‘Confidence isn’t walking into a room thinking you’re better than everyone, its walking into a room and not comparing yourself with anyone at all. ‘
I was never the most confident girl in the room. Throughout my childhood, the most frequent word I heard being used to label me was probably ‘shy’ or ‘quiet’. It was part of every introduction that occurred. I’m talking about those huge family dinners with all these extra relatives you didn’t even know existed or when you had to meet the family friends. My means of escape always resulted in smiles or forced laughter while praying the conversation would end soon.
I don’t think I ever truly understood what those two words meant anyway but I grew up accepting that I was the ‘shy’ child. I used the label as my little safety guard. Friends and family would always describe my sister and I as ‘completely different’. She embraced the ‘confident, outgoing’ label while I continued to adopt the ‘meek’ label. However, a little part of me disagreed. I hated being known as the ‘shy’ girl but another part of me enjoyed the lack of pressure when it came to conversations. I became my own best friend- talking to myself (in my mind) about the most random things. I wouldn’t have to go out of my way to force conversations. It’s not that I didn’t want to talk to anyone; i just never understood how people had a copious amount of things to talk about!
However, something changed along the way. I began to grow more tired of being the ‘shy’ child. I was tired of using ‘yeah..haha’ as my most common response and finally, my cheeks hurt after the forced smiles. Being constantly labelled as ‘shy’ made me even more frustrated. It was my biggest insecurity and it had easily become my least favorite word. I hated that I avoided talking to people because I was solely intimidated by them. I hated confidence too, how could something be so despicable yet admirable at the same time? Well, I thought..if you can’t beat it, you might as well be it, right? I slowly pushed myself to befriend confidence. We’re getting there, I swear. She’s just a little stubborn.
My journey with confidence is ongoing but probably my favorite one yet. No, I don’t just burst out into crowds of people and yell out ‘Hi!’ nor have I aced the art of public speaking but being hungry for confidence has pushed me out of my comfort zone. It’s made me much more outspoken, more opinionated and finally, allowed me to have meaningful conversations with the most unexpected people. Confidence is never an overnight journey and it takes a lot of effort to care less about what others think especially when those thoughts had occupied a lot of your time. Being desperate for confidence has allowed me to try out things I never knew I could do, has made me more secure about myself and has let me live more freely. I’m slowly coming out of my shell and I can’t tell you how satisfying it is.