Redefining Confidence

Growing up in this generation, the value of confidence has been planted in our minds since we were young. Though it was firmly rooted, this seed of an idea never really sprouted. After all, we were just kids. We had never heard of or had not identified ideas like insecurity and conformity. We were flooded with slogans such as: “Just Be Yourself”, “Confidence is Key”, “Never Change”, etc. Sometime after laminated and brightly colored posters on elementary walls, confidence felt less like something that could grow within us and more like a stale sales pitch. As confidence withered, many may have believed their mind was uninhabitable for any new growth of the concept. What is confidence? How can we let it blossom within us? Alex Perlov (11) shares her experience and strategy for finding and maintaining confidence.

“For me, confidence is believing in myself when nobody else does; even when I don’t believe in myself. Fake it till you make it is something that I frequently use. If you don’t think you can do it, you probably can, you’re just holding yourself back. My best advice is to fake it till you make it, and then eventually you don’t have to fake it anymore,” Perlov said.

Confidence is not a trait but rather a skill that can be nurtured and developed with time and practice. It is usually interpreted as a feeling of trust and comfort that you have with yourself. This can’t be defined since it is individualized. No one can tell you how to experience emotions like trust or safety. It’s important to search for security, not from other people or experiences but within yourself. Just like meeting someone new, get to know yourself: things you like, things you don’t like, things you’re good at, things you’re still working on, etc. Take time to notice your habits and your reactions. The better you know yourself; the easier it feels to be comfortable with who you are. It’s important to surround yourself with people and places that make you feel comfortable so that you can be yourself. Elijah Clift (10) explains how he’s worked to do this with his musical talent.

“Once you finally find the things you’re good at and feel confident doing, you can be in your comfort zone. I’ve been able to surround myself with people I enjoy talking to and feel comfortable around. I feel like that’s how I’m able to do what I do with music. I enjoy being with the people in those classes. I feel comfortable, so I can be confident,” Clift said.

Bottom line: There’s no secret formula for finding confidence. There’s no easy way to change how you perceive yourself, but by embracing who you are and learning to become comfortable with yourself, you can take steps toward self-acceptance. You should surround yourself with people who appreciate you and do the things that make you feel happy. When you feel like life’s got you down, remember you are capable and worthy of success.

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