Why Confidence Matters: Confessions of a Good Looking ‘Ugly Duckling’

The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mode, but the true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows. The beauty of a woman grows with the passing years. – Audrey Hepburn

 (Post by Love & Relationships Sass-pert Natalie Vartanian of www.nataliethecoach.com)

Hi! I’m Natalie, a Life Coach who is passionate about people being loved and knowing how amazing they are, AS THEY ARE!

And yet, here is my confession.

I have never had a good perception of my looks.

Whether it was my body or my overall physical appearance, my thoughts about how I looked were always skewed.

It wasn’t that I never received feedback saying I was pretty or beautiful when I was little. I did, quite often.. from adults.

It was the criticisms from other kids saying I was FAT, or being ignored by boys growing up, that stuck with me … for a long, long time.

This beautiful swan would look in the mirror and all she would see was an ugly duckling. And guess what that did? It totally impacted the way I acted. 

I became a wallflower, a loner, gained weight over time and decided no one would ever like me. It was a domino effect. A painful one. It ate away at my self esteem and kept me feeling isolated and lonely.

I struggled with my weight and my esteem for YEARS. The classic yo-yo effect. I would decide to lose weight, which led to eating healthy, exercising, slimming down and getting frisky with the guys. However I was never able to sustain my weight or my interactions with these guys. And there came the pounds again.

I didn’t have my first relationship until I was 21 and that only lasted 6 months. I didn’t have my first boyfriend until I was 26. We dated for two and a half years (a freaking miracle!) and he subsequently became my fiancee and then my ex-fiancee.

Why am I telling you all this?

Besides the fact that I am an open book and have come to really LIKE talking about myself (“what self esteem problem?”), I share to give you insight as to how your perception of self profoundly affects your reality.

For me, it was in the aftermath of my breakup with my fiancee that I truly saw how I had “played small” and not owned up to the amazing, beautiful, powerful woman that I am. Enough was enough.

I spread my wings and moved, started to take exquisite care of myself and practiced seeing in me what everyone else saw that I was unable or unwilling to.

The difference now?

I not only AM a beautiful, ‘hot’ girl but KNOW I am that.

And oh man, does my ballsiness show for it too! If I see a good looking guy that I feel attracted to, I will march right over and give them my number. Okay, okay, sometimes it takes hovering around for a while and trying to talk myself out of it, before I do. But I eventually gave them my number when I stopped acting like a nervous 13 year old girl! 

Everything has  beauty, but not everyone sees it. – Confucius

Another reason I am telling you all this?

I want you to embrace your inner hottie!

When you start to see yourself as that beautiful swan, you will begin to actually embody it. Confidence and esteem go a LONG way, especially in attracting the kind of love you deserve.

Trust me.

If I tell you a secret, promise not to laugh? 

For a while I would imagine myself as a peacock whenever I was getting ready to go out.

It totally affected the clothes I chose to wear or the way I did my makeup. Then when I eventually would walk into the bar or the party, I pictured myself fanning my gorgeous tail and having all eyes gravitate towards me. What can I say?  It worked! 

Now your turn.

  1. How do I really see myself? And answer HONESTLY, because really, who are you trying to kid by answering otherwise … hmmmm?
  2. How is this impacting the way I show up with others, be it friends, family, significant others, potential romantic partners (you get the drift)? 
  3. How do I WANT to see myself? Hint: Pick something that makes you feel like a million bucks or the hottest thing that ever walked the earth. Not the peacock, it’s already taken. Ha, kidding!
  4. What is one thing I can do tomorrow to live in to this new way of perceiving myself? More hints because I love you: Going through your wardrobe and getting rid of anything that doesn’t make you feel hot, getting a haircut, asking the person you have been-not-so-secretly-stalking out for coffee.

So I’d love to know: What a-ha moments did you have reading this post? How DO you want to see yourself? What one thing will you do tomorrow? Sharing is caring so let me know in the comments below. Got questions, ask away! 

Natalie Vartanian, CPCC, is a Certified Life Coach / Strategy Consultant. 

She’s a Spanish-speaking, golf-playing, tarot reading, live-on-the-skinny branches kind of girl who loves animals, indie music, cooking, running and being a nomad.

Find her at www.nataliethecoach.com and @nataliethecoach on twitter.
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  1. says

    Oh, I love this! I can TOTALLY relate to feeling like an ugly duckling even though I’m actually good-looking; like you, Natalie, I felt ugly because guys either ignored me or even worse, saw me as one of their own. I WAS a tomboy, after all.

    I’ve only had a few relationships and lord knows my insecurity seeped into each one. Sigh. I’m happy to report I think differently these days, though. I took a self-love course in June that rewired my thinking. :D Maybe you’ve heard of it: The Self Love Revolution; there’s a Facebook page for it.

