Confidence Is Key

Monday, March 30, 2015

"C-O-N-F-I-D-E-N-T that's me, I'm confident."
- wise and ridiculously cool philosophers, Fifth Harmony



Eighteen-year-old Francesca would not have been able to write this post. I don't even think eighteen-year-old Francesca would have ever used the word "confident" in describing herself, not even as a self-depreciating joke. But I am not eighteen anymore, nor have I been for quite a few months, and I feel confident enough in myself to write a post about that very thing.

A few weeks back, my friend noted that ever since starting my blog, I've sort of blossomed into the girl I am today. I totally agreed with that. I also think there was a distinct shift in my state of mind when I got my hair cut for the first time in December, right before Christmas. My hair was always my security blanket. I was under the assumption that long hair forever equated beautiful and that without it, I would be nothing. Then I saw other girls chopping off their long locks and I had the (usually dangerous) thought, "Why can't I do it too?" 

The "if they can do it, so can I" logic is tricky because I believe it can lead to as many foolish things as good things, but in the case of my Long Hair, Don't Care phase, wanting to jump on the "short" hair bandwagon was a wise life choice. Do I think I could've gotten to this point with long hair? Probably, most certainly. I just think my haircut and deciding to get rid of my security blanket once and for all was the kick in the a$$ that I needed.

It was a domino effect from there. Selfies—usually hidden within the depths of my photos on my phone or sent to only my closet friends—turned into my favorite thing to post about on social media. I wanted for people to see what I was looking like, what I was wearing because I liked it enough to share it. That was huge for me, a pivotal moment that transitioned from my coyness on social media into a self-love fest.

I have journal entires from spring semester last year and in those few months there is a noticeable change in my attitude, even just two weeks after I started blogging regularly. Am I saying that the only way to achieve and garner confidence is to blog? No, certainly not! But I believe that it starts with filling your life up with people, things and activities that you love and discarding the rest. Don't be afraid to erase the negative forces in your life if they're tearing you down. It's easier said than done, I'm aware, but I also believe that it's still worth the effort. You'll never know if you don't try, my friends.

To me, confidence is one of the ultimate stages of self-love. Confidence is not arrogance, it is not self-centeredness. It is simply feeling good about yourself and your abilities, feel worthy of what you have in life and even feeling worthy of something more. Confidence is not selfish, rude, unsexy. And it's not something that anybody should feel forced to have or fake.

Despite not feeling confident until the ripe age of nineteen, I have preached confidence to friends and strangers for years. I have told people to love themselves time and time again, knowing damn well that it was a task that I wasn't even able to accomplish myself. But aiding people in their self-confidence journeys made me feel like I was doing something to help somebody else and that maybe, just maybe, I'd be able to do it for myself one day.

*****
Top three keys to confidence: 

1. FAKE IT 'TIL YOU MAKE IT. 

2. Know that you are worth more than that voice inside of your head.

3. It may take time, but your journey is important no matter the length. Pace yourself and don't be afraid to seek for help from the people you trust.

*****

There are good and bad days when it comes to being confident. It's obviously difficult to remain optimistic and positive 100% of the time (this is coming from someone whose second favorite thing to do, behind complimenting people, is to smile) and some days you really just don't feel like yourself, whether it's because you're sick, on your period, or just are not having the best day. And that is all okay! Exerting your confidence doesn't have to by a 24/7 thing. You're entitled to off days, to days where you might not feel top notch, and days where maybe you don't feel like there's anything to be confident about. Just remember the three keys when you're trying to maintain your confidence as well on those days where you really need to hone in on it and channel out the negative thoughts.

I genuinely hope that one day you—yes, you, my lovely little reader and actual ray of sunshine—can evoke the inner confidence in you and radiate it from the inside out. Good luck!

Do you think that you're confident? Why do you think that word has such a negative connotation?

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