Hello everyone! A lovely reader asked me the other day how I manage to have the courage to dress the way I do without any fear of what other's may think. I thought it was a great question and I would love to share with all of you how I have become confident enough to be myself despite the opinion of others.
In Panama most everyone dresses the same:
First of all I think it is important to point out that in Panama (my home country in case you didn't know) most everyone dresses the same. You can find most women wearing jeans, a nice blouse, and a pair of heels; or a pretty dress with a pair of heels. Of course there is nothing wrong with that, but there aren't that many people here who dare push the envelope and make a statement. I would like to think that I am one of those people who step out of the box from time to time (blue tights anyone?!).
I was raised to be different:
I would have to say that the main reason why I am not afraid of what other people think of me is because of my parents. Ever since I can remember my parents have been encouraging me to be myself no matter what. My parents taught me that being different is a good thing and that this is precisely what makes us unique. Why would we want to be like everyone else in the world when you can be you?
My brother also played his roll:
Its funny for me to think that Tom, one of my three brothers, actually played a huge role in this as well. When we were children, Tom would tease me to no end. With the smallest of jokes or childish insults, I would always end up crying in a corner with my feelings hurt. My father taught me that the only way I wouldn't get hurt would be if I put a shield in front of my heart and wouldn't let anyone's words affect me. I know that sounds childish, but putting this advice to good use with my brother made me a master in not caring about what other people think.
Note: in case you are wondering, my brother Tom and I get along wonderfully now ;)
Having a supportive boyfriend or friend helps:
I haven't always been confident enough to wear daring things you know. When I was in high school, I would wear your typical jeans + a t-shirt + sneakers combo pretty much every day. It was when I started dating my boyfriend Alejandro that I built up my confidence enough to step out of the box. The fact that he loves me no matter what I wear allows me to take risks without the fear of being judged.
While my boyfriend and I were in collage together in the U.S., I started to test new styles and take more risks when it came to fashion. All of the other college girls would wear their Ugg boots, leggings, and North Face jackets (not that there is anything wrong with that); whereas I would strut down the halls with my bright printed dresses, bold purple tights, and funky looking hats. I got a lot of stares, but I knew it didn't matter because I was being true to myself.
Live your life for yourself, not others:
If I were to be completely honest, I would have to say that I actually enjoy being different from others. I enjoy being the crazy girl wearing blue tights; or the wacky women walking around with a bold hat. That is who I am and I like to demonstrate it. I like to show others that they have no power over me and that I am free to live my life as I see fit. We only have one life to live, so why live it just trying to please others?
To sum up, I hope you all remember that being different is what makes you special! Never compromise who you are and what you love for the fear of what other people may think of you. You are perfect just the way you are, so don't be afraid to always follow your heart.