I Don't Know What Confidence Is Anymore.
We were taught as young girls that self-confidence meant believing you were beautiful.
We were taught as young boys that to be confident meant being macho.
We were taught that being confident meant you had to generate the energy that filled the room.
And that’s just simply not the case.
Confidence is confusing. Sometimes I think I have it, and other days I’m not so sure. This month I guess I’ve just been questioning what it even means to have self-confidence. In high school, I thought it meant being comfortable with how I felt other people perceived my appearance. I never wore makeup and I felt like that meant I was comfortable with who I was as a person.
Fast forward to sophomore year of college - I gave up my athletic scholarship and decided to pursue business wholeheartedly. I started wearing makeup everyday, but nothing changed. I didn’t feel any different, and I think that’s the issue.
It’s frustrating that people have this tendency to associate confidence with appearance. I wasn’t wearing makeup to hide behind cosmetics in order to make myself feel better. I simply wore it because I enjoyed it and it made me feel ready to take on the day. I didn’t have to swim twice a day anymore and that meant that I would actually have time to present myself to the world in a way that I wanted to.
If you’ve been here for a while, you know that when I started this blog back in March of 2014, my sole focus was fashion. I dreamed of being a fashion designer and working with industry leaders. My oh my, how times have changed. Don’t get me wrong, I still love fashion. I love putting together outfits every morning and exploring all of the different ways to build an outfit using one piece over and over again. I love choosing how I want to present myself to the world each day, whether it’s an athleisure, chic, or grungy look. I love that. But again, what I wear doesn’t change how I feel about myself. I feel just as able in a pair of sweats as I do in a skirt.
That really put things into perspective for me.
Growing up, I’d never really thought of myself as a particularly courageous or confident person. I read The Gifts of Imperfection two years ago and I learned that courage is a daily practice. It means making the choice to step out of your comfort zone until you become more and more comfortable with taking daily risks. This looks different for everyone. For some, it means raising your hand during class. For others, it means initiating a difficult conversation you’ve been avoiding for months. For many, it means picking up a new hobby and putting in the time to learn a new craft. And for us all, it means allowing ourselves to be vulnerable.
When I put that into perspective, I realize that confidence has more to do with how you interact with others and how you decide to wake up each day.
Confidence is waking up in the morning grateful to see another day and making the decision to make the most of that gift.
Confidence means having the ability to make a decision and wholeheartedly stand behind yourself, regardless of what other people think or say.
Confidence is committing to your goals, your relationships, and yourself.
At the end of the day I guess we just have to ask ourselves if we truly believe in ourselves - mind, body, soul, and heart.