Sunday, March 22, 2015

Confidence Conundrum

I must be frank that this essay (Prose? Post?) all started with a picture. I had my mom take some full boy pics of me, so I could send them via WhatsApp, to my dear friend across the pond, Nachi (shout out for sparking this essay/ blog post). I was really proud of myself. My jeans in the photo were big (wearing them one last good time) and my shirt hadn’t fit since I bought it and brought it from London almost 5 years ago. Until yesterday. OH. YEAH!

Nachi loved my pose, so of course I said that I would teach her. Confidence sold separately. Her response was, “Where can a girl get some confidence at?” After looking at her new WhatsApp avi I couldn’t believe she asked me such a question. The avi was TOO fierce.  She explains that she can fake confidence well, but she can’t sustain true confidence. My response to that was that I wasn’t sure that I could teach her that, confidence is more than a mental thing.

I tried to talk and reason through what I thought confidence was.  I did come up with something (on the fly). “I decided that I was good enough at about 18 and the rest was history.” “You have to believe that you are somebody are somebody, the best somebody you can be. That’s confidence.” Nachi was impressed and awed at what I had written, but I was still grappling with the concept and in lieu of writing a book (really time and labor intensive, been there done that) or creating an app (not smart enough to do that), I promised to write something up here.

Ruminating more about it, confidence isn’t mental, like I originally believed.  Confidence is more of a decision. A person is confident when deciding to be who they are no matter what and to be happy with that person. I got tired of feeling insecure when someone “prettier” , slimmer, “richer”, “cooler” or “smarter” walked into the room, so I made a decision to like the Mukisa I was/ am and work to become a better Mukisa and appreciate and accept the process of betterment.
No matter what the scale says, I AM AWESOME. No matter what books I do or do not read, I AM AWESOME. Whether I get 2 things done on my to-do list or 20, I AM AWESOME. THAT is confidence. I was strangely (thanks God) affirmed in my views in confidence by reading Pretty in Plaid by Jen Lancaster. (Best accidental read EVER. Found it in Goodwill.) She struggled with insecurity in her high school and college years brought on by comparison and insults by her peers. She finally had a turning point (after a few serious mistakes), deciding to like herself and be authentic to herself.

Confidence is liking yourself, being true to yourself and making choices to support that truth and like. It starts with that one decision. On that note, I will go and confidently drink some lemonade. All this thought has me parched.