I keep trying and trying to write this post. It shouldn’t be that hard! See, a coworker/friend of mine complimented my confidence the other day, and while I was flattered and appreciative, it made me start to think about what confidence is and isn’t. Or maybe what confidence should be? Or why it is so difficult to appear confident?
Society makes it difficult because we live in a world where we raise people up, just to tear them down. Take a woman like Giselle. Stunning. Great legs. Gorgeous hair. Perfect skin. We can look and appreciate how stunning she is. We can tell her she is stunning all day long, and so long as she says thank you, we’re good. But the moment she says, “I know,” we are in trouble. The moment she says, “I have great legs, gorgeous hair, and perfect skin,” we will be out for blood. How dare she acknowledge her own gorgeousity?! How dare she enjoy her good looks?!
Why is it like that?
Because confidence in others shows us our insecurities. Nothing shines a spotlight on how I feel about my belly fat like someone saying, “My abs are looking good!” And if I feel bad about myself, it hurts to hear someone else feeling good about themselves. I have choices there. I can choose to celebrate my friend’s abs, acknowledging that my belly looks like it does because of my lack of interest in doing crunches and my affection for donuts. Then, I can take myself out of the equation and appreciate my friend’s hard work, or I can choose to wallow in my jiggle and be offended that my friend has made me aware of my jiggle by pointing out her rock solidness, and lash out at her, calling her an arrogant so-and-so for daring to bring up the fact of her fitness.
Arrogance only comes in to play when we start believing that what makes us sensational, also makes us superior. I am confident that I have good skin. My good skin doesn’t make me superior in any way. It’s just a fact, like the grass being green. You can be Mother Theresa and someone will find a reason to call you arrogant. You can’t pay attention to that. Haters gonna hate is another grass-is-green fact.
But all that is beside the point. The thing I really want to say is that I have great friends. I have friends in my life who are secure and confident in themselves, so it doesn’t bother them that I am secure and confident in myself. My friends celebrate my victories far more than they enjoy my failures–and honeys, let me tell you, you will know who your true friends are when you achieve something. It’s easy to be the hero and swoop in to help someone when they are down. You get to feel good about yourself for doing something. But when someone is standing in the limelight, and all you can do is stand in their shadow and applaud their success? It takes a strong, confident person to be that friend.
My friends don’t feel like they’ve lost anything when I gain something. My friends cheer me on when I’m feeling good about myself, and remind me of my wins when I am down. My friends want me at my best because it makes them better by proximity–and I feel that way, too. I want my friends to be at their best, and I am delighted for every gain they make. My friends make confidence easy.
That’s where a lot of confidence comes from, and I just wanted to take a moment to thank my friends for being those people. I’m not afraid of what’s said behind my back because I know what is said to my front. I love and appreciate you.