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The Secret to Confidence

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Sometimes I think self-confidence is bullshit.

It’s always talked about as this magical trait that will fix so many problems… Confidence will get you a job, find you a perfect partner, make you look sexy, help your wildest dreams come true, and then a billion dollars will fall out the sky strapped to Idris Elba’s naked body and he hands you a puppy.

Okay, okay. I get it. I’m not worth anything until I’m self-confident. Well, that’s a little contradictory.

So how do you get confident?

I’m always a proponent of the fake-it-until-you-make-it mantra. I’ve spent my whole life hearing it and utilizing it in every aspect. And while I still think it can apply to many situations, that mantra’s bullshit too.

I’ve been faking confidence since college. I started wearing fun clothes and bright colors, trying new things, talking to new people, speaking up. I’ve had countless people tell me “Oh, you’re so confident!” or “Your confidence is so inspiring!”

But inside, I was freaking the fuck out. The whole goddamn time. And faking it wasn’t making it get any easier. If anything, I became consumed with this persona I was projecting, now hiding behind the extrovert instead of the introvert.

I’ve tested every method of gaining self-esteem and confidence. Read the cheesy self-help books, watched the inspirational YouTubers, looked in the mirror and told myself I’m amazing beautiful and strong (God I still hate affirmations so much. If I’m gonna talk to myself, I’d rather talk to my dog.)

After much intended experimentation, I’m finally starting to figure it out unintentionally. I still have immense confidence issues that get triggered on occasion, but I genuinely have some confidence now. It’s building up slowly, but it’s noticeably there.

So what’s the secret?

Please. If I really knew, I’d be charging five installments of $19.99 plus shipping and handling.

But, what’s working for me is taking the lead of my own life.

It’s like in that cheesy rom-com The Holiday, where Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet house swap, and magically no-one catfishes or steals their shit?

Rom-com fantasy and sexy-ass Jude Law aside, there’s some solid advice in there:

“In the movies we have leading ladies and we have the best friend. You, I can tell, are a leading lady, but for some reason you are behaving like the best friend…. You’re supposed to be the leading lady of your own life, for god’s sake!”

It starts with finding out what makes you happy and taking ownership over it, then just doing it.

Recently my therapist and I had a discussion about values. We talked about what made me feel my best, like my truest, happiest, selfie-est self.

Two things I value incredibly are intelligence and creativity. I feel most like myself when I feel like I exhibit those qualities, and I didn’t feel like I was doing either. So I started taking graduate classes. My sewing machine and knitting needles were dug out of storage. And I just started doing these things because I wanted to.

I didn’t wait around for anything or anyone, but I went ahead and did them. And I felt accomplished, happy, and like myself. And when I feel balanced, like I am truly being who I’m meant to be, then I feel confident.

I may not have the confidence thing down quite yet, but the ball is finally in my court, and I’m the one making the next move. And realizing that I have control of myself, my future, and my confidence is starting to make a difference.

Sure, a new outfit or makeup still makes me feel fierce as fuck. But feeling like I am being me, whoever that may be, and I’m taking it into my own hands to do it, I truly AM fierce as fuck.

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