1. My mother taught me that confidence always goes to work. It doesn’t just sit there, looking fantastic, and letting the world revolve around it. She taught me that confidence can fall and it can fail, but that no matter what, it always gets up. And when it does, it is much stronger than it was before.
2. My father taught me that when you walk into a room, walk into it like you matter. Because you do. You know things that others don’t; you have overcome things that others haven’t. That your humility should be in what you don’t know, but your confidence should be in what you do know. And the two – humility and confidence – both ought to have broad shoulders.
3. My mother taught me that you must never be afraid to be quiet, to be unnoticed, and to keep some triumphs of life to yourself. At least for a time. And when the time comes, you must not be afraid too, to step into the light, to act quickly, to stand up and be counted. I think my mother wanted me to know that confidence is the courage be whatever is necessary in the moment.
4. My father once made me promise that I would never live life in someone else’s shadow. That saying the wrong thing is far worse than staying painfully silent. My father doesn’t believe that anyone should aim to be a hero, at least not intentionally. And that true heroism comes in the daily struggle of facing one’s demons.
5. My mother taught that confidence needn’t be loud or grand or the center of attention to be real. My father taught that it doesn’t have to be quiet or small or distant to be authentic. Together they taught that confidence is a balancing act, a practice, a way of seeing and being in the world; that confidence is something you have both despite your imperfections, and because of them. It comes in different ways and it looks different on everyone. But when someone has confidence, you know it. And everyone else knows it too.