Considering all of the issues society faces today, whether drugs in our communities, gang violence, or civil rights for minorities, there is a common denominator that many people do not acknowledge. Believe it or not, our largest issue is not an outward factor at all; our greatest issue is how we view ourselves. Self-esteem is an issue that many of us sweep under the rug.

We equate life problems to pressures from friends, colleagues, romantic partners or family members, but we have to dig deeper and find the real triggers, usually linked to how we feel about ourselves. Luckily, there are solutions to this problem; taking control of our own lives and self-image is the first step in getting closer to achieving our dreams.

A great example of this is young Instagram influencer Isabella Buscemi, a 22 year old woman from Florida who decided that making changes in her life was the catalyst to greater business opportunities. As a full-time student, she wasn’t satisfied with certain aspects of her appearance, which is an issue a lot of us struggle with. Instead of dwelling on her insecurities, she decided to make a change. Spending over eight thousand dollars on augmentations, she was able to make a living from posting online.

Buscemi, an avid exerciser, was satisfied with certain parts of her body, but other shortcomings weren’t easily remedied with fitness. Making an investment in her outward appearance, Isabella underwent three operations, including veneers and nose and breast augmentations. “I had a large bump in my nose”, stated Buscemi, “so I had it shaved, I had small teeth so I got veneers and my boobs were little so I got a breast augmentation.”

Everything else she enjoys about her body was acquired naturally, which she credits to hard work and positive influence from her fiance, Henry Castaneda, who motivates her to stay disciplined and hit the gym regularly. In addition to the business opportunities she has gained since her transformation, including trips and product endorsements, Isabella has gained the greatest gift of all: her self confidence. Having a more positive self image has helped her gain a mental and emotional strength she’s always longed for. “It affects it in a positive way”, she mentions when discussing her mental health. “It has boosted my self-esteem and has made me feel more confident.”

Many of us are confused about why we are not achieving our goals. While it would be great for us to be born with the confidence we need to live out our dreams, we have to work on making sure we are happy, which starts with us improving our self-esteem. The takeaway from success stories like Isabella’s is that we have to make the necessary adjustments to feel better about ourselves.

Whether it means going back to school for a higher education, eating healthier foods and improving our exercise routine, or even cosmetic surgery, it is important for us to self-reflect and realize what is holding us back; once we understand, we must fix those problems to get to the next stage in our lives. Like flowers growing in a garden, we need to plant the seeds of confidence within ourselves and water our self image to grow into the beautiful humans with successes we have always dreamed of.