Nobody wakes up confident

It makes me so frustrated the way people say flippantly “oh you’re so confident”, as if I woke up like this. I feel hurt when people excuse insensitive behaviour or comments by saying ‘but it’s okay you’re confident”. However, neither comes close to the disappointment I feel when people justify their refusal to stand up to injustice by saying “I’m just not as confident as you”.

Confidence is not a personality type, not a genotype, not a skin colour, not exclusive to a gender, not a bank balance, not a milestone and not a status. Confidence does not discriminate, it has no entry requirements. Confidence is intentional, it is built and rebuilt, it is strengthened each time you’re knocked down and you step back up again. I don’t think true confidence is grown by ‘faking it until you make it’, there’s only so long that you can fake confidence before it morphs into arrogance, the counterfeit of confidence.

Confidence is built...

  • Each time you share your past failures and present weaknesses instead of pretending that you have it all together
  • Each time you acknowledge someone else’s skill and beauty without questioning your own.
  • Each time you choose to be alone than with people who make you feel lonely.
  • Each time you feel afraid, unqualified or in over your head but go for it anyway.
  • Each time you look someone who intimidates you in the eye.
  • Each time you speak the uncomfortable but important truth instead of remaining silent.
  • Each time you accomplish something without needing everyone around you to acknowledge it.
  • Each time you choose not to airbrush, whiten, edit or photoshop your perceived imperfections.
  • Each time you admit you are wrong and take responsibility of your actions.

People are not just “so confident”. Nobody is ever just “so confident”. A person’s confidence doesn’t make them immune to insensitivity and your tactfulness shouldn’t be based on a person’s confidence level. When it comes to injustices no, no your silence is not justified because you did not put in the work to build your confidence and you can’t keep leaving it to the person that has built up their confidence because no matter how strong their confidence is, none of us were created to stand alone.

You eat the fruit and admire the flowers of other people’s confidence but you weren’t there the day it was planted, you haven’t witnessed the never-ending struggle to pull out the weeds that set out to choke it, you aren’t the gardener that waters it daily to keep it alive and thriving.

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