First thing’s first: if you didn’t sing Demi Lovato’s “Confident” in your head when you read the title, do yourself a favor and go listen to that first. You’re welcome.
ANYway, lately I’ve been thinking about a little thing known as confidence. More
specifically, why I don’t appear to have much of it at all. Yeah, I can fake it until I make it, but for some reason it seems like lately I don’t seem to be succeeding at faking it or making it. I’m just kind of wishing for it. Sounds silly, right? I’m twenty-two, graduating university, am an athlete in the sport I love, and have friends and family whom support me no matter what. And yet I just cannot seem to wrap my head around being proud or confident in my decisions and accomplishments. What gives?
Because I’m super tired of always feeling inadequate, here’s a little round-up of things that I’m going to try to start doing in order to get my confidence level somewhere above water. Let’s jump in! (And no, I have no idea what’s with the water imagery today)
Story time! Last week I had been jumping not only bigger, but was working on a full course that was twisty and difficult in true jumper fashion. Lately, I’ve been feeling very unconfident and self-conscious in the saddle-one too many lessons and shows ending in what I consider to be failure. After the first round, my trainer asked me to stop and discuss what went well and what needed to be fixed for the next one. Nervously, I said I was too handsy and could have prepared my horse for the turns better, which made my trainer scowl. I said he didn’t look happy with me. He shook his head and told me that I had ridden it nearly perfectly and that I needed to be proud of myself because I was having a huge breakthrough.
Guess what? I had been so worried about messing up on a distance to a huge oxer or not properly supporting a turn that I had completely forgotten the most important part: having fun. You know, actually enjoying the sport I want to do the rest of my life. My first task as a result? Remembering to breathe while on course and focusing on the overall ride, not every single little thing that could go wrong. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
“You is kind. You is smart. You is important.”
Yeah…if my professors would all treat me like that. Lately I’ve been having a little trouble not only staying motivated to do my school work (#senioritis) but also feeling as if my input in class is actually appreciated. Maybe I’m a bitter senior, but school is an area where I have almost always excelled and feeling like if I speak up in class I will be disregarded is not the best learning environment, plus it seriously affects my self-esteem. Solution? Meeting with professors that I admire and having them work with me on projects I find fascinating. Additionally, remembering that grades do not, by any means, equal self-worth.
Dating: aka the fastest way to lose any and all confidence. “Tinder tools got you down? Bumble babes not replying? It’s most definitely you.” At least, that’s how my internal dialogue can go. Even when I am confident, then I’m seen as unapproachable or intimidating, because we can’t have a strong female role now, can we? Since I’ve been navigating the dating scene, my confidence has been all over the place (shocking, I know) but the thing that I’ve been trying to remind myself is this: you are a unique individual who has a whole lotta love to give, and not everyone deserves it (or you!). A person isn’t going to change who you are, so don’t change for them! Plus, your twenties are for figuring out what you do and don’t like…I’m just in the “don’t like” stage.
That’s what I’ve been dealing with lately! Hopefully this different format is a nice change of pace, and you can all get to know me and my life better in the process. See you Monday!