So here I am…25 years old and trying to figure out who I am and how I play a part in this vast world that we live in. Has my confidence been a front? Has the swagger that I have exuded for years been all smoke and mirrors, so that people wouldn’t and couldn’t judge the real me? I have always carried a chip on my shoulder and I have always wanted to be seen as someone that people could turn to, but then when they turn to me I wonder was I or am I poised enough to give them what they need…
I always felt like I had good content to share with people, but the problem was that there was a disconnect with content. There was something missing and I couldn’t put my finger on it. Hell, I already spilled my heart out about talking about my hands and the hardships that go along with it so I figured that that was it….that was the perseverance story I needed to get off my chest and now I’m all good. But that was only the half of it. The other half was realizing that yes I have a strong persona in front of others, but when the spot light is off and I am most vulnerable the question becomes how does my confidence reflect that side of me. It wasn’t until I met a very special person that I began to see the other side of the puzzle.
I have always said that everything happens for a reason and I know that there was a reason why my girlfriend who is this very beautiful, caring yet direct woman with a very “tell it like it is personality” came into my life. She is the reason why I am writing this today. Whether I want to accept it or not, she has given me a wakeup call and a much needed kick in the ass. She told me early on that the stories people will most connect with are the ones where I am being true to myself and showing my human side. That side, is one that makes mistakes, tends to overlook opportunities and has insecurities. We are after all human and in the words of my very wise father, “Shit happens.” But, to neglect the feedback of those closest to you is negligent and often lessons that we should have learned and moved on from years ago, linger with us until that much needed wake up call.
My best friend, who I admire greatly, has given me the same advice in different context before as well. In his words, “You need to practice what you preach.” I think that this is an all too common theme amongst people today. We have trained ourselves to become incredible linguists with our verbose explanations as to why our progress has stalled, but it becomes irrelevant due to our ineptitude to get up and actually do something about it.
So when it comes down to it confidence has two faces. One of those faces is honest, unbreakable and eye opening. It stays with you in every second of every day. The other, is like a suit or armor that you put on each morning and take off each night, it is temporary. Like any piece of armor it is susceptible to a couple weak spots. So ask yourself, what kind of confidence do you have?
Knowing who you are and accepting yourself fully is a daunting revelation that people struggle to understand for years. Humbling yourself is a great starting block for building that confidence into the first face. Remembering your goals and passions will help to keep you on track. And finally use small victories as motivation to build that confidence in everyday life.
So in short, as hard as it may be, listen to those around you in the moments that you want to tune them out. Often times the people closest to us can help clear the smoke that blinds us from reality. I’m human and sure do make my fair share of boo-boos along the way, but one lesson I have learned that I want to pass along is to cherish one another and build confidence in yourself from the ground up.
Advice is rarely given in the way you want it but it is always given in the way you need. That needed advice is more often than not, invaluable.
Can’t is Not an Excuse