Embody Real Confidence
Confidence is believing that you deserve better things. The author shares how she transformed from a low self-esteemed girl to a confident young leader
BY JACQUILINE GO LARUAN
Confidence is something I did not embody early on in life.
As a kid, I am quite afraid of other kids’ bullying, especially, if I am their object of attention. They were fond of teasing me for my family name, calling me “toy” or a “player”. This made me wished not to be called during class recitation, not because I did not know the answer, in fact I am one of the brightest students in all of my classes, but because the teacher will call my surname out loud.
Yes, I hated the daily attendance roll call even more. Also, I feel ashamed then for being the tallest girl in the class. I hated it when I am the last person in the line and I did not know why.
I felt ashamed every day of my elementary years for having a school uniform blouse that not as white as my classmate’s. I am embarrassed that my textbooks were not brand new. I am not happy that I was very skinny. Every night I prayed to gain a little weight, seriously! And yes, I have a lot of insecurities.
I must say, I lacked the confidence and succumbed to fears of doing things on my own or venturing in to new phase of life such as commuting to high school, paying the driver or saying “bayad po”, or crossing the highway alone.
I was also shy talking to new classmates or do not care at all if I’m alone or with someone. If not for them approaching me first, I would not have earned friends.
I can still feel how excited I was when I passed the University of the Philippines’ College Admission Test (UPCAT)! Before I entered UP, I told myself, I want to be different. I want to pursue things I want. If I will not be an ROTC officer, I will be a mountaineer, whichever comes first. The latter came first and the rest is history.
From then on, I changed from the low self-esteemed girl to a confident young leader. I also found myself developed and hardly afraid of anyone or new things anymore. In fact, I embraced changes pretty well. What exactly are the causes of these?
Here are four things I did which helped me embody the confidence that I needed:
- I accepted myself.
I accepted myself first because having insecurities physically and socially inhibited me living with more confidence.
Firstly, I learned to accept my family name. Thanks to UP, I saw the differences in people and the weirdest of names and cultures. My surname is not the weirdest of all and I kind of pitied people with Filipino surnames that are attributed to things. I can feel their discomfort, too, when hearing their names make some chuckle.
- I loved myself.
Self-acceptance helped me love myself and recognize my strengths and weaknesses. I learned that being skinny was not a problem to be prayed every night. There are problems of the world that is bigger than me and anyone’s physical looks. Along with that learning, I recognized that I have strength in being independent and working on my own. I learned to appreciate my time alone, even up to now. I love being with myself most of the time. Accepting myself empowered me to have a strong sense of independence, and confidence in who I can be, what I can do, what I want worthy of experiencing.
- I accepted criticisms.
I learned to accept criticism and used it in assessing my present situation and my current capabilities. At first, accepting criticism was hard for me. The emotional part of me made it hard but I learned to tame my emotions. Criticism helped me value my abilities for reference in manifesting new possibilities in my life.
- I believed I deserve better.
As a mountaineer, getting out of my comfort zone most of the time, has honed me for believing more of myself and my worth. I became confident in managing problems, people, and organizations. I’ve learned to handle my finances carefully and my relationships very well. I must say, I am very confident now both with my professional and personal life.
Confidence is honed through experience and reflection. I think anyone can gain confidence by accepting oneself, loving it, accepting criticisms from others, and believing that you deserve better.