Monday, August 6, 2012

I am a Victoria's Secret Model

I am a Victoria’s Secret Model.
I am America’s Next Top Model.                                    
I am the next American Idol.
I am Top Chef.
I am the next best-selling author.

At least in my head I am.
I’m also a realist and I understand I’m a pear-shaped, shaky soprano, take-out queen.

But in my head I’m a lot of things. That’s where all of my dreams, aspirations, and confidence live, in the conscience of my being. What’s swimming in the depths of your core? What are you dreaming of achieving?

As I’ve aged I’ve realized a few things about dreams. They coincide greatly with your confidence. You are either your worst critic or your best cheerleader. All greatness comes from a core belief inside you, not from your mom, dad, brother, sister, dog, friend, boss, or spouse. It comes solely from you. Do tell me, who is lining your subconscious sideline, a critic or a cheerleader?

Growing up I was teased about my big nose (um, duh, I’m Italian). In high school, I didn’t go to prom. I wasn’t even asked. In college, I was self-conscience about my hips, thighs and butt. I felt bad about myself. And when the many would compliment me, contrary to what the few had critiqued me on, I would brush it off. Because it was easier to believe what the critics would say – because that is what I believed.

And then something happened. Little by little, I built upon the small and fleeting moments of self-love. I contribute a lot of this revelation to maturing and determining that I’m not going to live based on what others think of me. The other part came from the encouraging words of others, being successful in my work, and allowing the real Stephanie to stand up.

Here is how you can begin believing you are more than what you think you are:

1. Accept and believe the compliments you receive. When someone decides to say something of a complimentary nature, it is downright rude of you not to accept it. So be polite and say thank you. Most people are trained to challenge or argue compliments. Who taught you that? Didn’t your mother teach you better than that? Don’t discount their compliment because of your own self-doubt. Instead build upon it. When you start with a thank you and focus on what they have told you, you will begin to build up your own self-confidence.
2. Write down self-love affirmations. These are things that you love about yourself. Come on, you’re sexy and you know it! Your job is to capture these and write them down. Just like goals, it’s easier to believe something when it’s written down. You don’t have to share these with anyone, BUT you do need to share them with yourself. Capture the thoughts, dreams, and aspirations that are in the corners of your heart and head. The thoughts you believe others would find you insane, for these are the real gems.
3. Ignore the critics. It’s not easy, but it is necessary to build your self-confidence. It may sting at first, but the best response is to treat the critic just like the cheerleader and say “thank you.” However, instead of accepting it, dismiss it. Easier said than done, I know. But it’s necessary. You are not living your life for anyone other than you. Once you realize this truth, you will break free from the chains of criticism.
4. Encourage others. You will in turn encourage yourself. If you want to build up your own self-belief, self-confidence, and self-love, start by building someone else’s. The positive words you speak to others will start to creep into your own subconscious, challenging you to believe more in yourself. Try it out. The worst that can happen is you help someone. Would that be so terrible?

These days I see my nose as a symbol of my heritage. I’m embracing my pear assets. And I believe it when someone tells me I’m beautiful. I believe it, because I, internally with all of who I am, truly believe it. Now where’s the runway?

I’m your Double-Tall, Non-Fat, No-Whip Sales Barista. How may I help you help yourself?

Stephanie Melish, one of the few, hand-selected, Gitomer-Certified Speakers is the ONLY Double-Tall, Non-Fat, No-Whip Sales Barista in the world! Stephanie trains, sells, and speaks to companies and associations all over the country. To book Stephanie for your next event, please visit or contact the friendly folks at Buy Gitomer via email at or by calling 704-333-1112.