A huge misconception I feel in this world is that confidence solely roots from self-image.
I am not someone who struggles with self-image. I know I’m not perfect, and it is stupid easy to get yourself stuck in a mindset where you need to compare yourself to everyone else, but I’ve learned you can’t put people on a pedestal. You have to realize that we’re all human beings and that each one of us is different and completely unique. Most importantly, once you know that, you have to look yourself straight in the face (I highly recommend a mirror) and say: “There is nothing wrong with that.”
I’ve learned there’s no reason to compare your life to theirs because we all grow, progress, and achieve whatever our individual definition of success is, at different times in our lives.
We all fear failure and rejection. It’s normal and it’s human. But it is also normal to experience both at a bare minimum of one time in our lives. And that is also okay because if we don’t fail there’s no way to learn and then grow.
For me, my fear of failure and rejection is too great. It sort of dominates my life. That’s why I have little to no confidence.
Sometimes I feel confident, but feeling confident and actually having confidence in yourself are two very different things. When I do feel confident, it’s only temporary. A spur of the moment kind of thing.
People who have confidence always, or at least most of the time, feel confident. Oh, and that applies to every aspect of their lives. Me saying “Oh yeah! I could do that!” is not something that happens very often.
In an alternate universe, without a doubt, I would be an extrovert. But I’m not, I’m an extroverted introvert. Once I’m comfortable, a whole new person comes out. She’s confident, she’s bubbly, she’s hilarious (I promise I’m not being snooty but I just make a lot of people laugh and it’s my favorite), and she’s a lot less scared of her own shadow, but if I’m being quite honest, she’s really just a lot less scared of the sound of her own voice.
I’m very comfortable at my job. Most of my coworkers don’t believe me when I tell them I’m the girl with her head down that zooms to her next class without speaking to a soul, and that doesn’t say hardly anything in any of her classes, just because that’s not who I am there. I am unrecognizable.
I like to think that my true personality is someone I like to call “Confident Katie,” which believe me I know how ridiculous that sounds, to categorize my two different sides, but stick with me here. I like to say that’s who I really am, but 9 times out of 10 this other version of me comes out instead. I don’t have a name for her because I’d like to say we aren’t properly acquainted.
All I know is that her thoughts are clouded by insecurity and whenever she feels “Confident Katie” start to emerge and do something crazy, and by crazy I mean something that would make her feel confident, she shuts that sh*t down REAL QUICK.
You can easily tell just by looking at me how little confidence I have. I don’t like to speak up because I fear I’ll say something wrong and it shows. It is also apparent in my posture. I slouch. My parents (lovingly) point it out frequently. I also carry myself in such a way, that it looks like I was recently trampled, which is in fact, a constant mood.
But when Confident Katie does emerge, MAN is she someone completely different. She walks with purpose, she holds her head a little higher, she laughs more, she is relaxed (at least in that moment), and she smiles so much that it makes you forget that this is actually the same girl who zooms to her next class and avoids eye contact with her peers at school.
Confidence is not something I have mastered. I’m not anywhere close to it. But it is someplace I want to be and I think I have an idea of how to get there. Sort of.
I aspire to have the confidence my mother has. She is proud, she has unwavering faith in her convictions, and she never apologizes for them.
My mother is not one to fear rejection or failure. She looks all her challenges square in the face and makes the best of it. She either kicks ass or gets up and moves on. That’s it.
She makes it seems like it should be so easy. “Just be confident! Have confidence in yourself!” Okay… but like what does that even mean??
I feel like there is a large weight sitting on my chest whenever I want to do something that I wouldn’t normally do. I think it’s some unknown force preventing me from exiting my comfort zone.
Would I ask a guy out on a date? Hell yeah, it’s 2019. Why wouldn’t I? Oh right, the same reason a lot of guys don’t ask girls out on dates. They don’t want to get rejected. It’s a totally normal and completely rational fear, TO AN EXTENT.
In saying that, you shouldn’t let that fear rule your life otherwise you’ll miss out on so many great opportunities. Hey there, I’m example A of that.
I’m trying to teach myself to live differently. To think differently.
One of my new favorite quotes sums it up perfectly:
“It’s risky. It’s scary. It could all fall apart. Yes. But what if it all falls together?” — The Better Man Project
So this year, I challenge you to reveal your confidence; to unleash your alternate confident persona. Do something that scares you. Not like horrifies you to a point of severe trauma, but just something spontaneous that you might overthink if you don’t do it like right now. You feel me?
If the outcome is good, you’ve learned that you are capable of more than you think. If the outcome is bad, then you’ve learned what you need to do to improve and how to move forward because that’s all life really is. A game of moving forward, regardless of what it decides to throw at you.
I know I will be doing my best to become the best, most happy, and most confident version of myself in 2019.
Let’s do this together. #LookSheCan