ve never been a very confident person. Since I was little, it’s hard to remember when there wasn’t a point when someone wasn’t telling me I should be more confident. My self-esteem had almost disappeared, which meant that I didn’t know how to interact with people anymore and I found it hard to enjoy the things that I liked. I wasn’t living the life I wanted to lead anymore. I’d have high anxiety in almost any situation, be it big or small. I hated my body, how I looked and everything about myself. I was a constant critic of myself.The lack of self-confidence I carried on my shoulder only grew. It may be hard to imagine how something that seems so insignificant could do a lot of damage, but it was detrimental to my health. The lack of self-esteem I had for myself meant that I would fret over how I looked and what others thought of me. It was this pressure that evolved into an eating disorder and high anxiety levels.I was a prisoner of my own mind, and it was extremely exhausting to have to fight it every day. Magazines and social media are often blamed for portraying an ideal body image that causes people to question their looks and lose confidence in themselves. I’d succumbed to this, as well as trying to follow the trends at school to eat healthily. Over time though, I didn’t realise nor understand that I was depriving myself. From eating a salad to just an apple for lunch, my body was crying out for nourishment. I’d become increasingly conscious of what it was I was eating.I was battling an unforgiving relationship. It wasn’t healthy and if I had carried on it would have only become a lot worst! A pinnacle point for me, however, was realising how it was affecting everyone else around me. When everything was laid out bare on the table, I couldn’t hide it anymore. I had to choose recovery with each new day. There were so many times when I just wanted to throw the towel in and give up because the fight seemed too much to handle. But fortunately, from seeking help, I had a very supportive network around me.I’ve learnt that to live life, you need to embrace a healthy view of self-confidence. I needed to stop comparing myself to others because when we do, we only pick out the worst things we know about ourselves to the best things we know about others. The inevitable outcome always leaves us with feelings of inadequacy and despair. Instead, tell yourself that you can’t possibly be making a fair comparison.We should also embrace our uniqueness. You don’t look the same, you don’t sound the same and your talents aren’t the same. Never throw that away just for the sake of being accepted by others. Champion the things that make you unique and find confidence in them. Focus on the positives and less on the negatives. Views failures as learning experiences. Learn from your mistakes and try again. Remember that it’s not over when you lose, it’s over when you quit.None of this is easy, my journey wasn’t smooth, but it is possible. Believe me. Learn to be kind and understanding to yourself especially in the tough moments. Once you do so, everything becomes a lot lighter and simpler. You’ll have a lot more inner stability, you’ll be less self-sabotage about yourself and you’ll be happier.