    Thanks so much for sharing and the actionable steps to get our sass on! Hugs!

    • Natalie Vartanian says

      Hello again!! That was big of you to finally decide to get your self-love going on. What was the deciding moment that you needed to do something for yourself to change things?

      It is tough not to bring all of ourselves, baggage, insecurities and all to te table when in a relationship. Especially when we don’t know better. After all, who ever teaches us to be in healthy relationships. You did the best you could with what you knew and were given.

      We must be kindred spirits as I too was a tomboy (as I mentioned on the Twitter reply). Thankfully we have plenty of time to rewire as you said. Besides women are like fine wine anyway. ;)

      Thanks again for the read and the comment.
      Love,
      Natalie

      • says

        Hi Natalie,

        My turning point came when I realised I loved someone else much more than I love myself, and I’m talking about a guy who moved on YEARS ago. Like, I could fall in a ditch and he wouldn’t care. OK maybe that’s putting it a tad strongly, but you get my point, right?

        I just felt like there had to be more joy than I was getting and it was my sacred responsibility to love myself deeply, fiercely, and unreservedly. So, I cried my tears for pouring my heart out where it wasn’t welcome, and I started building a self-love practice for myself. Sometimes I still talk shit in my head or bludgeon myself bloody over mistakes I’ve made, but on the whole I’m a lot kinder to me now. :)

        And you’re right, it’s not like we’re ever sat down as young girls and told about healthy relationships. If anything, our authority figures are too busy telling us to keep away from love interests until we’re “older and can handle it”, forgetting that when we DO became older, we’re not equipped to handle anything at all. Y’know?

  2. says

    This is awesome! Funny how things people tell us when we’re kids can affect out self-image for SO long into adulthood.

    I once had some punk-ass little 12 year old boy yell at me “who’s walking who?” as i passed him with my little fluffy mutt. Back then, my 12 year old heart broke.

    Now, I know better.

    Thanks for the reminder that I need a haircut in a BAD way :)

    • Natalie Vartanian says

      If nothing else, a reminder of a hair cut is an honor I will gladly take. Haha. And yeah totally crazy what things stick. I also had an experience of not one but two mean girls asking me “how many months?” insinuating I was fat. That stung big time.

      At least we are adults now and can recognize what is true and what is false for ourselves.

      Thanks for reading and leaving a comment!
      Love,
      Natalie

      • says

        Hey Natalie, Becca and I were together this past weekend when we hung out with Sally! Not to make you jealous or anything haha. Would have been SO lovely to meet you, I asked about you ~ were your ears burning ;)? You rock so much, stoked to have you writing for YLYW, thank you!

  3. Laurie says

    I can so relate to this too. Although, when I was young, I was just called smart all the time. People didn’t call me pretty, until I started hanging out at the bars. Men say it all the time, but I didn’t take anything they said seriously because there is an ulterior motive. I finally started to change my thinking a couple of years ago. I have a friend who is very judgmental, and we were out one day and I mentioned another friend of mine. She said she would never go in public with someone that ugly. Now, I know that was very rude of her, but all I could think was, she is in public with me. That was the beginning of the change in me. I took one of Tia’s Inner Sparkle e-courses, and as I was reading other people’s comments it made me think about me. (I know, that is the idea) People would say that they were afraid to try something new, or talk to strangers. I thought, I do it all the time. I have no problem walking up to a hot guy and asking if he is single or not. You never know if that is the only time you will see him. I thought, years ago I sang solos or duets at church, why do I think I’m afraid of public speaking. All these things I have done, I kept thinking I was too shy to do. Although, nothing in my actions said shy. I was just thinking all wrong…so maybe, I was thinking all wrong on the level of my attractiveness too. Sorry, so long winded, I could have done a blog here. Either way…now I’m hot (if only in my mind). Thanks for sharing. Sparkle on!!

    • Natalie Vartanian says

      I love your comment! Call me a sucker for details (or long winded as you said). That is wonderful that you were able to see things differently and take action on it as well. Takes a lot of guts and sounds like you are definitely not lacking in that department. :)

      Keep on being the gutsy woman you are!! What is most important is that YOU are the one that thinks you are hot anyway, so go hottie, go!

      Love,
      Natalie

  4. says

    Dear Natalie,

    I love what you have shared in the cyber-world today. Your words resonate loudly with my own childhood, and experiences with my weight and self-image. It’s impossible to have a healthy relationship, when we don’t have one with ourselves. It is impossible to believe others can love us, when we don’t love ourselves. The most challenging thing, above all the things I have had to confront, solve or overcome is to learn to accept who I am. It’s a slow process. In order to recognize the beauty within us, we also need to confront the demons that haunt us, forget the awful memories, forgive those who harmed us… and forgive ourselves for not being who we wish we were, but loving who we are…

    • says

      Hi Andrea. Thank you so much for your words of wisdom, so beautifully put. I could not agree more. It IS a slow process which is why it is imperative to be gentle with ourselves throughout that journey. This I learned the hard way and am STILL learning to be completely honest.

