Let's Talk Confidence

I recently saw this image on Upworthy, and unlike most of the things I see on there, I had really mixed responses to it. On the one hand, I can totally see her perspective. Our culture and the way we are raised make size, race/ethnicity, and gender really significant to our level of confidence and our thinking of what we can and cannot do. Many people might say I can't do X because of X factors, and just leave it at that. But on the other hand, I'm always really interested in what makes a person believe so wholly in themselves that they'll do something that seems impossible, and it doesn't matter who that person is. If you've ever seen pictures of models without makeup, or even porn stars without makeup, you'll see that most of them aren't just born the beauties we make them out to be. Don't get me wrong, they're still gorgeous in a totally human, approachable way, but when we strive to look like supermodels we strive to look like the made up, airbrushed version of them, not what they were born with. So what made them say, you know what, I can be a super model? Their size? Their height? When an artist starts a new movement, what makes them think that they can do that and be successful and be accepted? When an aspiring actress gives up everything and moves to New York or Los Angeles to try and start a career, but gives her the confidence to do that? Stupidity? Faith? Self worth?

I want to know what separates the people who dream of greatness, who have all of these ideas for cool things they'd like to do or could do (i.e. me) from the people who just do them, who start that Youtube channel or sell all of their stuff and move to a different country or try an impossible career or say to the world, hey, I'm worth a damn. I guess this is just as much about drive and go-getter attitude as it is about confidence, but I feel like those things often go hand in hand. If you are really confident in yourself, you believe that you can do anything, and so you're more likely to try to. 

I have often had ideas for things that I might be good at, or things I might be interested in doing, and part of not doing them is probably laziness, but more of it I think is a fear of failure, of not being good at it, of not following through, and that fear stems from a lack of belief in myself, that I can do it, and thus a lack of confidence in myself. Obviously this isn't exactly crippling lack of confidence, since I have done some things in life, like to go to grad school and write some stuff and start this blog, but I always wish I would do more.

I don't know if I've articulated myself well here, but I'm really interested in hearing what you have to say about this issue. Where does your confidence come from (and no, I don't mean that in an insulting way)? Your upbringing? Your looks? A certain talent or ability? Do you think Mindy hits the issue on the head, or are you conflicted like me? Sound off in the comments!

Yours Truly, Jen

P.S. I am totally aloud here, and did not intend to offend anyone with my comments here. If you totally disagree, please comment and let me know! The point of this Let's Talk series is to talk about things that are controversial, interesting, generally not talked about, etc., so some people may be offended by some comments and that is a necessary byproduct of open conversation.

P.P.S. Previous Let's Talk posts here and here.

1 comment

  1. Loved this post! Great idea for a series :) I'm such a fan of Mindy Kaling. I really think that her driven personality has helped her to get where she is today. She knew what she wanted and fought against the odds. For me personally, I feel that confidence starts within. Sometimes you have to take a risk and make yourself believe you know what you're doing, even if you don't. Once I do, my confidence definitely starts to grow.

    You should be proud of your achievements though! Grad school is such an accomplishment, and keeping up with your blog at the same time, I couldn't event imagine. It's like you said though, having the drive and a go-getter attitude is so important!



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