I was born with an inherent sense of confidence; it’s just in my blood.
I’ve always had this pretty solid sense of who I am and the ideals I stand for.
This isn't to say I didn’t go through the awkward middle school stage of trying on all different styles of personality and disposition, but I found my way back to home base in no time.
I come from a long line of strong, independent females, and I’ve watched the way they carry themselves since I was a little girl. They know who they are, and they don't apologize for it.
If Self Assurance University were a thing, my mom would be president, my grandmother the dean of students and my aunts the world’s most badass professors you ever did see.
The course catalog would include titles like The Differences Among Confidence and Arrogance, How to be Classy 101 and The Efforts of Resiliency.
I feel like I’ve been a student in those courses my entire life, and I’m not saying I’ve passed with flying colors.
But, I do make a daily effort to like who I am, to be sure of where I am in my life and to be proud of that.
I see where that outlook has gotten my fearless leaders, and it isn’t such a bad view.
Because of my daily efforts, I’ve also managed to maintain a true sense of happiness and contentment within myself.
Believe it or not, when you like who you are, you tend to have a lot more fun.
It’s easier to laugh, to like other people, to enjoy your own company and, in turn, the company of others. It’s ultimately like this giant cycle of joy.
I’m a mouse running on the spinning wheel who just can’t seem to stop.
I smile a lot; I feel good about who I am on the inside, and I genuinely enjoy sharing that merriment with others.
I know I can’t be alone in this. There are a lot of confident, happy, badass, self-reliant females out there who have taken on the tough role.
Unfortunately and ironically, there are many misperceptions when it comes to being the confident one. I’ve dealt with all of them, even with my closest friends.
It’s not malicious or intentional, but it’s imbalanced and a little bit unfair.
If you’re in my boat, hopefully, you’ll recognize the weight of these oars, and if you’re not, here’s what the confident girl wants you to know:
It’s not all sunshine and rainbows.
I swear, people think I wake up singing, "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah," with birds chirping on my windowsill.
But, just because I’m smiling doesn’t mean my day has gone by perfectly, or I am unaffected by the evil in the world.
It’s a personal choice to plaster that smile on my face and to be grateful for this day, whatever it entails.
It’s not delusion, oblivion or naiveté. It’s a personal choice.
I need validation, too.
Everyone has insecurities; everyone questions him or herself. I love being able to remind so many of my girlfriends just how crazy beautiful they are and how much I appreciate them.
Appearing like the unaffected, self-assured girl, I don’t blame my girlfriends for thinking my validation plate is full.
And, it certainly is a two-way street: I could open up and express my vulnerabilities, too.
But, when those unexpected bits of support (like “just so you know, I love you”) make their way to my inbox, my heart smiles a little bigger that day.
I’m not a punching bag.
Just because I can take a few hits doesn’t mean I like it. You don’t buy a durable car to kick the tires right away -- yes, I’m comparing myself to a car.
I’m just saying, being resilient isn’t an invitation to take your anger out on me, or to test how far you can push.
At the end of the day, we are all humans with feelings, and a little bit of empathy goes a long way.
I care a lot more than you think.
Being a confident person means I tend to be locked into my relationships with others. I thrive on consistency and reliability, and I will invest myself into a friendship wholeheartedly.
That means, if something goes wrong or if I make a mistake, I feel it and I feel it deeply.
I am not unaffected, although I might put on a brave front. I am 120 percent feeling the feelings.
I don’t think I’m perfect.
There is a big difference between trusting yourself and being Kanye West. I might walk into a room in a great mood, ready to take on the night, but it doesn’t mean I’m sneaking looks at my reflection every chance I get. In fact, it’s usually the opposite.
That great mood will more likely cause a stain on my dress and red wine lips. Not cute.
I don’t have it all together.
Confidence means I generally trust myself, but it doesn’t make me an Avenger. And, it definitely doesn’t mean I stroll through life without any sense of burden or weight. It just makes me a human, with my own unique qualities.
We should never have to apologize for who we are or be treated any differently because of it.
And, because of that, I am confident.