      You are definitely on the right track … a challenging one, yet a truly fulfilling one once we “walk through the fire” and come out the other side.

      Love,
      Natalie

  5. Janet says

    Hi everyone
    I went on a self esteem once and we did an excercise where we were asked to think about a friend we really liked, a celebratory we really admired and someone in our family we looked up to. Then we had to describe in one word what it was that we like/admired about this person. When it came down to sharing with everyone in the group the facilitator wrote down all the words that were offered and read them back to us. amongst them were words such as: friendly; caring; supportive; strong; determined;truthful; optimistic; dependable; joyful; insightful;attentive. No one mentioned how these people looked, what they did for a living, what things they owned or where they lived. I learned then that our true beauty shines through in our actions, attitudes and the way we live our lives. It has nothing to do with our external appearances at all – except perhaps in the way we smile at the world?

    • says

      This is such a WONDERFUL point you bring up Janet! I have often contemplated how I actually forget how my friends even look because when I see them I really do just see their essence and all the things that make them a beautiful human being in general. And yes, there is nothing like a smile to light up someone’s whole demeanor. :) Thank you so much for sharing this important perspective.

      Love,
      Natalie

  6. Evan says

    Thanks, Natalie. Guys definitely go through this, too. I was chubby as a kid and was teased a lot. I carried low self-confidence and self-esteem with me for a very long time. I definitely haven’t let it all go yet. Sometimes I’d rather just stay home alone than see all the “beautiful” people out in the world… they seem so different than me and I have the belief that they don’t want to talk to me. But I’ll keep trying. I love your willingness to reach out to people and I will give the peacock visualization a shot. Thanks!

    • says

      Hi Evan! Thank you both for bringing up the fact that guys go through this too (totally agreed!) and your vulnerability to share how it is still a bit challenging for you. I think like a lot of things, the way we view ourselves and how we interact with the world is like a muscle. You have to keep exercising it in order for it to become strong and the activity to feel effortless after a certain point. Keep trying for sure. You have a lot to offer the world … and in our unique ways we are ALL beautiful. Let me know how the peacock visualization goes. ;)

      Love,
      Natalie

  7. says

    first of all good advice. Think i found that i’m goin through the same phase at the moment i always feel like people judge when ever i’m in people and find it relatively hard to trust anyone and starting to get a bit tired of being told im no good or good enough so where do i really begin

    • says

      Hello Winston.

      First off I would like to say that I am really sorry to hear you are having that experience with people. Of course it makes an impact when you have that type of feedback from others. This may sound harsh but if these people do not need to be in your life, maybe you need to distance yourself from them. The other thing is what is your perspective when it comes to them? Because the way we view something has a lot to do with the outcome. If I think life is going to be hard, it will feel hard. If I think life is going to be easy, it will feel easy. And what is your perspective about yourself?

      I don’t know much about what you are going through … but I can offer you this piece of advice. Try not to take it personally. This was a big A-HA moment for me in my mid-20s. It is rarely about you. These other people have their own insecurities, triggers, fears, etc and they are MOST of the time just reacting to them. Sometimes people will put other people down in order to make themselves feel better. Again, It is not about YOU, it is about them. Easier said than done, I know, but you kind of have to block out these negative reactions from people and only allow the things in that are constructive criticism or said out of love for your greatest good. Make sense?

      Just focus on being the most amazing, fulfilled, super star version of yourself you can be and don’t worry about the rest.

      Hope this helped!
      Love,
      Natalie

  8. Rosalyn base says

    i was happy when i read your comments and other stories, your story it gives a lot of fu and also a self esteem. On you can make beautiful your self i learn a lot from yor story. This is my first comment that i ever build a long journey to yu natalie.

    • says

      Rosalyn, thank you so much for not only reading, but leaving a comment! I am so honored that this is your first one. :)

      You can definitely see yourself as beautiful, as well as sexy, amazing, smart, popular, etc. May take a little while sometimes, but it can definitely happen eventually and sometimes sooner than we think it will.

