After asking my followers on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for a topic for my advice article, I found that confidence was the number one thing asked about. Living in today’s generation can be tough, especially with cyber bullying and all of the expectations put on teenagers’ shoulders. Confidence is usually at the top of our lists, but we just can’t seem to succeed in obtaining it. So, how do we obtain confidence?
Being a model and writer and just having to be a teenager has taught me that I NEED confidence in order to “look good”, but I have come to realize it’s not all about seeing confidence from the outside. People can easily plaster on a fake face of courage whenever they want, but that doesn’t mean they’re actually confident in themselves. I’m only 17 and I am continuously told, “Jina, just be confident. You can do this.” But in the back of my head, there’s that voice asking, “Are you sure you can really do this?” I’m always second guessing myself, and it sucks, but I’ve slowly overcome it, and I don’t think it would be fair if I just kept my tips to myself when there may be other guys and girls my age with the same problem. So, here they are:
1) Confidence is not something you obtain. It’s something you’ve always had.
Deep inside you, you have a box of emotions and that’s where confidence hides. Confidence is just another one of those emotions. That’s why people might say, “I’m feeling confident today.” The emotion comes from believing in yourself, from wiping away those cloudy thoughts of “I’m not good enough”, and simply taking a deep breath and saying, “I am confident.”
2) Sometimes real confidence brews from fake confidence.
This past weekend, I had to walk for a fashion show and I was anything but confident, but I knew I had to be. So, I took a deep breath, rolled my shoulders back, put on my fiercest model face and walked like I had the most confidence I had ever had, even if I really didn’t. But, guess what? After I faked my confidence the first time I walked, the second time I didn’t have to. My brain had recognized that emotion of giving something my all and believing that nobody could stop me because that was my moment and nobody else’s. Like I said before, everyone has confidence. Sometimes you just have to go for it, and believe it will appear.
3) When the time comes to bag on yourself, don’t.
A lot of teens today, including myself, have trouble NOT finding things wrong with ourselves. Not too long ago, I went through a depressed stage in my life, where I simply didn’t think I was good enough, and I had ZERO self-confidence. There was a lot of moping around and sleeping, but most of all, there was no improvement. Things started to get a little scary after that. I would think really bad thoughts that would put me into tears most nights. Eventually, I told a friend and though they couldn’t help me, they showed me that I wasn’t being me. In the end, I knew that the only thing I could do was clear my head and stop being so negative towards every single detail of my life. Instead of bagging on myself, I learned to be nice to someone else. Every time I feel bad about myself, I turn it around by telling someone I like their shirt or their shoes. Eventually, I just start seeing good things rather than focusing on all my bad things. Sure, the bad is still there. It can’t go away. But, the bad is just part of me and I’ve learned a way to just live with it. Remember, it’s not a big deal unless you make it a big deal.
Taking these three things and putting them together, you’ll find your confidence. Really, confidence is just about being your best you. It’s about believing you have something inside you that can propel you towards something better. We all have confidence. We just have to learn to use it. Truly, there’s always going to be something that we will find about ourselves and will lower our self-confidence, but that’s just part of being human. Just remember, where there’s bad there’s ALWAYS good, and keep your head held high, no matter what.
Jinapher J. Hoffman