Ever stare in the mirror and think to yourself “damn I’m a cool person,” but then tell yourself you’re being too vain, and that being confident is the better way to go, even though you don’t feel so confident at times? Well, what if I told you embracing both might just be the cure to self-love.
According to an actual dictionary…
Vanity is described as having “excessive pride in or admiration of one’s own appearance or achievements.”
Confidence is described as “a feeling of self assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities.”
But what is the difference between the two when it comes to self-love, and why does vanity have such a negative connotation associated with it while confidence is what we are all supposed to be striving for?
For me, vanity is when you look in the mirror and think “damn I’m hot.” It’s an internal feeling of self-validation. And it’s not just about looks. You can be vain about your intellect or how fucking cool your interests are. Being vain is about not being shy to boast yourself up and intrinsically knowing you are the BOMB DOT COM.
And while our confidence can at times come from our internal selves, more often than not it’s heavily impacted by external factors such as society and other people’s expectations and opinions of you. Our confidence usually relies more on our actions and how they are perceived by others rather than how we think of ourselves on a deeper level.
We are constantly told that it’s important to be confident but not to be vain. But I beg to differ. I think it’s a crucial part of self-love to embrace both. We don’t often recognize that you can possess a feeling of vanity even when you don’t feel very confident in yourself.
For me, being vain but lacking confidence is an internal struggle at times. At my core, I know my worth and love who I am as a person, but at the same time I don’t always feel incredibly confident about my body or about a certain decision I am trying to make for myself.
Self-love is a constant balance.
Sometimes we get nervous about being “too” vain, but the truth is embracing both vanity and confidence, in whatever way that means to you, are both part of loving ourselves. While at times you may feel one and not the other, they often go hand in hand.
When we lean into our own vanity (slight head nod to our ego), then we no longer rely on external validation to become more confident in ourselves. Thus, being vain might actually increase confidence in the long run, or maybe it’s the other way around. That is up to you to discover.