I used to think confidence was genetic—I thought either beauty, brains, or braun solely allowed the aura of unattainable perfection, by which I was easily intimidated, to emanate from others.
Until recently, I thought confidence an entirely external source. Truthfully, nothing external can make you happy or comfortable with yourself: it all comes down to mental reasoning and self-acceptance.
When discussing personal demons a few years back, my friend RaRa told me something I will never forget. Although she was talking about confidence pertaining to body image, I feel as though this can be applied anywhere:
“I once wrote two letters: one to the part of me I hated most and the second as a response back.
So, I wrote to my legs:
You disgust me. You’re the worst disappointment and I cannot even stand to look at you. You’ve let me down. Everyone who sees you is disgusted. Sometimes I wish I could get rid of you and get new, better legs.'”
Now, I know it sounds odd, but just bear with me:
I am so sorry for disappointing you. I don’t understand why you feel this way. I do my best even when it’s hard. I carry you around, I hold you up, and do everything else you ask. I want to be the best for you and to work with you to make sure we both get what we want.”
RaRa was (is) thin, beautiful and in great shape. I had no idea she felt that way about her body (she had no reason to—in my opinion, she’s a goddess). Not only did she confront her feelings about her body, she also confronted the accountability and logic behind her feelings.
The letter idea is simple yet impactful, teaching me something so important, obvious, and elusive all at once.
Confidence takes all of the great and bad qualities about ourselves, shows us how to embrace them equally, allows us to work with our flaws and accept them in addition to the control, or lack thereof, by which we have over them.
Confidence is all about internal perspective, not external. Someone beautiful who seems to have it all but may be struggling with asking their crush out. We are all just people. Extraordinary people.
We all struggle with ourselves. It’s natural. Accept yourself, embrace yourself, and remember flaws can also be strengths. You just have to get a little creative.