Updated: Apr 4
If you clicked on this because you wanted the magic recipe for how to wake up one day and suddenly have radiating confidence...this isn't the one.
I have one piece of advice and it might not be the best for everyone but it works for me.
It's a process.
I didn't master it over night and there are moments when I have to still remind myself. So this message is as much for other people as it is for me. Something to look back on for reassurance at a time when it might be needed.
I've heard it asked, "what's one thing you would tell your younger self if you could?" When I heard this question posed to others, I would try to think about what I would say. For a long time I couldn't come up with anything, but then I figured out that this was it. It's something I try to instill in my children every chance I get.
The other day my daughter went outside to play with her dolls. She has a "baby bag," a stroller, baby supplies, and accessories. She went out into our backyard with the stroller and her babies, and 5 minutes later she was back inside. She told me the neighbors were out on both sides and they could see her. She was embarrassed to be playing with the dolls in front of them. They're not even close neighbors and we have fences and bushes. But that much concern for what they thought of her, sent her running.
I went straight into my spiel about how she shouldn't be concerned about that, and to have her fun regardless. Don't let that stop you. So what? Who cares?
My little diatribe boosted her confidence. She gathered her stuff and went back outside and played like she wanted to!
And that's the advice, STOP CARING. That's it. And I mean it just like that. Not care less, just stop caring.
Caring about what others think of you can literally be crippling.
Letting the opinions of others dictate our choices is an enslaving mindset. I can't get over how long I allowed myself to live within these confines when I was growing up. I was probably taught not to care but I don't think it was reinforced very often. It wasn't until some time in college that I started to get there. That might be just maturity setting in or me defining myself but I started to care less.
And I loved it.
That's the first step. I encourage my children, I encourage all of us, to get there. Start by caring less. It might be easier said than done, but do it.
If you really think about it, what harm can another person's opinion cause? Be it an outfit you're scared to wear, something that you like that may be "unpopular". If the next person thinks your clothes are weird or doesn't like what you like, how is that hurtful? If this is your thing, what you're about or into, then own it!
Don't put down your own interests, cares, thoughts, loves, and values because they don't align with what's popular. Do you think the things you find enjoyable are less enjoyable just because the next person doesn't agree? Absolutely not. And don't let that stifle you. Ever.
When my son was younger and liked a particular thing, I always encouraged him to pursue it. Don't not join a school club because all your friends aren't in it. It's not the "in" thing to do. You cut yourself off from a world of opportunity waiting for 'your friends' to be cool with it first.
This applies to all ages.
Being confident is really about having the boldness to be who you are without feeling like you have to justify yourself to others. You don't have to rationalize 'why' when it comes to you. It's about not considering popularity or the views of the others before making a choice. Not waiting for a thumbs up from your peers before taking the next step towards...whatever.
And we've heard it before that everyone has an opinion and you'll never please everybody. And it's true. So why try?
Stop caring and live your life.