I interviewed the beautiful Lauren Wright to discuss her experiences with braces, judging others and insecurities. Lauren is a 18 year old Londoner who loves nature, languages and arts and crafts. Read on to find out her story.
Hayley: What do you see confidence as?
Lauren: I see confidence as being comfortable with who God created you to be and being comfortable in encouraging others to be who they are. A lot of the time people seem to have a false sense of confidence; they actually seem confident but behind the curtain they are very shy.
Have you ever suffered from low confidence or low self-esteem?
I have and I think most girls have. It came from me comparing myself to others and not thinking I was good enough. When I looked at others and compared myself and saw my differences, I saw them as negatives and I failed to recognise that other people have insecurities too so I put people on pedestals, which made me feel inferior.
How did having low confidence affect you?
I was not as confident to go and speak to other people because I didn’t believe that I would be able to engage in conversation with them and communicate effectively. I thought people wouldn’t want to be my friend or that they would judge me.
Females can be very judgemental and there is a scripture that says “For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged” (Matthew 7:2) and this showed me that the way that you judge someone else is the way that you will judge yourself and those will be the standards that you will upkeep. So, effectively I was assessing myself according to the judgmental way I viewed other girls and it did negatively affect my self-esteem. Jesus made me realise I needed to re-evaluate the hostile way in which I viewed others. When you are insecure you can come across as overconfident or defensive and this made it hard to build relationships.
So how did you overcome your low self confidence?
I realised that I had to leave others to do what they wanted to do and stop watching them. Christ has created me to be me but if I am constantly looking at other peoples standards then I will never be good enough. I decided to just be nice and polite to everyone and confident in myself, which meant that I had to get out of my comfort zone and speak to people that I would not normally. If they did not respond to me positively then it was not a reflection of who I am but of who they are. If they do not want to be nice to me then I know I’ve done by part and tried my best to show Christ to them. other up and recognise that we are human.
I think most of the time, low confidence is a sign of insecurity or belief in one having inadequacies. However, we must lift each other up, recognizing we are all human and we all struggle with the same worries. Only some can mask their insecurities better than others
Have you ever struggled with low confidence about the way you look?
Yes, I used to rely a lot on what my peers and the TV told me was beautiful. The people that looked like me were not in magazines so I relied on what my peers thought was beautiful in terms of having certain clothes or how my hair was for example. I had a best friend and I always wished I looked like her and had her clothes. Also, I had insecurities about my body shape because my family and friends made remarks about it and even though they were not horrible comments I did not like the attention and that affected the types of clothes I wore. It also affected the way I portrayed myself because if I’m not comfortable in what I am wearing then I grow self-conscious, assuming others would be ridiculing and judging my appearance.
Another insecurity I had was when I used to have a big overbite on my teeth and people always commented on that so I got these big chunky braces that made my jaw look even worse. Then I realised that all of this hassle was just to please others and I didn’t feel comfortable with them on so I got them removed.
Do you still have days where you just don’t feel confident? How do you overcome them?
Yes! Two days ago I had this big spot on my face and I just went and sat alone because I was unhappy and did not want to face anyone. But I said to myself spots are just facts of life so I can’t miss out on my day or opportunities because of what other people might think. It wasn’t a situation that I could fix and I had to remember that confidence should not be conditional. It should not be based on what you look like that day because that is temporary but base it on something that is permanent and unwavering such as the love you have from God and those around you. Your appearance should not dictate the way you feel.
When do you feel most confident?
It’s nice when I dress up; I feel good then but the times I feel the most beautiful are the times when I prioritise and put God first because then I realise how big God is and how small I am. I feel most beautiful then because I recognise that nothing on this Earth can touch me because I am so loved.
What would you say to other girls suffering with low self-confidence?
You are beautiful! You might not feel like it when you look at someone else but God has said it and He does not lie. The Bible says that we are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14) . We hear this all the time but we do not apply it. God made us each for a reason and there is only one of you. From what I’ve seen, the most beautiful girls are those who celebrate their differences rather than trying to change them. Don’t worry about comparing yourself to others because you don’t know how they feel and they could be suffering from insecurities too but you cannot allow yourself to be weighed down by the standards of others. Beauty is not a comparison; it is what it is! Walk in confidence, not because of what other people think but simply because the Lord has made you beautiful. You are unique; there is nobody else like you and nobody else can be like you, you have a responsibility on this Earth so don’t do humanity an injustice by wasting the wonderful opportunity God has given you, to be YOU!
Believe in yourself, but who is your foundation? It should be God, the one who created you. When you are in Him and you forget about yourself, you recognise His love for you and who He made you to be and other things in this world grow dim and you realise that they don’t matter anymore. Remember that one bad day is nothing compared to what God has in store for us and He has an incredible plan for us. God created everything good, including us, so remember you are worth something, you were worth saving, worth creating!