This is a topic I’ve written about a lot before, so it’s not surprising that it’s showing up again, especially as it’s something I still struggle with: self-confidence. I’m still a lot better than I used to be, back in middle school, high school and maybe even college. I might even dare to claim I’m the most confident that I’ve ever been in my life, at this point. But, at the same time, I got worked up over something trivial this weekend thanks to my lack of confidence in myself and saw how deep that lack of confidence has seeped into other parts of me; into my relationships and friendships, how I view myself in the world, what I believe I can do. I saw more clearly how my lack of confidence helps fuel vices I wish I didn’t have, like major jealousy issues and insecurity.
I’m not sure why it hit harder this past weekend than it usual does, but it got me thinking about how, truly, none of these thoughts and feelings would exist if I just dared to give myself a little credit, believe in myself a little more, perhaps even purposefully work on having confidence. Realizing that, I started to really think about why I don’t have any confidence in myself, because, if I sit down to think about it, I actually really like who I am.
I know I always have room to improve, but I love my quirks and my interests and passions (which might be a no-brainer, but…). I love that I’m a writer with a presence in that community and the book review/blogging community. I love my obsession with Tolkien, my shy nature and comfort zone that I can expand when I really want to in order to act like an introvert, even if I complain about how it’s hard, sometimes, to be so naturally introverted. I love being a nerd, prolly more than anything (aside from being a writer). I have some good strengths, I think, and a good heart.
So why do I struggle to believe in myself with even my passions, like writing novels (always believing they are shit and being surprised on the days in which they aren’t)? Why do I struggle to speak up in social situations when I know my voice wants to be heard and I know I can do it, but I choose not to and have a lesser time for it? Why do I fear that any other woman is going to steal my boyfriend away from me because they are “enter adjective here”, even though I know he loves me? Why do I hate myself when I look in the mirror and feel so guilty when I skip a workout or eat shitty on the weekends, having meltdowns when my weight goes up instead of down?
And then I stumbled upon this quote:
Not only did I think to myself, Man, I wish that described me, but it reminded me of why all my confidence issues and insecurities are there. It’s not because of a lack of confidence in myself or my own relationships and friendships.
It’s a fear of what others how others will perceive me.
But not only that. It’s me taking it a step further and, instead of just having a fear that others will think of me as lesser than what I am, I go ahead and believe that to be true and then convince myself that, because someone else might think it, then it must be true.
Friends, that is a lot of power to give someone who isn’t yourself.
I know this way of thinking and why someone might have confidence issues is nothing new. It’s just something that’s been on my brain and my heart this week and it’s something I want to actively work on. Because I don’t like not being confident in myself simply because I have love handles and back fat; or I’m nerdy instead of cool; because I’m straight-edge and act more like a Grandma than a mid-20-something; a homeless romantic and a bookworm.
Regardless of what it is, this is who I am. Quite frankly, I am tired of allowing myself to create an image or opinion of myself that is lesser of who I actually am, turning that image into a belief, based on opinions that honestly, prolly don’t exist. And even if they did, why would I give someone else that much power to change my own opinion of me? That isn’t to say that there isn’t room for improvement–there are so many ways for me to still improve and self-improvement is one of the truest constants in life, I think. But having confidence–not cockiness–is something that I want. And I believe it is something I can create and shape, if I start actively working towards it and believing it.
So, how about we get started on that, shall we?