I had the opportunity to speak with Danshell, an HR specialist and fabulous mother of 3 about her journey of self love.
You are such an advocate for self love, what made you start that movement?
Danshell: I advocate for self-love because I strongly believe that everything starts from within. How can you want to receive love if you don’t love yourself first? When you love yourself, you project that love to others. Also, we live in a time where we can easily encounter negative energy from so many channels. I believe that self love can create a barrier between negative energy and your spirit. You become protective of what you allow your spirit, body and mind to consume. Loving yourself creates a strong sense of self worth and it makes you want to be the best version of who you are. Even when you are evolving, growing, and entering different seasons in life, it’s important to love every stage of your life. Imagine living in a world where everyone loved themselves and in turn projected that love to others and received that same love back. That’s the world I envision when promoting self-love. It all starts with SELF.
Do you feel like there is a lack of self confidence in this generation due to social media?
Danshell: Yes, I do feel that there is a lack of self confidence in this generation and a lot of it stems from social media. We live in a time of “filtered perfection”. We can click on an app to quickly fix what we may view as an imperfection, in order to post an image to the world that projects perfection. For someone who may not have the best view of self these picture perfect images online may lead to them questioning their own beauty. For younger girls and some older women they may feel you have to look a certain way or have a certain body type to be considered beautiful when that is totally not the case. There is this image of perfection on social media that, in my opinion, is unrealistic. We are all created differently with different features and appearances and its important to embrace what makes you different.
What are things that you do to keep your self-esteem high?
Danshell: I edify myself very often. I think great thoughts about myself and I tell myself how great I am. I do not allow others to determine how I feel about myself. People can be very cruel and more so when they are displeased with who they are. I value the thoughts and opinions I have about myself far more than I do the thoughts and opinions someone else. I strive daily to put out good energy. I tie all of that in together my thoughts and my energy contribute to my self-esteem. When you have good energy, positive thoughts and a good sense of self-worth it increases your overall self-esteem. I also, avoid comparing myself to others and I don’t focus on what may be a considered a physical imperfection. I embrace every scar, stretch mark and fat roll on my body. I have become very comfortable in my own skin and I am at peace with my entire existence. I focus on the good and by reflecting on the beauty in my life it helps me to maintain an overall great level of self-esteem.
Do you feel like confidence increases with age?
Danshell: Hell yes. I have always been confident but 36 year old Danshell, is confident on an entirely different level. I am confident in everything I do. I believe an increase in confidence does come with age and life experiences. I also believe that confidence comes when you completely eliminate comparing yourself to others. My goal daily is to be a better version of myself than I was the day before. I don’t look to my right or left I am always looking ahead on my own path and focusing on my own journey and progressing towards my own personal goals. My confidence has led to my having doors opened even when I didn’t knock on them. I am not afraid to go after the things my heart desires and I attribute that to my increased confidence.
What type of things do instill in your daughters to help them grow as strong confident women?
Danshell: I tell my daughters I love them. I tell them they make me proud. I teach them to be the very best versions of themselves and to aspire to be the women God called them to be. I teach them the importance of wanting more for themselves and believing in their God given abilities. I teach them how to be strong, respectful and respectable women. I also teach them the importance of advocating for themselves and how to demand the same level of respect from others that they give. My babies make me proud and I can already see their confidence growing with age and whenever I see them questioning their abilities I make sure to feed them with encouraging words and I remind them of their greatness. Life is hard for teens and young girls these days, it’s far more difficult to grow up in this day and age then it was when I was a teen/young adult. I am the first line of defense between my daughters and the cruelty of this world and I make sure I am never asleep at the wheel. I esteem my babies, I love on them and teach them to love who they are. That’s how I instill greatness and confidence in my little humans.
There is so much to be said about the importance of self-love. Loving yourself helps so much in your single journey because you will set a standard for anyone you encounter. How do you practice self-love?