My father served two tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, my mom battled breast cancer, I paid my way through a college degree, I chose and continue to choose an amazing spouse, I taught in a classroom for three years, created three almost four unbelievable children, and realized all of these are a result of self improvement. I’ve never once been called the perfect parent, teacher, or spouse, and that’s because I’m not. I’m always trying to be better at it. Letting go of the negative allows room for the necessary improvement we all need. The start of a new year is by far my favorite, when everyone is finding ways to be just a little bit better. Even for a week or two, that success should be celebrated and believed in. I find as I let go of the negative I can improve and find greater happiness. In college I was lucky enough to steal away the attention of the best guy I’ve ever known. While we were dating I remember how often he would give me simple compliments and I would awkwardly joke them away. At one point in our relationship, again laughing off a sincerely kind word, a voice in my head told me if I continued to refuse his praise he would stop giving it. I was stunned. I had to self reflect and ask myself, “Why do I feel so uncomfortable when someone would say something nice to me? When did I stop believing these things myself?” I committed then and there to accept his compliments with a sincere thank you. As our relationship continued, we were married and started a family. Although I accepted his compliments with a “thank you” I wasn’t actually internalizing them. I now had a post baby body and was not exactly looking the way I thought I should. When he would tell me how beautiful I was my mind would immediately lead off with, “He has to say that, he’s my husband.” I was unhappy and my husband was unhappy. I recognized the correlation between my negative thoughts and his feeling rejected. My husband is the most important person to me. He is my best friend and most trusted confidant. Of all the people in this world why couldn’t I believe his sincerity? Why couldn’t I see what he saw? Again, after much self-reflection, I decided I would do everything I could to change my negative thoughts and choose to hear his voice instead. In a world of constant comparison I find peace, self-fulfilment, and much happiness in all aspects of my life when I let the negative go and choose to believe the wonderful about myself. “Fake it till you make it” is a principle that I am unashamed of living. I still struggle with self doubt. I see the perfect social media world around me and find I do not quite measure up to the “ideal.” I constantly remind myself each individual has joys and pains. If I choose to envy their joys I must also choose to envy their pains. I live a blessed life, with my own previous hurdles and many struggles ahead. I am beautiful despite carrying a few extra pounds. I am recognizing the beautiful person I am then choosing to believe it. My inner confidence comes in deciding I do have something of value and can contribute to the people I come in contact with. Knowing these truths, I would not trade my reality with anyone else’s. This is my, “MyBrilliantConfident” story. By: Abigail Bonney Everyone has a story. We at PMD Beauty want to know your #mybrilliantconfidence story. No matter what you are going through, someone out there has already experienced it or is experiencing it and can relate to you perfectly. We invite all to share your #mybrilliantconfidence story. You have the ability to be a positive influence in the lives of others. To share your #mybrilliantconfidence story and be featured on our IG and blog, please email us at: [email protected] and use #mybrilliantconfidence in the subject line.