I recently asked some friends the following questions: When do you feel most confident? When was the last time you felt confident? And when was the first time you remember feeling confident?
At first I thought the questions would be really easy to answer, and then I realized that everyone has a different definition of confidence, and so, for some, confidence is fleeting. Many people think of confidence as strictly dealing with appearance, because, as you'll see, it is mostly the outside world that gives people confidence on the inside. However, confidence has three definitions--one of firm trust, one of certainty, and one of self-assurance. I hope that from this article, people will see that all definitions are equally "confidence," because confidence can make you happier and more positive. I would love for people to feel more of that.
I must discuss insecurities as well, because humans have them, and they break down their confidence, even when they shouldn't. Here are some of mine. First of all, my boobs. Small. My skin--even on my back--not perfect. Right before a test--study or sleep? Studying gets KO'd a lot, which stresses me out. Social interactions?--sometimes I feel like no one cares to be my friend or that only my family actually knows me, because people don't want to know me enough to see me as myself. Relationship stuff? If I talk to really attractive guys for longer than "Hi," I'm afraid they'll think I get uglier the longer they look at me and they won't find my jokes funny.
But it is okay to have insecurities and still be confident! I definitely feel confident often. And sometimes, it might be good to have insecurities about something like work, so that you work harder. But most times, the insecurities we have are irrational and only have meaning in our minds. So let's talk about confidence.
Confidence is when I'm alone with my thoughts right before bed, when I brush my hair, put in my retainer, and finish my whole face routine, because I know that I'm preparing for another day in which I can choose some direction in my life. I also feel most confident when I am with my family, because I can be as weird as I want to and know they'll still love me and even laugh at my jokes. In the certainty/firm trust aspect, I feel confident every day. It is when I study my bahonky off and understand the material for class, when I cook something I know will taste delicious, and even when I go "home" from a long day and sit on the couch to relax.
The last time I felt confidence from others in a big way was a couple of days ago when I did a dramatic lip sync to "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor in front of my acting class. I had a real mic, wore a sparkly shirt, and felt awesome. People clapped. There is no video footage. -Jacqueline Yang
Below are responses from some awesome people. I asked if they would be as honest as possible. Some people I asked could not give me an answer (my own sister included), because we don't really talk about when we feel confident very often, and sometimes have a lack of confidence. I hope that reading this will help people recognize more instances of confidence in their own lives, or help them to create opportunities in which they can feel confident. There are interesting trends in people's responses. Take a gander for yourself.
When do you feel most confident?
My confidence comes from accomplishment. I feel confident when I can overcome "the odds." Like achieving something that's difficult, whether it's understanding something right away in Organic Chemistry or singing in front of a crowd of people. The last time I felt really confident was when I aced an OChem quiz despite drama and emotional turbulence the day before. It gives me confidence to know that no matter what falls apart in life, I'll always have my values, family, and education to fall back on. And then of course you have those days where someone compliments your eyebrows and you get giddy inside. -Saie
I feel most confident when... I'm with my friends. I'm not confident when I look in the mirror, but once I leave I feel so much more confident, because I realize that I want people to like me more for my personality rather than my looks. -Anonymous
I feel confident 24/7. I felt confident from the day I was born. -Anonymous
When the wings of my eyeliner are symmetrical. -Dani
I feel most confident when I am people I am comfortable with. When I'm with people who know me well and accept me for who I am, good or bad, goofy or serious, happy or sad. I don't really know when the first time was, but I love getting to the point with friends where I don't have to worry what people think of me (: -Anonymous
Hmm. That's a tough one! I'm not sure... It probably has a lot to do with others and how I feel like they're acting towards me. I find a lot of confidence--pride is probably a better word--in other people liking me. -Anonymous
I feel confident when someone acknowledges my work! -Aisha
In general, I feel most confident when I'm nervous, or like, scared, to do something I think I'm not capable of doing, and I find the courage to do it. Whether it's giving a presentation or walking up and making conversation with someone new, or sending a group message to a group I know probably will forget to respond or confronting an awkward and uncomfortable situation. And I feel most confident when I finally build up the courage to do something like that and even when the outcome isn't exactly what I wanted it to be. I just feel confident because I feel like courage is so important to have in anything you do and when I finally build up the courage to do something I feel confident because all outcomes somehow teach you a lesson and it helps me become a better and happier person. -Sophie
I feel most confident when... I'm eating healthy and taking care of my body, dancing, I'm surrounded by friends and family that support and encourage me, I don't compare myself to others. When I am optimistic. When I'm doing something that I have control over. I think these days self-confidence in women is not easy! -Anonymous
