In honor of my sister’s birthday (Happy Birthday Beth!) I’m writing a post a day for the next 10 days on lessons I learned from my family.
Beth is 1 year 10 days and 2 minutes older than me so we grew up very close and shared a lot of good times. She turned 29 this morning and in 10 days I’ll turn 28. In the next 10 days I’m going to reflect on all of the things my family has taught me over the years. So without further ado…
Lesson 1: Confidence is all in your head so fake-it till you make-it.
I’m lucky to have grown up in a loving family with 3 sisters, a mother and a father all under one roof, I’m the youngest and I had guidance from all of my family. In addition to all of that my family was super supportive – I was regularly reminded that I was smart and attractive and I could do anything I wanted in life (the truth of their comments didn’t matter but the support meant the world).
As I grew into an awkward teenager I found it really easy to lose all the confidence and spirit I’d had before. Pimples, voice-cracking and being smaller than all the girls made it hard to hold on to that built-up confidence level.
As I got into High School I realized that the guys who had all the friends and were going on dates with girls (because that’s about the only thing I thought about as a teenager) were the ones who were willing to talk to them. And the guys willing to talk to the girls were the ones with confidence.
One day I was sitting at the dinner table when I realized that I could feel completely comfortable and confident at home with my family and it made me able to be the outgoing and interesting version of myself. At that point I decided there was no reason I shouldn’t be able to act that way at school and around my friends. I decided that the next day I was going to just act like that. I started smiling at strangers with a big smile instead of a meek smile, I acted like I wasn’t afraid to be goofy or tell a weird joke even though I secretly wondered if people thought I was stupid.
Gradually over the next few months it became easier to act like I was confident because I was getting more confident. I was beginning to realize there was no really good reason for worrying so much about what everyone thinks. Sure, I got teased a little, but in the end my ruse won out and the confidence started to grow. Now (over a decade later) I’m completely confident with myself, I’m not afraid to look like a fool – and my friend will tell you that it happens sometimes 🙂
Leave a comment and tell us what you think about confidence or your family’s lesson!