Since celebrating my 20th birthday last week I have found myself thinking about how much has changed over the years, and how much I have changed too. One thing I find almost unbelievable is how much my confidence has grown since graduating high school and moving on to university and gaining an 8-5, Monday through Friday job. To be honest I wouldn’t say my confidence is at 100%, but it’s on a steady rise!
One thing that has lead to this unmistakable increase in confidence is acceptance of the fact that I am in no way perfect, and that I have made mistakes. I could write a list of the things that I am not proud of, for example: stealing some poor girls rice krispie in the first grade. I don’t remember how it happened, but I still feel guilty when I think about it and obviously it was not the nicest thing to do. There are a number of things I cannot believe I did, and just plain embarrassing things that ruined any ounce of confidence I gained in the past. However; after realising that half the things I find to be mortifying are things that nobody else even remembers because they are also wrapped up in their own lives, and possibly dwelling on mistakes and embarrassing moments of their own. Simply accepting the fact that these events are in the past and that I cannot change them has given me the experience to make much better decisions. In a way you could say I have forgiven myself, for the most part, for those things. They do not define me as a whole, they are just an event that occurred then disappeared into thin air. Forgiving and forgetting has given me the opportunity to start fresh everyday and not let the past get in the way of a successful and, dare I say it, promising future.
All through elementary, middle, and high school I was terribly shy. Maybe being unconfident was the reason I was shy, or the other way around. Either way being shy made me uncomfortable in every social situation. Having my friends around me at all times was a great comfort, but they couldn’t follow me to university could they? I am on my own when it comes to navigating the campus, and interacting with other students. I must admit it can be very intimidating walking into a room that is unfamiliar with hundreds of unfamiliar faces. The only way to get familiar with uncharted territory is to get lost a few times a lot. Finding my own way around certainly made me more independent, as well as upped my confidence, because I proved to myself that I could handle being on my own with no one to hold my hand. Being thrown into this situation forced me to step out of my comfort zone. It was a good thing!
Although I am still a naturally shy person I am gradually coming into my own. Sometimes it’s hard to change yourself into the person you want to be. I want to voice my opinion, laugh too loud, have too many friends, have the respect of people around me, and mostly I want to get as far away from that overly shy girl as possible. It can be hard to change because many people recognize me as a shy person and it would most likely shock the hell out of them if all of a sudden I turned into Little Miss Sure-of-Herself. They might not even believe I had truly became confident, but rather became mentally unstable and was just kidding myself to think that I could be anything different than the girl they have been accustomed to. A perfect example of psyching myself out.
In conclusion, let yourself change; step into the unknown. Don’t let others expectations of your personality prevent you from moving forward and become the person you already are, but have been too scared to show.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure, It is our light, not our darkness that frightens us.”- Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love
Sorry for the length of this, I was not expecting to carry on for days. Here’s some juice and a cookie for getting through that monstrosity. Thanks for making it to the end. Let me know about your own experiences regarding confidence and being shy. How did you gain confidence? Is it still a work in progress?
Wishing you a happy Friday!
Images found on tumblr from: valleylily, queen-desiie, llittletalks )