4 Tips For Building Confidence and Self Esteem with Hirsutism
I’ve been dealing with hirsutism for many years now. And I’m not gonna lie: It’s been a struggle at times. Even though I’ve mostly come to terms with the fact that my legs aren’t going to be as smooth and my skin isn’t going to be as clear as other women’s, I have moments when my symptoms really get me down.
When you consider the uphill battle that comes with hirsutism, it is no surprise that many women (including myself) struggle building up confidence and recognizing their self worth. I have days when everything seems to remind me of my hirsutism: When I brush my teeth in the morning, I stare at the stubble on my chin. When I make my favorite strawberry tea, I immediately think that I should rather have another cup of spearmint tea, as it supposedly helps with the excess hair. When my planning a vacation or a visit to a spa or pool with friends, my first thought is how I can “optimize” my waxing schedule. When my boyfriend kisses me, I try to direct his hand to make sure it doesn’t land on my chin.
I used to feel like hirsutism runs and frankly ruins my life. Over the past couple of months, however, I have found ways to better deal with those everyday struggles by working on my self esteem. And today I want to share some of the strategies that have helped me gain more confidence with hirsutism.
1. Be Kind to Yourself
When I looked at myself in the mirror, I would only focus on the things that bothered me, which led to many negative thoughts. And while negative self-talk is quite common (especially among women), it can be detrimental to your confidence. All it does really is to serve as a constant reminder of all the things you don’t like about yourself. This can easily damage your self-esteem. And while it is ok to want to change and have goals, it is just as important to accept yourself no matter where you currently are and speak to yourself with kindness. One tactic I’ve adopted to help me with this is to write affirmations and read them every day first thing in the morning. I believe that thoughts turn into words and actions and having that little self-worth boost before I start my day has really been a game change for me.
👉 Tip: If you would like to learn more about affirmation, you can start here.
2. Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
I am SO guilty of this. I would stare at other women’s bodies and perfect skin and just feel so defeated. Why would anyone ever want to be around ME or find ME attractive? This constant comparison made me forget how lovable, attractive and amazing I actually was and how some little flaw shouldn’t and wouldn’t change that. And no, there really was no need to “benchmark” myself against other women. Don’t get me wrong: There are still women who I look up to and who inspire me, but I try to be grateful instead of full of envy these days. Constant comparison makes it hard to focus on simply being yourself, accepting and loving yourself, so if you want to work on your confidence, get off Instagram already!
3. Practice Self-Care
If you practice self-care, you basically tell yourself you are worthy. And you are! Taking time to take care of yourself can reduce stress and improve your outlook on life. Self-care comes in many shapes and forms, so experiment and find out what makes you feel good. If you find something that makes you happy, do more of it. Self-care is often about bubble bath or meditation or buying myself something nice. What I have found is that it is more than just a one-off. While it’s fun to do those things sometimes, self-care is also about the decisions I make every day. For example: I know that eating a balanced diet makes me feel good – physically and mentally. So I make a constant effort to choose the best option for me and my well-being. This way choosing sushi over pizza becomes easier for me (and I love pizza!), as it is no longer about “not being allowed” the junk food. It’s more about choosing what makes me the happiest and being focused on caring for and about myself.
Making decisions that put you and your wellbeing first can be an incredibly uplifting feeling. Once I realized that I own my journey, it became easier to take action. Knowing that I am in charge definitely helped me feel more confident, and helped me finally make some long overdue changes in my life. It all starts with the belief that you are worthy and can actually do it.
4. Connect with Other Women with Hirsutism
Many women with hirsutism struggle alone. It took me many years to realize that what I had was an actual medical condition, and that other women were struggling with the same symptoms as me. While everyone has their own journey, connecting to others who understand what you are going through can be inspiring, encouraging and educational at the same time.
👉 Tip: If you would like to connect with other women, you can find a group to join here.
Be Kind to Yourself
What do all those strategies have in common? They all encourage you to be kind to yourself and cut yourself some slack! Hirsutism is a constant struggle. You’ve already overcome so much.
And yet: Here you are refusing to let your condition get the best of you. Being strong and looking for ways to better yourself. In my book that alone is something you should be incredibly proud of. Be kind to yourself. Accept yourself and love yourself and you will see that day by day your confidence will get a little boost.
If I can do it, you can to!