Finding The Confidence Again

Finding The Confidence Again

When things get hard and you dwell on the past, find a new focus and believe in yourself!
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I felt like I was failing. And it wasn't fun. It’s time to stop living in fear. And it’s time to stop caring what others think. I am pushing it all away. It’s good to be aware of everything but don’t let it stop you.


I have pushed opportunities back. I have pushed certain goals and dreams away because I am scared I won’t make it. It won’t happen. Because there will always be a “No.” Thinking back to middle school and high school, I had people laugh in my face when I said I wanted to act. Or even I wanted to sing.

My birthday party in fifth grade, I had a slumber party. I remember we played American Idol. Everyone there I thought were my friends. But friends wouldn’t act like this. As the game went on, Three of my friends wanted to play the judges and the rest of us, like four of us were going to be the contestants. Everyone was a “yes” except for me. On my birthday. At my party. This may sound silly and dumb, but years later I’m here questioning it. I don’t talk to any of these people anymore, we may be friends on FB. I don’t know. (There’s honestly only the few people that I grew up with that I still talk to but we didn’t become friends to later on. ) We’ve all grown up, and everyone is doing well. But yet here I was trying to fit in with these kids who didn’t even want to be my friend. Who tore me down without even realizing it. This still haunts me as I continue to sing. Am I really good enough? Can I sing? Maybe I should’ve quit a long time ago. These are questions I ask myself a lot.

(Throwback to High School talent show)

High School, there was one student who loved to tear me down at singing. And she had a great voice. Already intimidating. Here I am just trying to work on my voice. I was told I had a voice by a few people and a teacher and it really lifted my spirits. But she was there to tear it down. I remember one day in choir, I was rehearsing a song and she came up to me and laughed at me and said “No.” And on stage for the talent shows, she would death stare me when I was on stage. It took me until college to really get over that and open myself up on stage. There were a few friends I relied on, and kept me going. (Thank you, you know who you are!)

Here I am, moved out on my own. Working at Walt Disney World, doing what I love. But yet I still felt lost. I thought about pursuing acting and singing more, but for a little while I have found myself back in this shell of “I’ll never make it.” “I don’t know why I try, I’m not good.” I even had a friend tell me I was wasting time and money. She just doesn't get it. I don’t like it. I don’t like who I became. My mom still thinks I’m the bravest person she’s met. Everyone who knew my grandfather, still talks of me as he always said I was his pride and joy. But honestly it felt like an illusion. Because I felt like a failure. I’ve been the one to say “Don’t let stuff tear you down.” “Follow your dreams, no matter what they say.” Some of my friends say I inspire them, but did I?I let my guard down, and let the past come back to haunt me and I have let others influence my decisions. Not in the good way. But that's over. I over came it. The friends I have now and the family I have are the best support I could ever ask for, and I am truly happy.

I will never let these silly things get to me again. I know now, I am never a failure. I may just be detouring and doubting but I am still me. And I am done. I am done worrying about if I can sing or not. I CAN. I am done with what others think of me. Unless it is helpful and positive criticism. Sure, it’s taking me awhile to get a lead in a musical or play. Or a solo in something. Sure, it’s taking me awhile to figure myself out clearly. But that doesn’t mean I can’t act or sing. Because the many shows I’ve been in as a supporting and ensemble cast member, the more experience I have. The more I work and work on my craft, the better I am. I remember the feeling of being on stage and on set, and the feeling at the premiere of my first film project. Joy. Pride. Happiness. And I will never give that up. And yeah, I may have doubts here and there, but gosh darn it I believe in myself. I am Confident. And you should too.

I will take risks. I am not scared. I am brave. I am strong. I am a singer. I am an actress. I am myself, and whatever my heart sets out for me to be. I'm back on my feet, so everyone watch out. I've got a new focus. And I am ready. You can either stand with me or stay out of my way.

Don’t be afraid to take risks, do it. Don’t be afraid of what people think, do it. You can’t live in fear and by others judgements. You have to live your life and follow your dreams. You are not a lone. You can do this. Just remember the best come to those who are patient. “No’s” will happen, but it’s ok. Don’t give up, soon there will be a “Yes.” But you have to keep believing and working! Work hard and fight for your dream. You are good enough, now go be more.

Cover Image Credit: Missy Hargrove

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I'm Starting To Love Myself And It's The Hardest Thing I've Ever Done

I deserve this.
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No, I don't want to do that.

Yes, I'm going to try this instead.

I'm going to learn how to _____.

I'm making these changes in my life to make myself a better person.

Because I want to.

