ON CONFIDENCE

17:32:00

Let´s talk self-confidence. It is an intensely interesting topic especially now when self love has become this huge buzz word and seems to mainly entail drinking overpriced smoothies and doing 10 hours of Yoga every day.
Self-confidence is also very interesting, because it can be perceived so differently from how you feel by others. Throughout high school I was so intensely insecure and so many people thought I was super confident (actually the word many people used was arrogant, but I like to focus on the positives). And even very recently during my internship at a radio station one of my colleagues asked me if I wanted to work on a task, I said yeah okay and she looked at me and said "It´s really cool how you just have the confidence to do things without overthinking". I literally sat there and almost died laughing. Acutally I analyse every little thing I do ever and had just spent two nights of the last week crying, because I was so convinced I was doing a shit job at my internship and everyone thought I was stupid. It was and still is shocking to me how I appear to other people, while I feel so differently about myself.



I would say I am generally a pretty self-confident person. I think I am more or less aware and okay with the things I am good at (making delicious food, being disciplined and eating mind-boggling amounts of french fries) and which I am not so great at (letting literally anything go, not overthinking everything and portion control). The fact that I am okay with myself is a relatively new development.
I have absolutely lovely parents, who have always given me the feeling I can do anything I want and also that I am amazing at the things I do. This led to very interesting occurences in my early childhood like that one time I stood next to the TV when a famous childrens´ choir sang and straight out said they were terrible and I could do what they did so much better.
So to say the least I was a very confident child and to be honest I was a little bit of an arrogant little brat. However no matter how lovely and supportive your parents are, high school has the capacity to crush even the most confident spirits. And being a braces-rocking, oversized-clothes wearing mega nerd with glasses, who literally read while walking, my spirits were crushed pretty quickly. I was still a child when I came to high school, not ever having considered make up and still mostly wearing clothes my mum bought, which included highlights such as cowboy boots, a jacket I that is still too big for me 12 years later and horrid striped glasses. I very much felt like I did not belong, like I was completely wrong the way I was and very lonely.
I did adapt over time, I got contact lenses, a hair cut and waved goodbye to my braces, but I still spent most of high school acting differently from how I felt to fit in. I was intensely relieved to leave school and still today there is no amount of money you could pay me to go back to that hell hole.
After high school I took a gap year and worked on a farm in Chile. The biggest revelation I had during these three months was the simple and shocking possibility that people did like me for who I was. For what felt like the first time in ages, I did not act a certain way to fit in, I simply was myself and people still enjoyed spending time with me. As I mentioned earlier: S H O C K I N G.
Chile was also possibly the first time I ever felt realistically attractive towards men. Now let´s be honest Chilean guys will pay drinks and whistle after every girl, which remotely resembles being blonde, but getting all that attention really made me feel good. Plus I had just managed to live abroad in a foreign country with my extremely basic school Spanish, despite the fact that I had spent the entire flight there sobbing like a baby and crazy scared. So I collected accomplishments and that really helped me feel better about myself.



This continued with a beautiful group of friends I met during my Bachelor in Malmö and in Brighton, who were interested in the same stuff as I was, supportive and truly loving towards each other. Other reasons to feel like I might actually like myself included the internships I did, the money I earned all by myself to go to the places I wanted to go to, heavy flirting, lots of kissing and generally doing what I wanted to do.
However is feeling good about these things really self-confidence? Or was I not still continously in dire need to fill a check list of things that made me worthy of being liked?
I have spent almost my entire life continously proving to myself and others that I was good: a good student, a good daughter, a good friend, a good girlfriend. But real self-confidence and especially real self-love should not depend on your accomplishments or the way you look or your relationships with other people. This is one of the most important things I am still struggling to fully understand:

YOU DO NOT NEED TO WORK TO BE LOVED

Not by others and especially by yourself. You deserve to like or even love yourself simply for being you. You deserve to feel confident even without continously achieving. True self-confidence is not based on how well you are currently doing it just is. If you really can love yourself from within, you will be just as okay with the you that downs a bag of chips in front of the TV in sweatpants as you are with yourself rocking a gorgeous dress and killing it at your job. You should not feel the constant need to prove your worth, you should feel it from within.
It has taken me a long time to realise this and it is still something I am working on every day, but I no longer want to base my love and confidence for me on a certain list of things. Sure I can feel good about them, but the shold not be the foundation I build upon. They should be like decoration on top of the cake. Sure icing makes it even better, but it is pretty great as is. To learn this lesson, to love yourself unconditionally and at your weakest is maybe our biggest challenge as humans. It is something that our society truly does not teach us (I mean how else would we be convinced to buy 30 different beauty products or to actually eat fucking kale?), but it is something we all truly and deeply need. It is loving yourself exactly the same when you work out five times a week, nail your projects and eat super healthy and when you have a huge pimple, consumed nothing but fries for three days and texted that guy you know you should not text. It is accepting and lovingly looking at your mistakes and not beating yourself up, but saying: this is okay, I still love you and I know we can do better.
For the longest time I have wondered why I was never satisfied, never felt good enough, why I was crazy jealous even in stable reassuring relationships. And the simple reason is that I based how I felt about my self on outside sources and not simply on the amazing person I already am both at my lowest and at my best. It might be my biggest challenge yet to truly realise this. But I am god damn excited to get there some day.

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