(By Alia Al-Ali)

I will try my best to make this not-your-typical confidence post. It’s just that the term itself has been so overused making it seem somewhat redundant and useless. Trust me on this one though, it makes the biggest difference. Although I still can be awkward, I don’t take crap from anyone. However, please don’t confuse confidence with overconfidence and cockiness — it’s worse than being insecure. I’ve come up with a few realistic pointers that you can alter to your liking.

I’ve been hearing “be confident and trust your instincts” for as long as I can remember. But what is confidence?

Confidence is accepting that compliment, even though you know you didn’t put much effort on your hair this morning. Even when you think you’ve done a sloppy job on that project, just remember, opinions differ. Just thank that person and moving on. Dwelling on and on about how much zits you’ve been getting won’t make it better.

I used to be confident with my body. I knew I was small but I liked my weight. Then all these girls body-shaming themselves, and I felt the need to do so myself. I knew I was skinny, but I would post pictures of models online and say, “dream body.” It was pathetic but a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do to fit in. Kids my age romanticize body-shaming because who wants to admit they like something about themselves? I hate how this is the new “trend” or whatnot. Stop feeling sorry for yourself and do something about it — whether it is an exterior or interior issue. Don’t doubt yourself for such vain matters. Unfollow those sick facebook/twitter accounts that reblog a picture of skinny legs and crop out the face. People will care about who you are — looks can only get you so far.

Confidence is the best beauty product in the market. Be confident in your judgements and choices. Don’t point out your flaws. Take selfies. Flaunt your body. Find what works best for you. Take care of yourself, but not to a point where you’re obsessive and it consumes your life. Stop bullying yourself. You are a worthwhile human being who doesn’t owe anyone beauty. Not only are you worth living for, but you are worth thriving for. Let the waves crash by. Live and let be. (A+ to me for sounding like a preacher.)