Because I deserve better than this.

In the last few days, I've decided to make a radical decision. After 20 years of self-sabotaging, self-sacrificing, and overall making other people happy at my own expense, I've decided it's finally time to learn how to love myself.

This decision came out of the blue the other day and, while it'd probably be better to implement these changes one at a time, I've decided to dive into the deep end and start loving myself at every step along the way.

Yesterday this meant buying fruit, going to the gym, and letting myself fall asleep when I was tired.

Today it involved waking up early so I'd have extra time in the morning and wouldn't be rushing to class, eating breakfast, and letting myself watch a show in the afternoon when I had an hour-long break between class and work.

Some days it means letting go of a toxic relationship, reaching out to a friend I haven't talked to in a while, or letting myself eat my favorite comfort food.

Other days it involves going to the farmers' market, depositing money in my savings account, or calling my grandparents.

And every day, regardless of what the action is, the intention is always the same.

I'm doing this because I deserve it.

I'm doing this because I know I can be better.

I'm doing this because it's an investment in my future self, my health, and my happiness.

I'm doing this because I love myself.

And even on the days when I don't believe these words, they matter. Even on the days when I don't feel particularly loving towards myself; when my stomach sticks out too much or my hair won't lay the way I want it to, when it's hard to drag myself out of bed and all I'm craving is a slice of pizza and a nap, I remind myself that I'm loved and worthy of love.

I remind myself that I'm all I have, that my relationship with myself is the longest and the most important one I'll ever have, that telling other women to love themselves while I sit over here practicing self-loathing is hypocritical and unfair.

And on different days, "I love me" sounds different too. Some days it sounds like "I'm beautiful" and other days it sounds like "I can do this" and other days it sounds like "I'm proud of myself" and other days it sounds like "I deserve to be happy."

And at the end of the day, they all mean the same thing.

They mean that I'm done settling for less than I deserve. I'm done filling in the gaps with things and people that don't help me become the person I'm trying to be. I'm done chipping away pieces of myself and giving them away freely, expecting and receiving nothing in return. I'm done floating through life passively waiting for things to happen to me. It's time for me to take charge and to create the change I want to experience in my life.

It hasn't been easy. In fact, choosing radical self-love is the hardest thing I've ever done. But embarking on this journey has been the most worthwhile decision I've ever made. And there's no one I'd rather be experiencing it with than me.

Cover Image Credit: Maria Nelson

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Defining Bravery Showed Me How Brave I Am And The Bravery Of Those Around Me

I never thought I was brave, until I read the definition.
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The definition of bravery, according to Merriam-Webster, is "the quality or state of having or showing mental or moral strength to face danger, fear, or difficulty."

I've always thought that bravery was laughing in the face of danger, facing your fears. I've always pictured someone jumping in the water to save a person from drowning or standing between a group of children and a gunman. But throughout my own life, I never would have described myself as brave, because what have I really done to call myself "brave" or say that bravery is a constant trait of my personality?

I've never saved a drowning person or faced a gunman. But looking at the definition right in front of me, I know more brave people that I can even count, and brave is something I can say that I have been. I had never considered that mental strength while facing difficulty was brave until I realized that the things I've been through could cause anyone to break down, and although I have had my share of breakdowns, continuing to face them as best I could, makes me strong and brave.

Not to mention, those around me are continually brave. One of my best friends lost her mom a week after we moved to college, and I've watched her face her sadness and difficulty, and keep going. A coworker who has become a treasured person in my life since we've worked together has faced her demons head on and has come out stronger on the other side, which is something I look up to.

She's been brave and has kept going and I admire her. Another friend of mine has been through illness, mental health issues, and so much more and she keeps on every day with her head held high and she remains strong. This list goes on and on. So many people I know face their own difficulties every single day, including myself and each and every one of us stay brave and keeps fighting. Because we're strong, and we're brave.

One day I was looking at tattoos because I was wanting to add to my collection, and I found one that was a tiny wrist tattoo, with the words, "be brave." In that exact moment I knew, I wanted those words on my body forever, as a reminder to myself that you can face any difficulty and come out stronger on the other side, you just have to stay strong and be brave to do so.

So, along with a friend of mine, we both went and got tattoos - me, "be brave" and her, a semicolon. Both tattoos that mean the world to each of us and it was so special that we could get them together. Now, I wake up every day and as I look at the words on my arm, it makes me happy that not only do I forever have a reminder of my past strength, but a reminder to be strong in the face of future difficulties.

Be brave, everyone.

Cover Image Credit: Jenna Reed

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