How I Gained Confidence, And How You Could Too

This is going to be long, so bear with me.

When I was about 9 years old, I started to think about the world and the way it works through the understanding of humans. Why did we have to live with a linear perspective for milestones.

Study. Graduate. Work. Family.

That escalated quickly! What happens in between? It really had me thinking.. Was this happiness? Is that the formula for it, making it an absolute remedy for our confusion.

Well, as a kid, I always have wanted to do my best at everything, and used that as a guideline. As it turns out, I found out later in life that it doesn't really have to be like that. I didn't need to feel so pressured about being the best at everything.

I remember being so timid and reserved about my thoughts and opinions. I found it easier to talk to someone over the internet or telephone than in person. It made me appear aloof because I couldn't look people in the eye. This was really a struggle for me so I turned to online games for socialization and then The Sims for my pastime.

I was always the quiet one in class because I was terribly afraid of humiliation. I only liked to laugh alone when I would watch my favorite shows. Sharing the vulnerable side of me was taboo, especially to my very rowdy and lively family members. It struck me one day that I saw a group of people in my class having a good time. I genuinely saw them just poking fun at each other laughing away.

I was stricken with fear. I would definitely like to approach them because they were always so happy. I was really going to have to get out of my comfort zone, I was really going to stretch it out just so I know how it would be, to be with other kids having fun. It was going to be tough because being alone was the only thing I knew, I didn't think telling them about what I did during my free time would impress them. Kids could be cruel and judgemental sometimes.

Funnily enough I thought somehow the Sims has helped me with my confidence because of one thing. The Charisma skill, hehe, how a Sim is liked based on their level of Charisma. Remember how it was practiced through talking to the mirror? Well, again, funnily enough I did just that. I practiced smiling and talking so I wouldn't look too needy. I made sure I would come off as approachable and friendly. And it did work, I noticed that I didn't smile often and improved on that. I practiced smiling without being so attached about it. This was the era where selfies didn't exist, so no one was that caught up on themselves yet. Try and imagine a bar on top of my head filling up as I was burning time.

It was really convenient that one day in class our seating arrangements were changed so it made things easier for me to start conversations. To fast forward, I became really good friends with my seatmates. They brought out a side of me that was really quirky and eccentric. I was able to easily say what's on my mind and learned how to be vulnerable. Later on, I discovered that I actually had a good sense of humor. And much later, it would be used against me. I was really out there when I had something to say, it usually bit me in the ass. My friends eventually grew up being very cheeky and it took a blow to my self-esteem. 

How is it that I'm back to square one, after all this time? Surely, this can't be happening. Apparently, these were the times of the "cool kids." Where we went through a phase of fitting in. Here's the thing, I never believed in having to sacrifice who you were so that you could be accepted. Yes, there will always be room for improvement, there will be struggle but you have to know that if it makes you uncomfortable or if it makes you go against your morals & values. You should probably reconsider before compromising yourself. It is good to want to be better. It's not okay if you want to out of just "proving" people wrong. Do it for you.

Developing confidence is not a one time deal. We will always encounter obstacles that will set us back. Like a game of Snakes & Ladders, we always chance upon the snakes. A helpful reminder is that life is not a race. We should stop making milestones in our lives a source of our self-esteem. If you know that that does not define your successes and happiness, you're well on your way to a joyful disposition. 

It takes a lot of practice, and much more motivation to get comfortable with yourself. And it's very cliché to say this but.. You'll have to learn to know the good things about you. I know there is that internal voice that keeps telling you that you are not enough. Embrace the traits that make you proud of yourself, there are but so many critics in the world, you might as well be the cheerleader of your own life. Be comfortable in your own skin, and laugh about yourself, don't be serious all the time. Everyone knows for a fact that they'll be stuck with themselves for the rest of their lives. Or maybe not, what a revelaAaAation. Be someone you'd want to be around. Be proud of who you are — right now. Literally pat yourself on the back and say, "buddy, it's going to be all right."

It's not always going to be easy, but I promise that you'll get the hang of it. Building your self-confidence takes time and a lot of guts. So don't let that go to waste by being with people who always tear you down. Come on, there are so much more things that you could do in the world. Don't just spend it by spilling irrational negative emotions. Choose to see the good things, and don't compare — Ever. Do yourself a favor and just turn away if you have nothing nice to say. Sometimes, we catch ourselves slipping, and don't beat yourself up over it. It happens. Everything happens. All the things you thought would never happen to you. 

Take the experiences and turn them into lessons. Learn to laugh again, with more grace this time, or just belt out cackling, whichever, because laughter remedies even the loneliest souls. Fill yourself up with passion and motivation. Freedom is a mindset, get up, shake those worries away and dance to the rhythm!

So, how did you get through those confidence slumps? What are your experiences with gaining back your self-esteem? What's your story that made you strong? Comment below, I'd like to know!

Have a great day! You may also tweet me if you'd wanna chat at @mack_molina Bye!

Disclaimer: I am by no means a professional or some sort of guru. I'm just speaking from experience and from the thoughts I write down. I am an advocate for people to be more kind and to do what they want to be more creative.

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