Writing about confidence earlier in the month has helped make it something at the front of my mind. This is a good thing. I am realizing that, like happiness and other moods, confidence is something I can choose to have. While most of my confidence issues are internal and completely self-inflicted it has also been helpful to have a good dose of Eleanor Roosevelt wit to remind me that nobody really gives a shit about me as much as I do.
Brilliance from Eleanor about confidence:
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
“You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.”
With that in mind I set out to BE CONFIDENT while I was on my press trip in California last week. I knew only a small handful of people I would be traveling with and while that was a bit anxiety inducing I focused on being as zen as possible.
Two days before my trip my allergies exploded. Big time. I suffer from seasonal allergies and like many people right now, this time of year is horrible for me. My head hurts, my throat, my sinuses, my ears, and then…my eyes. The day before my trip my sinuses became a total brick and my eyes…oh man. Bad. I looked awful. I was able to find relief with Benadryl and those 12 hour eye drops a great pharmacist showed me. But I still looked haggard and because I was using regular eye drops in between the medicated ones I was not wearing eye makeup.
So I faked confidence: completely pretended that I was rock solid in looking like a hot mess.
After I checked into my room I went down to the small hotel restaurant to get some supper and those insecurity flutters started creeping in. I picked up my phone because phones make for a great prop when you are insecure in a public place. As I was instagraming my bowl of soup three women approached my table and introduced themselves as writers also on the press trip. They recognized me and wondered if they could join me for supper.
Well. Uh. Wow. Yes! Instantly I felt accepted and included and relaxed. It was a real gift.
As I slowly began to feel less like a walking allergy attack on the trip my confidence got stronger. It was also lifted because I was doing work that I enjoy. Interviewing celebrities, screening films, and then writing about the experience in a way that hopefully engages and excites others is a tiny (and rare) perk of one of my jobs and I embraced every inch of it.
This confidence stuff is like a paddlewheel on a river boat. It’s outside and then it is inside and it’s forever driving me forward. I am daily working on the outside stuff: tracking calories, getting more sleep, stepping away from the computer when the work day is done, choosing happiness. That manifests to changes on the inside: my body feels better, my depression is a kitten, my desire to learn and grow is surfacing.