When I achieve a goal I have set for myself and have spent time and effort to accomplish it. Being confident is about being happy with yourself and your abilities. And also believing in yourself. -Shravya
For me personally, I feel more confident when I accomplish something or work hard for it! -Athena
I feel most confident when my make up and hair look 💯💯💯 Extra confidence points if I'm wearing heels too. -Savannah
When I'm around people who I know won't judge me. -Sasha
When I play volleyball well. I've played volleyball all my life, so to continuously succeed at something I've worked hard at for years gives me confidence in myself. -Sara
Whether it's trying out a new restaurant with some of my closest friends or just playing catch in the park with my brother, confidence is all about doing what makes you happy and not doing what doesn't. -Alay
When I've had consistent successful outcomes in whatever I do. -Pavithra
I try to stay confident as often as possible. I mean there are definitely times I've felt nervous before tests and stuff, but normally I approach most aspects of life pretty confidently. -Dan
I feel the most confident when my hair and make up are done and I'm dressed nicely (and not like a hobo for a change). -Christy
I would definitely say that I'm most confident when I'm with people I know well and who know me well, like my close friends and family. The same goes for familiar places or situations, like orchestra or a favorite class. I try not to be overconfident though, and I'm usually more reserved when I'm in a newer situation or around people I don't know as well. I know that I will always make mistakes and I don't want to ever come off as arrogant. -Jeffrey
I feel most confident when I give good customer service to patients and coffee drinkers. -Christina
I don't usually feel confident about myself that much, cause that's just not who I am! Um I think if I had to, I would say I feel most confident when I'm around my family! -Holy
Hmm, I would say I feel most confident when I'm prepared for my day? Basically, when my life is put together and I'm doing well in all of my classes, while still having time to do things like working out. -Maddie
I feel most confident in myself when I’m dressed in my favorite outfit with my favorite lipstick on! I feel confident in what I say or do when I know I am presenting myself in the best way. -Natalie
I feel most confident when I am encouraged and supported by the people I love. -Anonymous
I feel most confident when I am with my close friends! When I'm with my friends I can truly be myself. They bring me up and accept me for who I am. -Courtney
When my life is in balance. -Scott
When I have succeeded at a task that I thought was challenging. Just being able to overcome that obstacle brings me a lot of pride. -ONeil
Makeup makes me feel confident. Not that I need it to feel pretty. It just helps me express myself. -Anonymous
When was the first time you remember feeling confident?
When I felt accepted in school. In first grade, I knew what a friend meant. -Scott
The first time I felt confident. Probably. Hmm. Must’ve been a long time ago. But I would say when I first learned how to tie my shoes, just because initially, my mom or my dad or my older brother would tie them for me, 'cause I would be struggling. So once I finally learned to tie my shoe, it was like I evolved into a new man. So that was a good moment when I felt confident. -ONeil
It was on the playground and we were on the monkey bars playing one of the “the ground is lava games” and everyone else used the monkey bars with their arms but I just walked on top of them and was like “Whateva!” -Anonymous
Whenever I found out I was actually good at something. Like making music! -Sasha
One of the most memorable times of feeling confident in my abilities was when I elected and served as national honor society Vice President and was able to to see the success the many events I had planned and led. -Shravya
When I learned to ride a bike. All the other kids learned so quickly- I felt that I would be the only six-year old still on training wheels. I remember spending hours in the evening with my parents and not having the courage to tell them to let go... It took practice and a lot of ungraceful falling, but soon I was riding loops around the neighborhood! -Alay
When I won my first dance competition. -Anonymous
I guess the first time would be when someone told me I take good pictures :p -Aisha
When I performed my first play in theater. I love the feeling of being in front of people and being able to capture their attention! -Natalie
When was the last time you felt confident?
I felt confident this afternoon when I volunteered at a PT clinic and a patient told me I was going to make a great physical therapist. -Christina
The last time I felt most confident was when I was acknowledged for my accomplishments. -Anonymous
When I knew I crushed that Ochem quiz. -Sasha
When I finally finished my computer science program I felt confident that I could make it out alive in my class. -Anonymous
Last Saturday. I volunteer with King's Club every week, a fun Mission Waco program, in which I get to play with kids at a nearby apartment complex. Getting up early in the morning doesn't feel wrong, because I'm out having fun and building personal relationships with those kids! -Alay
When I took classes over the summer and made much better grades than I could have imagined. It boosted up my self esteem and made me aware of my potential. -Pavithra
Yesterday. I had a calc 3 test and I studied. A lot. And I got a good grade. So that was good. -ONeil
The last time I made shortbread and tea. I make some pretty darn good tea. -Anonymous
When I was playing tennis this week and won a tough match. -Scott
What would your answers to these questions be?
One last thing!
I would like to share some more with you! If you ever need some encouraging life advice, a question answered from an outsider perspective, or want to know how to cook frozen dumplings, feel free to ask me through the following link! It’s completely anonymous, so ask anything! I’m going to answer your questions in a future article. http://goo.gl/forms/x0lNKCMb4H