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#LoveYourself

This post is a love letter to all the girls out there who have struggled with self-doubt, felt inadequate, unworthy or unloved. All the girls who have been told they aren’t good enough. All the girls who walk with their heads down, believing no one sees them. All the girls who’ve believed the lies that the mirror or the Internet have told them.

Just being real – we’ve all felt this way at one time or another…

We got all the STX girls together to talk about this and every single one admitted they’ve struggled with insecurity and self-love. They were so passionate about this issue that they offered to share their vulnerabilities with you – and offer their advice for blocking out the lies and choosing to love yourself.

Confidence confessions and advice from your lax sisters (plus photos of them in their most confident moments!):

1. Celebrate your wins – and not just on the field.

Make a list – an actual hard copy list – of your strengths as a person. Include a character quality you like, a skill, or something you’ve succeeded at. We tend to think successes have to be related to school, work or sport, but a success could be having a great relationship with your brother or being a really great friend. - Molly Hendrick

The small victories that we get in games - picking up a ground ball, making a great check, winning a draw – those are the little successes that make us feel that we are competent and can achieve the bigger things. All of those things contribute to the way we view ourselves, so you should celebrate every success, big or small! - Claire Faram

Whether it's a great save from a prior game or a time when you aced a test, I think the biggest way to gain self-confidence is to remember that you CAN do it, and that you HAVE done it. - Liz Hogan

I always take a step back and think about how lucky I am for my strengths and my weaknesses. There are no perfect humans – as long as I’m working to grow my strengths and learn from my weaknesses, I can walk with confidence. - Sloane Serpe

2. You choose your friends. Choose right. Surround yourself with people who encourage you and push you to be better.

I'm at my most confident when I’m on a lacrosse field with my teammates, or with my family and friends. My whole life has revolved around sports and has taken me to amazing places and formed lifelong friendships. I probably strike you as a confident player, but before I’m on the field and that whistle blows, I’m a nervous wreck. It’s those teammates who calm my nerves and pump me up for the challenge ahead. Michelle Tumolo

I feel most confident when I am around positive people who make me better. There is nothing better than surrounding yourself with positive-minded people. It’s essential to surround yourself with people who genuinely have your best interests in mind. - Molly Hendrick

Surround yourselves with people who are going to lift you up, not tear you down. I know I can always count on my close friends and family to build me up when needed. Off the field, my sister Samantha continues to help build my confidence. Growing up I always envied how nothing ever got to her. She walks with her head held high, no matter what she is going through. - Sloane Serpe

Off the field, one of my closest friends, Alyssa Costantino, has helped me on my journey to finding confidence. Sometimes you need someone to pump up your ego when you’re down, and Alyssa is someone that does a great job reminding me of all the things I am thankful for…including her! - Alyssa Murray

3. Look the part and own it!

Look good, feel good. I feel most confident when I look the part (even if I'm faking it!). On the field, that means eye-black on, tilt in my helmet, and my lucky mid-socks. Off the field, that means dressing up in heels or some other fun outfit. Then, even if I have no idea what I'm doing, no one can tell! - Liz Hogan

Specifically for sport, it really helps to know that your stick and all of your equipment is going to allow you to perform at the highest level – it gives you a real confidence boost and to be honest, that’s why I use STX! - Claire Faram

4. Find something you’re passionate about and make time for it.

Sports have played a huge role in my journey to confidence. Lacrosse was the first real platform that allowed me to not only be confident, but see the benefits of failing and succeeding over a period of time. In sports, you will fail, but you also have a unique opportunity to overcome those failures and understand that failing doesn't make you any less of a person. You can be confident, and should be confident, in any situation. - Liz Hogan

Sports are my outlet – when I’m on the field, nothing else matters except what’s in front of me. Plus, they’ve given me a platform for making friends and developing teamwork skills. That, mixed with the fun and enjoyment of physical activity, makes me feel good about myself and boosts my confidence. - Laura Merrifield

I was more confident playing sports before I was confident off the field. Sports have given me an outlet to create friendships, be a competitor, and have fun! Playing team sports requires everyone to work together and creates a natural bond that you take with you off the field. I was fairly shy when I was younger and I think that a huge component of coming out of my shell was learning how to form friendships through sports. - Alyssa Murray

Coaching has had a huge impact on my confidence. Instilling my passion for lacrosse in young girls, and having the opportunity to empower and encourage them has been so rewarding. Find a way to help and encourage others – it flips the script and shifts your perspective! - Claire Faram

5. Fill your mind with positive, inspiring messages. Post them on your bedroom wall, set them as your phone background, memorize them – whatever you need to do to get them in your head! Here are a few of the girls’ favorites:

The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all. - Walt Disney Company, Mulan

Our job is not to deny the story, but to defy the ending — to rise strong, recognize our story, and rumble with the truth until we get to a place where we think, Yes. This is what happened. And I will choose how the story ends. - Brené Brown

Confidence comes not from always being right but from not fearing to be wrong. - Peter McIntyre

Every time you state what you want or believe, you’re the first to hear it. It’s a message to both you and others about what you think is possible. Don’t put a ceiling on yourself. - Oprah Winfrey

Don’t compare your life to others. There’s no comparison between the sun and the moon. They shine when it’s their time. - Anonymous

To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Last but not least – a few wise words from our girl Michelle Tumolo <3

My advice to young women is to never be afraid to be yourself. We are all unique individuals put on this planet to shine in our own way. Don’t listen to the Internet, don’t try to be someone you’re not, be your most authentic self.

Love yourself, love your team, love lacrosse – here are the 15 Things Only Girls Who Play Lacrosse Will Understand.