      Have fun out there hot stuff!
      Love,
      Natalie

  9. Joy says

    I can relate to this one. I had only short term relationships for years, then I noticed I was the common denominator. So I had a repressed memory that came back last year of sexual abuse of me when I was nine by a male relative. This explains so much. One of my relationships lasted 3 months instead of two. Baby steps, I know. I was so proud of myself about a month ago, I tried to reconnect with a boyfriend from earlier this summer. He was just a mean-spirited, critical guy. I walked out on him then I turned my car around and said No, I’m giving him an explanation. He said – This will never work. I said, I totally agree, any girl on the planet would be a better match. For once, I was healthy enough to not accept bad behavior. Hallelujah! My inner word is gorgeous. I say it every day and if someone asks how I’m doing I say – Gorgeous, as usual. Your words shape your perception, your perception affects your reality. Bye, from one gorgeous Southern Belle.

    • says

      I am proud of you too Joy! It definitely IS baby steps and every little thing you can do to gain evidence to the contrary of our limiting beliefs, the more you grow in self love and confidence etc. Good for you girl, for doing the inner work and then taking action when the opportunity arises. You are inspiring me! Oh and I LOVE the word Gorgeous. Suits you my dear, for sure. ;)

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  1. [...] Natalie Vartanian, CPCC, ACC, is a certified life coach, talented writer, speaker, workshop facilitator and an expert when it comes to sex and relationships. She knows it’s possible to have amazing love in an unconventional way.  She works with individuals and couples to build better relationships and help them amplify the communication and intimacy, which always results in better sex. She has also worked in organizations such as Google to develop personal development curriculum and present around the importance of designing relationships in the classroom to educators, as well as personal leadership for education outreach professionals.  Her work has been featured in Forbes.com, Good Men Project and Your Life Your Way. [...]

  2. [...] Natalie Vartanian, CPCC, ACC, is a certified life coach, talented writer, speaker, workshop facilitator and an expert when it comes to sex and relationships. She knows it’s possible to have amazing love in an unconventional way.  She works with individuals and couples to build better relationships and help them amplify the communication and intimacy, which always results in better sex. She has also worked in organizations such as Google to develop personal development curriculum and present around the importance of designing relationships in the classroom to educators, as well as personal leadership for education outreach professionals.  Her work has been featured in Forbes.com, Good Men Project and Your Life Your Way. [...]

  3. [...] Natalie Vartanian, CPCC, ACC, is a certified life coach, talented writer, speaker, workshop facilitator and an expert when it comes to sex and relationships. She knows it’s possible to have amazing love in an unconventional way.  She works with individuals and couples to build better relationships and help them amplify the communication and intimacy, which always results in better sex. She has also worked in organizations such as Google to develop personal development curriculum and present around the importance of designing relationships in the classroom to educators, as well as personal leadership for education outreach professionals.  Her work has been featured in Forbes.com, Good Men Project and Your Life Your Way. [...]

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  7. [...] Natalie Vartanian, CPCC, ACC, is a certified life coach, talented writer, speaker, workshop facilitator and an expert when it comes to sex and relationships. She knows it’s possible to have amazing love in an unconventional way.  She works with individuals and couples to build better relationships and help them amplify the communication and intimacy, which always results in better sex. She has also worked in organizations such as Google to develop personal development curriculum and present around the importance of designing relationships in the classroom to educators, as well as personal leadership for education outreach professionals.  Her work has been featured in Forbes.com, Good Men Project and Your Life Your Way. [...]

  8. [...] Natalie Vartanian, CPCC, ACC, is a certified life coach, talented writer, speaker, workshop facilitator and an expert when it comes to sex and relationships. She knows it’s possible to have amazing love in an unconventional way.  She works with individuals and couples to build better relationships and help them amplify the communication and intimacy, which always results in better sex. She has also worked in organizations such as Google to develop personal development curriculum and present around the importance of designing relationships in the classroom to educators, as well as personal leadership for education outreach professionals.  Her work has been featured in Forbes.com, Good Men Project and Your Life Your Way. [...]

  9. [...] Natalie Vartanian, CPCC, ACC, is a certified life coach, talented writer, speaker, workshop facilitator and an expert when it comes to sex and relationships. She knows it’s possible to have amazing love in an unconventional way.  She works with individuals and couples to build better relationships and help them amplify the communication and intimacy, which always results in better sex. She has also worked in organizations such as Google to develop personal development curriculum and present around the importance of designing relationships in the classroom to educators, as well as personal leadership for education outreach professionals.  Her work has been featured in Forbes.com, Good Men Project and Your Life Your Way. [...]

  10. [...] Natalie Vartanian, CPCC, ACC, is a certified life coach, talented writer, speaker, workshop facilitator and an expert when it comes to sex and relationships. She knows it’s possible to have amazing love in an unconventional way.  She works with individuals and couples to build better relationships and help them amplify the communication and intimacy, which always results in better sex. She has also worked in organizations such as Google to develop personal development curriculum and present around the importance of designing relationships in the classroom to educators, as well as personal leadership for education outreach professionals.  Her work has been featured in Forbes.com, Good Men Project and Your Life Your Way. [...]

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