Wednesday, June 29, 2016

On Building Confidence

Where Does One Gain Confidence?

I am a self professed introvert with a bit of extrovert tendencies. What does that mean exactly? It means I crave solitude and I'm revitalized by my own energy, as in not the energy of others. In fact, I delight in my own solitude for days on end by diving into the world of books, surfing the internet, writing in my notebook, or just baking in the kitchen by myself. However, that alone time tends to distort my frame of mind so I have to actively push myself to socialize with others. When I do this,  I find myself  amongst others. I'm electrified by the energies of family and friends and by the engaging and nourishing conversations I have with them. However I do best with small groups of people, perhaps a group number of no more than five or six; if it is any larger I tend to feel anxious, jittery, and full of nerves. My personality by nature is reserved and observant until I can find common interest with someone. It did take a long time for me to become comfortable around strangers and people I'm not familiar with. Especially given that I genuinely prefer my own solitude. So how did I actually get to that place of comfort meets confidence.

Knowing Who You Are

One of the biggest confidence builders I find is knowing who you are as a person. It took me quite some years to come to a place of being at ease with my own personhood. My high school experience was mentally draining and extremely taxing on my emotions, with the first few years of college following a similar pattern. It was not until I recently found my footing, that I can say I am in love with my own personhood. I have come a long way from my teenage self and now have become more refined, observant, and more in control of my emotional state. With that being said, I have come to the realization that when you know yourself the confidence just exudes from within and you fashion an aura of a woman just content in being. Knowing who you are is knowing where you stand in the world, what you contribute, and why you matter. Well what if you do not know yourself as of yet? What if you are still wandering in search of her? I say "fake it till you make it!' If you are unsure of yourself spend time alone and just practice self-love and becoming a better version of yourself. Practicing self-love can be a daily habit of journaling, exercising, tending to a garden, reading for knowledge and nourishment, and taking up a new hobby such as baking. I also think being self critical and taking note of  your strengths and weaknesses is crucial to knowing who you are as a person.

Smiling is Not a Sign of weakness but Rather a Sign of Strength

On building confidence. In an earlier blog post I raved about the Smile of a Carefree Black Girl. A smile on a woman is like seeing a lovely flower blossom. Smiling is one of the ways to building confidence and is an invitation which lets others know how open you are. No not the fake unauthentic smiling like some people do in pictures but rather the lit from within smile. So I smile when I see someone nearby. I smile when I make small small talkI smile when I greet strangersI smile when it rains. I smile when I'm thinking to myself and I smile at the end of the day knowing I can just shush the worries of the day away with a snuggle in the comfort of my own bed. I'm not suggesting to smile when there are other emotions you are legitimately wanting to express. However, smiling really does ease you into a better mood. If smiling daily does not come naturally I would suggest thinking of the last compliment a stranger expressed to you. Consistently remind yourself of how that one compliment made you feel inside.

Songs that help with Confidence Building:

  • Whatever Lola Wants by Nina Simone
  • Winner by the Noisettes  
  • I'm Madonna by Madonna
  • You Want This by Janet Jackson 
  • Champion by Buju Banton 
  • Milkshake by Kelis