Skin Deep: The Power of Confidence and Unleashing the Best Version of Yourself

Have you ever found yourself in the presence of someone who seems to just have it figured out? They seem to take life as it comes, place value on what’s important to them, and just sort of have a plan for it all? How about that person you met that seemed to have THAT something special?

My name is Justine Roberts. I’m an Aesthetic Medicine Physician Assistant and entrepreneur, and I just happen to be an expert on confidence.

Beauty is deceptive. Some people think there’s a “look” or a defining characteristic associated with an attractive person. Spoiler alert: It has absolutely nothing to do with how they look. Read it again. Think of some of the most awesome people you know. Think about the way they make you feel when their name pops up on your phone. Think about their presence—their eye contact, their charm. Some people just seem to light up a room.

While writing this, I’m envisioning Sam, one of my dearest friends and colleagues, with her pink hair and contagious laugh; smart as a whip and a wit to match. I picture Alexa, also a Physician Assistant at Smooch, small but mighty— decisive and sweet. She will out-work, out-lift, and out-smart most of us—I’ve always admired her drive. I picture my husband with his honest eyes, crooked nose, and heart of gold—that man could talk the bark off a tree, and he’s the first to show up with tools and capable hands.

I’m picturing numerous clients, friends, colleagues and associates who have one very important trait in common: Confidence. They aren’t merely confident about who they are as a person—they are “confidence” in all its forms—they are reliable, honest, and appreciative. Confidence is a theme that melts over into a million other aspects of a person— your sense of self-awareness, and your sense of self. Authenticity is easily the trait I respect most, and it’s tied directly to confidence. An authentic person is typically self-assured. A confident person doesn’t have to put someone else down to make themselves happy. A confident person makes everyone feel like “a someone.” Who wouldn’t want a friend, significant other, or family member like that?

People associate Aesthetic Medicine with flawless skin and caricature-like features. That really could not be further from the truth. My partner and I are examples of the reality of it all—two girls next door, who fight the good fight, helping people become the most confident version of themselves. My partner, Jamie Malinowski, is the type of woman who elevates other women. As charming as she is humble, her smile and conversation make you feel like a long-lost friend. She’s amazed me in a million ways and impressed me in a million more.

The majority of our “frients” (friend/clients), are folks just like you and me—we’re never going to walk a red carpet or be on the cover of Vogue. We’re parents, children, aunts and uncles, friends, professionals, volunteers, and a million other things. Being the best version of ourselves makes us more effective (and more confident) in every one of those roles.

At Smooch, we always talk with folks about their insecurities—what they focus on as flaws or physical attributes they wish they could change. I think back to the old FX series “Nip Tuck,” when Drs. Christian Troy and Sean McNamara would sit across from their patients and say, “Tell me what you don’t like about yourself.” I used to think that was so raw and cold, and as an aspiring healthcare provider, I wondered whether they would be remotely successful if given the opportunity to practice in Pittsburgh. In the context of this article—what would make you feel more accepting of yourself—more confident? Maybe if you could put your finger on one problem, one insecurity, one thing that keeps you from being happy, it would feel as though your problems weren’t so big. Perhaps it would bring things into perspective and provide you a better, more manageable means of resolution. Perhaps you’d realize how incredible you are at face value. Perhaps you’d be more accepting of yourself, and in turn more accepting of others.

Moving through life, our networks expand but it seems as though our circles shrink a bit. I’d argue that what they lose in size, they gain in strength. Think about the traits you see in folks you look forward to seeing, and those of the folks you avoid like the plague. Consider this in your social interactions over the course of the next week. Confidence comes from within, but extrinsic factors can be a huge blow to how we feel and how we view ourselves. Everyone has that “friend” they dread hearing from, that family member who drives them insane at Christmas dinner, or that associate they avoid at work. Sometimes the individuals we choose to surround ourselves with affect us more than we realize.

In an effort to become the best version of ourselves, we often shed something in the process. This comes in so many forms. You may have to cut back on distractions to be a better parent or partner. You may have to make a professional shift to suit the needs of your family or to improve your health. Decisions like these don’t always come easy. It comes down to confidence— not only confidence in your decisions, but the confidence that others have in you because of your presence. Take a lesson from the stunning, bubble gum pink roses that line my sidewalk— occasionally you need to cut back to encourage the most beautiful growth.

Shed insecurities this year. You’ve always wished you could be a better cook—take a course, establish a Pinterest folder dedicated to recipes, and buy some good cookware. You’ve always wanted to go to Rome—set up a savings account, get your passport, book the flight and have the time of your life (also eat as much as you can handle). Be the type of person you want to attract. Be the kind of friend you would want to have. Demonstrate the professional courtesy you’d love to have shown to you. Try it. You won’t regret it. You might even fall in love with the person you become in the process.

You deserve to be yourself and be seen for it.

Confidently yours, Smooch xo

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