con•fi•dence, /känfədəns/

Yo, so my whole life I’ve been told that confidence is key. “Businesses look for confident candidates.” “Men like confident women.” “You have the whole package and a wonderful voice, but you’re just missing confidence!” –okay, so that one is a jab at American Idol when they turned me away like 6 years ago, and I’m still a bit salty. *rolls eyes*

Okay cool. So what exactly is confidence? Is it knowing you’re a badass with an awesome work ethic? Is it being able to look in the mirror and see nothing but a fine ass person looking back at you? Is it being aware of your intelligence and your problem-solving skills? Is it knowing you’re gonna change the world? Is it just your presence in a room–like people just KNOW? Is it your ability to dance like no one is watching? Is it being unapologetically you?

If at any point you found yourself thinking, “Yeah for sure! That’s exactly what confidence is!” Well then I’m pretty sure I can be classified as a confident person. Like, I’m pretty proud of my work ethic. I don’t hate looking in the mirror, I’d say I’m intelligent and good at solving problems. I want to change the world, I love to make conversation with everyone in a room, I dance like no one is watching (okay in my own room–pantsless–every night…but really I’m just sparing your eyes), and I’d like to think that I’m unapologetically me. I like me. I like the person that I am.

Okay, and also, I have to admit that people tell me that they see me as a confident person, so that helps too.

But uh, I have a confession to make, homies. I’m a freakin human being.

There are days that I really dislike myself. I look in the mirror as a 23 year old girl and some days, I really really hate that I only weigh 105 pounds. It shows dude. I’m skinny. I don’t have curves. It’s hard to hear people tell me I need to eat or that I need meat on my bones.

Sometimes I’m also really hard on myself about my own personality. My anxiety doesn’t help in this case AT ALL. But I’ll have a conversation with someone and walk away so self conscious because I wonder if I was too forward. If I was too bubbly. If I was too boy-ish. If I didn’t say the right words, or if I did say the right words, I wonder if the right words were even welcomed. And I end up wondering if I just made a fool out of myself.

I doubt myself as a friend, also. I’ve been blessed with such incredible friends, y’all. I feel so undeserving sometimes because there are days where I beat myself up for maybe not putting in the effort that I should to communicate. Or maybe I wasn’t there for someone in the same way they were there for me. This is a constant battle that plays through my head every single day.

I embarrass myself a lot by saying things or acting before I think, and I’ll sit in my car by myself, red in the face, biting my lip, thinking about something I said or did from like 5 months ago.

And really, I’m an awful dancer. There’s no getting around that. Sorry.

But my point is this: sometimes we forget that everyone we encounter in our lives are also human beings.

Whether you’re a girl or guy–that person you’re trying to impress by your confident demeanor, more than likely goes home and over thinks everything he or she did or said too. And they most likely have looked in the mirror atleast once within the past year and thought to themselves, “Damn. I’m really not feeling good in my own body right now.”

The business manager/employer you’re trying to impress–yeah dude. They struggle too. I guarantee there were times when they questioned their position of power.

And the thing is, if people weren’t like this–if someone literally never reflected on themselves and thought to themselves, “Man, somethin has got to change.” THEY’RE FREAKING WEIRD. And also, they would never progress in life. Ever. Never.

Being able to recognize something within yourself that you aren’t happy with is not weak. Granted, yes, you’re gonna have to do something about it. Otherwise, you too will never progress.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary states that the definition of confidence is this:

a feeling or belief that you can do something well or succeed at something. : a feeling or belief that someone or something is good or has the ability to succeed at something. : the feeling of being certain that something will happen or that something is true.

So ACTUALLY, I see nothing in there that states you’re not allowed to have bad days. I see nothing in there that states you have to feel good about yourself every single day. Why? Because you’re a human being.

The common pattern I see within that definition is belief. Believe in yourself. Believe in those around you.

So it’s okay to fall down as long as you have the courage to believe that you can get back up and make a change. But don’t make the change for anyone except yourself. Like I said before, EVERYONE is dealing with their own demons–big or small. But YOU are in control of your happiness.

So if you’re someone (which I know you are, don’t lie boo) that struggles with yourself some days–your body, your image, your personality, your sanity, your strength, your job, your place in society, your place in this world, I see you. I’m with you. I am you.

We were given the ability to reflect on ourselves whether the reflection is good or bad, but we were also given the ability to believe in ourselves. Which is something I’m STILL working on.

So this is my challenge to you (I know…who does this girl think she is trying to give you homework–you were here to read which was enough work as it is!) but just hear me out! When I was taking private voice lessons, I’d always tear my performances down. I was so mean to myself. But my professor started making me limit my self-constructive-criticism down to two things. JUST TWO! Good lawwdd that was hard because I was a hot mess! But then she made me say at least FOUR things that I LIKED about my performance. That way, I was recognizing at least double the amount of good things I had to bring to the table.

I have used this strategy with everything in my life since. On my bad days, when I tear myself down, I limit myself, ex.: Okay, Alex girl, your skin is AWFUL AND IDK WHY YOU DIDN’T START TAKING SKIN CARE SERIOUSLY UNTIL NOW. And ALEX YOU HAVE THE BODY OF A 12 YEAD OLD BOY WITH A SLIGHTLY PLUMPER BUTT. Lol I wanna say I’m exaggerating, but these are real thoughts!

But then I also have to find 4 things I love about myself (and I know you’re thinking this is going to be a struggle, but you HAVE to. It’s apart of the rules! Don’t cheat!!)…anyway: Alex, your legs are super long and that’s really cool because when they’re smooth, you have more surface area to show off and touch! Also, your hair is pretty awesome too. Like it’s pretty smooth and it really never gets frizzy! Oh and your eyes are super big and look pretty in the sunlight! (Brown eyes, y’all get me.) And lastly, uhh your makeup skills have gotten a lot better, so kudos to you for being able to cover up the skin that you don’t YET like.

See? Pretty cool right?

Make it apart of your daily routine when you NEED it, and I promise you, you’ll develop that confidence thing that everyone wants but acts like they don’t struggle with!

So, in conclusion, you’re not alone. Literally almost every human being struggles with themselves sometimes (and remember, if they don’t, they’re weirdos and stay clear of them). What’s important is that you recognize the things about yourself that you don’t like and believe in yourself enough to either make a change or embrace yourself for the beautiful, hot mess you are (yes I’m talking to myself).

Also, while it’s okay and perfectly normal to have bad days, remember to be nice to yourself. Use the technique I gave you. After all, God made you the way you are for a reason, and I heard that dude like never makes mistakes.

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