Self-Confidence Is Not Automatic

Since I was a very young girl I always noticed the people that exuded confidence…although I don’t think I knew what that word meant until I was in high school but you get the point. I always envied those people who could walk around with what seemed like not a care in the world. The never cared what people thought of them, the never looked for approval or acceptance. They just did their thing and went about their lives. To have that confidence always amazed me. I have never had that. Sure I may act like I do but those few people that really know me (and now you that are reading this) know that I actually do care what people think. I try to walk around saying, “Whatever! I don’t care what you think! I am my own person and I will live how I want to live!” but deep down I am very concerned with whether or not people actually like me, or agree with me etc. I think that is the main thing that attracted me to my husband. He has that! He has that confidence that I have never had and desperately want. I get embarrassed when I have to make a phone call to ask question about car insurance because I fear sounding like a moron. I get nervous trying to use a coupon in the store because the clerk might say no. My husband does not care about anything. He will try to use 5 coupons that are all expired and then try to convince the clerk to let him use them after she has said no twice. He astounds me that he can do this. He has confidence I could never have. My brother has it too. He has enough self-confidence for 10 people and it baffles me. When he walks into a room he owns it! The whole room knows he is there and that how he likes it!

When I was grade school I was bullied before bullying became the hot topic it is now. I was laughed at, mocked, made fun of, left out of things and so on until 7th grade. I believe all that happened to me has made me a stronger person and taught me to persevere and stand up for myself but it did not help my self confidence. I am still that 4th grader sitting alone at her desk while all the other kids are playing at recess deep down. When I got to high school things were better. I made friends that I connected with easily and we are still extremely close today. My high school experience was not a bad one. In fact it was a wonderful school. I was on the cheer leading squad, managed the baseball team and belonged to numerous clubs. I probably could have been involved in a lot more and been close friends with many more classmates but it was my lack of self-confidence that held me back. My classmates never treated me bad or bullied me but in my head and heart I looked at them as the “popular crowd,” and “out of my reach.” I had a fear that they would not accept me so I never tried.  Looking back now I know that I was being silly and I regret never trying. I have recently gotten back on touch with many of them and I am so glad. I have talked with them and learned from them and supported them and they have supported me. I no longer see that imaginary barrier that I created all those years ago.

Self-confidence is a trait that people take for granted. Parents do not realize how important it is to teach this to their children. My mother tried with all her might to teach me to be confident in who I am. Sometimes I fear that I failed her for not being more confident but I do try. If there is one lesson that I can teach my daughter above all else it is this: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” – Eleanor Roosevelt  I tell her everyday how wonderful she is and how amazing she is. Though she is barely 7 months old I want her to have the confidence that I never had. Though I am still working on it so I guess there is still time!

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