Confidence. That incredible feeling that comes from the certainty of a job well done. As children, we ooze with it. Not a care in the world because we inherently KNOW that we can do whatever we set our minds to, because why couldn’t we?
What happens then as we age that this sense of awareness and accomplishment diminishes? That self-assuredness that came as second nature seems to lessen as we grow, and we tend to absorb more and more negativity that gradually eats away at the very core of us.
Bear with me for a bit as I share my personal take on this…
I was going to be a prima ballerina when I was little and headed into my first ballet class literally jumping for joy. This came crashing down when my instructor informed me & my parents not to get my hopes up as I didn’t have a graceful bone in my body. I was four. That hurt. A lot. Even worse, I believed her. I finished up that year and didn’t take another dance class again.
Fast forward to middle school *shudder* it didn’t start off so great but by the time 8th grade rolled around I had joined the synchronized swim team and LOVED it. I wasn’t good at first, but this time no one was making me quit. I kept going. My coach could be tough, but she never tore me down. My teammates and I got through our teens together, which is never an easy time to navigate. And the piece de resistance…my trio partners and I placed 7th at Nationals my senior year.
So much for not having a graceful bone, I had several, and I had the ribbon to prove it.
That wasn’t and isn’t my only story – I plan to keep on living for a good long time yet – and I am all too aware that my own confidence can wax and wane. But now, after many years of soul searching and honest-to-goodness hard work, I can confidently say (see what I did there?) that I now take my cues from inside, my voice, and tune out those outer factors that can all too easily bring me and us down.
How, you may ask?
Journaling – didn’t take for me. Therapy – that did take, and was an incredible help. An amazing network of framily – friends that are family – to hold us up when we’re feeling down. Getting physically strong. I looked death in the face and said in no uncertain terms that no way, my mom wasn’t going there. Shave your head & quit hiding – not for everyone, worked for me though. I found that my voice was one that not only other people wanted to hear, but amazingly so too did I.
What are some ways to work on our confidence? Practice self-listening and choose the kind voice not the self-deprecating one – bench that one, it’s your time. Even though I mentioned to not listen to outer influences, it’s never a bad idea to hit up a podcast that resonates with you, or to read a book that speaks to what you’re currently going through.
Confidence isn’t something that can be taken away, not fully. This feeling is within all of us if we take the time to listen to our inner voices and believe in ourselves. Is this easy? No. Is it possible? Yes. Will it always be there? Frankly, yes. But it is so good at being small and hiding away that we may not see it. But again, it’s part of the process in finding our truest self and giving ourselves the chance to be that true version, to grow, to shine.
So turn off the noise. Embrace the suck. Go deep within. Be your own kind of beautiful. Tell yourself “I got this” until you believe it. Then go show you off to the world.