I will never forget those crazed blue eyes. Walking past the uncharacteristic fast food place, between the affluent shopping mall and the uptown library, this piercing creature jumped out at me. “Why are you following me? Why?!” Something snapped inside his poor mind. “I am not following you. I do not know who you are and I am not following you.” For fear of personal safety, I couldn’t break eye contact. He wouldn’t let me.
Let’s say you’re a pretty good football player. You know the sport, you’re fit, train constantly, and show up to every game. You decide to join up with a new team. You meet with the coach to talk about sports, fitness, training, and end up rambling on about dreams and hobbies. It turns out well. You hop aboard this new team. There’s just one problem. You’re a football player and they need a football player.
Self-confidence is built, challenged, and reinforced gradually. I’m certainly no poster child myself! I’ve just identified subtle improvements to my external-facing self-confidence over the past 10 weeks and 65 uploads. Identifying limitations was one. I thought that posting fiction on the weekends would be a cool idea, only to realize the execution required too much effort within tight timeframes on Thursdays and Fridays, so now I’m mixing up the format. Let’s dig into meatier examples, shown below:
We’re not taught how to handle the crumbling of our identities. If your sense of identity is like a slab of concrete, what happens when there’s an irreparable crack? Hope for glue? Sometimes that glue is easy to find and fill. It could even match or be aesthetically celebratory. What if we just want things to go back to the way they were? There’s one catch: we forget that life before the crack wasn’t solid.
Self-confidence starts with your “self.” Literally and figuratively! When you feel good about yourself, when you trust yourself, and feel comfortable with your actions, the little things don’t bother you as much, and you can take more abuse. Once your internal base is solid, you can then start thinking more externally. You can start trusting others within reason over certain things. Let’s join Mr. A and our crew of writing analogy characters for some examples:
If there’s a self-confidence scale ranging from humility to arrogance, I lean heavily into arrogance. I’m OK with overconfidence. Just long as we’re not belittling others while dreaming the possibilities. I’ve met dreamers that were so decisive that they’d cut out anyone that wasn’t fully on-board with their dreams. I try not to be that! I just believe that to fully realize your dreams, you must wholeheartedly believe in yourself first, before realizing any possibilities.
What happens when our egos shatter? Isn’t that it? Will we ever be the same as we were before cracking that egg? Our self-confidence, our pride in ourselves and what we’re able to accomplish with our lives, our egos, well, they’re not eggs! I took this photo the morning before the most recent time, and hopefully the last time, my ego cracked. With time, I reinforced my self-confidence to be better than before. Here’s how:
My self-confidence was in shambles over 4 years ago. Between sobriety, encounters with possibly thousands of stressful people including one abusive manager that would psychologically harass me so much during weekly Friday meetings that I’d leave feeling absolutely worthless, and generally picking up the pieces of my life, I’m in a better spot now. Celebrating those Fridays, let’s consider self-confidence weekly, starting with perhaps the strongest mantra you can apply: you deserve any spot you choose.