Five Minutes On Confidence

This week I have been mostly thinking about...


I want to clarify here before I start banging this proverbial drum; Physical appearance can impact confidence. However, as I’m becoming older (Notice I don’t say “maturing” here, I’m not that delusional), it plays less of a role in whether I feel brave, strong and confident or not. This, in part, is why I take such issue with people using a person’s appearance as a milestone against which to gauge their confidence level. For example, assuming that a fat person may be “overcompensating” when they don’t feel the need to hide in the shadows, or that a typically attractive person has no right to be shy. Looking at a person and deciding how confident they deserve to be = Utter nonsense.

I know that I come across as confident (To many people, OVER confident but I’ll come onto that later…). However, I am epically socially awkward – I can go to an event and swish about all loud and weird and potentially massively overbearing but as soon as I get home I become trapped in a “Why did I do this?”, “Why didn’t I do that?” cycle which is utterly exhausting and makes me feel like avoiding humans for, at the very least, the rest of my life.

Despite this, I’m confident about myself and what makes me the person I am. I’ve never had the internal battles so many people I know have in “finding themselves”. Maybe because I’m just so docile, I’ve never chosen to be anything I’m not. I don’t regret much long term because I accept that most decisions I make are the right decision for me at the time and that regret doesn’t change anything. This has given me a lot of time to come to terms with who I am and as such, I don’t generally feel there’s much point in hiding it.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m fully aware that I’m light-years away from perfection; Quite often, I want to origami my 6ft body into a small paper boat and float off somewhere very quiet and alone, where I can just be calm and switch off the “clown” setting I’m usually in. Ask and I will list every individual flaw about myself, even ones not yet in place but that I can imagine afflicting me in time. But wasting too much time on these wouldn’t do anyone any good and I’d have to add whiny to the list…

Confidence is seen as a terribly un-British thing to have. Whether it be confidence in your appearance or your ability – PEOPLE DO NOT LIKE IT. So overconfidence basically makes you the worst. Over the years, I’ve been subject to numerous cruel comments, particularly from women, about my “trying too hard”, being “fussy”, “OTT” and the standard “Who does she think she is?!” There’s also the occasional reference to me being self-centred, which I play along with when it occurs because it’s fun and I get to BE self-centred like a total and utter Kardashian B*TCH.

Kardashian mirror selfie without the contouring...
I’m not overcompensating, I’m not shy, I’m not overconfident, I am just me. And it takes a lot of energy to be me. I make the conscious effort every day to be who I am, to be the one who will ask the questions, who will try everything first and who will fill any awkward silence with a (potentially more awkward) noise. Let’s be honest, I’d last roughly 2.5 minutes in a zombie apocalypse situation.

Confidence doesn’t make you immune to insults, it doesn’t mean that you should have to be the office punchbag, it doesn’t propel you through every social event you attend. It’s part nature and part choice.

As a plea, if you take issue with someone’s confidence; Maybe take a minute to think about why this is? Is it that you don’t feel that they deserve to feel that way? Is it that you envy their confidence? Whatever it is, don’t knock someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes, or some other ridiculous cliché.

I’m going to leave you here with the song I hear in stereo whenever someone attempts to squish my vibe:

Em x