There isn't much I miss about high school, but I would be lying if I told you I didn't miss certain teachers I had the pleasure of having. I had some of the most admirable and respectable individuals allow me to grow throughout my days in high school. I would not be the same person I am today without some of those incredible people. One teacher in particular said something to me once that has changed my perspective on how I view myself and the way I present who I am to the world around me. It's stuck with me ever since, and it brings tears to my eyes whenever I reminisce on these words:
"And whether or not you feel as though your perceived confidence is a facade or not, understand that it is what it is. There is no such thing as perceived confidence. If you are showing it, you have it, and that is YOU."
Confidence is something I've struggled with all my life. From as far back as I can remember, I've always been self-conscious of the way I dress, look, or act. I self-scrutinize everything I ever do with my life and never seem satisified. But, I do my best to never let this show.
Many people perceive me as a confident individual for various reasons — whether it be because of the content I post on social media, my bold outfit choices, the actions I execute from day-to-day — but don't ever see the agonizing insecurity and emotional chaos that lingers in my head. The truth is, for years I've had trouble stabilizing self-assurance and attaining a poise state of mind.
Let me expand on this even more. Just because I post a shirtless picture of myself does NOT mean I am happy with my body. Instead, it can implicate the pride of my progress. Just because I post a singing video does NOT mean I believe that I am talented. Instead, it can implicate how happy I am at my improvement. Just because I seem like I am "thriving" does NOT mean that I am not struggling. Instead, it can implicate that I am simply ... trying.
The word "confidence" is actually a subjective aspect of our vernacular. It's a term that is shaped by the way in which we present it to ourselves and the people around us.
Fake it until you make it, essentially. Or better yet, fake it until you become it.
My teacher was right. There is absolutely no such thing as perceived confidence. Even if it is merely a "facade," or so you claim, you have it. The confidence is there.
This so-called affectation you swear isn't real, well, is real, even if it doesn't always seem like it is. It may not be the type of realistic feel you're hoping for just yet, but it's a work in progress. You don't have to avoid feeling vulnerable at times because you think it takes away from being confident.
You are more worthy than you think. Give it time. Show your confidence. And soon enough, I promise it won't have to be a show any longer.