We all know those girls. The ones who seem flawlessly perfect. The ones who never seem to find themselves in that stunningly awkward situation where they say all the wrong things to all the wrong people. They’re the girls who have all the answers, who laugh the loudest without caring who’s watching them. The ones who can project their voices across a crowded room of people without a second thought, unafraid to make themselves heard, unapologetic about who they are.
They’re the confident girls, the ones we wish we could be more like. The ones we admire, but also kind of envy because of all the positivity that seems to just naturally exude from them. They’re the ones you compare yourself to when you feel out of place and self-conscious and like you can’t do anything right. The ones you think of as you lay in bed at night and replay every stupid thing you’ve ever said, when you look in the mirror and hate the fact that you just need that extra layer of makeup before you step out into the world to hide everything you can’t help but hate.
There’s this idea that confidence is born rather than made, that it is natural rather than something that is developed over time. We take an unforgiving “all or nothing” approach when it comes to the idea of confidence, especially when we use that word in its relation to other women. There are those crippling expectations applied to us, the ones that say we must possess an overflowing abundance of confidence, the type that we’re supposedly supposed to be born with.
And it’s because of these ridiculous expectations that we so frequently look at other women and think: why not me? We wonder how everyone else can be so secure within themselves and the skin they were born into, while it feels like we’re the only ones flailing to get a handle on vibing our own worthiness.
We wonder why we weren’t chosen to possess that same God-given confidence, why we don’t seem to have that voice inside our heads that says we are good and kind-hearted and worth it. The voice that is supposed to tell us that we are enough and always have been, even on the days when we’ve felt like we’ve made all of the wrong decisions. Even on the days when we go out with no makeup and sweatpants and eat takeout in front of the television because we don’t feel like cooking a proper meal.
But the truth is that voice, that confidence, doesn’t come naturally to any of us. Because confidence isn’t something that we’re born with, but rather something we build up in stores inside of ourselves, from as far back as we are able to comprehend.
We store it inside of ourselves as much as we can, without even realizing that we’re doing it: each time we are praised and complimented, each time we achieve something that we thought was impossible. But that store we’re trying to build up is something that is also simultaneously being depleted, like each time we’re put down or when we fail at something we desperately wanted to succeed in.
And unfortunately, those things that take away from our store of confidence hits us so much harder than those good things are able to build it up.
The truth is that it’s a struggle for all of us. Even those girls who seem like they are overflowing with confidence. The truth is that nobody is confident one hundred percent of the time. We all have to work for it, every day.
And the deepest truth of all is that some of us use confidence as a mask, a second face that we use to hide from the world when things are at their toughest. Because for so many girls, it’s easier to just pretend that everything is fine than to reach out to someone else and admit that they feel less than positive about who they are.
Being confident in yourself is so much harder than people realize, especially in this society we live in. The one that tells us we need to look a certain way to even be considered a worthy human being. The one that is constantly showing us images of what should be considered acceptable when it comes to our bodies. The one that tells us how we should act, the things we should like and the issues that we should find important And sometimes it seems that to do, or be, anything other than what society tells us is acceptable is to be an outsider. To be someone not worthy of our own self-love.
So yes, it’s hard to be confident. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. It doesn’t mean that you can’t work each day to build up that store that lives inside of you.
Learn to define confidence for yourself.
Because most of the time it doesn’t mean feeling one hundred percent every single day. Sometimes confidence is the little things. It’s being proud of yourself for a job well done, for waking up and being open to a new day, realizing that there are countless possibilities waiting for you somewhere out there. Everyone struggles and no one is perfect. Not even those girls you come across who seem to have it all together.
So be kind to each other. And always realize that confidence, that self-love, is possible.