Being self-confident is a little like having a unicorn. Everyone wants one, it’s very hard to find, and if you have too many unicorns, or too much self confidence, we all want you to shut up about it already.
Everyone has areas in which they are extremely self-confident. For example, I’m very good at making absurd noises when startled and developing Wikipedia-induced paranoia. If we were measuring my confidence in unicorns, I would have several herds when it comes to these specialities. (According to the Internet, a group of unicorns is called a “blessing”. The reason for this is that unicorns are cocky.)
We also all have areas in which we are not at all confident. These are the instances when we think to ourselves, Self, I would rather simultaneously get in a fight with a bear and a shark than do this. In fact, one of the areas in which I’m lacking blessings of unicorns is Stephanie vs. Shark vs. Bear fighting, so when I think that, I know whatever I’m about to start is going to be particularly unpleasant.
You know what? I’m sick of not having any unicorns when it comes to things like Talking to Boys, Cooking, or Anything Involving Locks, so I’m teaching myself to be more confident. Every time I catch myself doubting my abilities, I’m learning to take something away from the experience.
Horrible Situation #1: You are trying to flirt with someone and everything is going terribly wrong. Not just kind of wrong, because it’s easy to recover from that. I’m talking unsalvageable, here. As in, you’re shaking like you have a progressive nervous system disease, during the conversation someone hits you with a frisbee and your pants rip, and then you just start saying strings of nouns with no verbs or prepositions to explain them. That bad. (Not that this has happened to me.) (This has happened to me.)
The Takeaway: Think of all the things you did well. Think about how awesome you were at not sneezing on your crush, or accidentally injuring them. Consider how many nouns you know, which revealed your extensive vocabulary. Realize that the people who threw the frisbee at your head will probably be really nice to you from now on. Smile!
Horrible Situation #2: You run into an object with your face. The expression “it hit me like a ton of bricks” should rarely be taken literally. I have never seen a ton of bricks hit anyone. However, it is not uncommon to see someone hit a ton of bricks, usually with their face or other relatively important body parts. I regularly run into clear things, like doors and windows. It doesn’t do much for one’s self esteem.
The Takeaway: Hey! You probably made someone laugh! And if laughter is the best medicine, as they say, you may have even saved a life. You’ve also started to establish a very reliable sense of where things are, which is a great talent. It’s unlikely you’ll ever run into the same door or wall again! Smile!
Horrible Situation #3: You start to have body image problems. Unfortunately, the world we live in is incredibly shallow. (In a figurative sense. In a literal sense, it’s 6,378 km to the Earth’s core, which is farther than I ever care to walk.) If you’re shorter, fatter, homelier, or leprosy-er than Heidi Klum, it’s likely that you’ve experienced the terrible feeling that goes along with bad body image.
The Takeaway: Have you ever thought about how freaky intestines are? An adult male has 28 feet of them wrapped up inside. Even people who are physically perfect on the outside get disgusted with themselves when they think about how completely gross internal organs are. So the lesson here is that it’s what’s on the outside that counts, and as long as what’s on the outside isn’t guts, you really can’t be that horrifying. Smile!
Horrible Situation #4: You look into the bathroom mirror after having a conversation and you realize you’ve had a booger on your face or something green in your teeth the whole time. Maybe you have a cold which has caused your sinuses to become so clogged there’s nowhere for boogers to go but out. Maybe you have teeth like those of the venus flytrap, so things can get in but they can never come out. Whatever the reason, the fact remains that the entire time you were chatting, you had a slimy, giant faux pas on your face the whole time.
The Takeaway: There’s no upside for this one. The sad truth is that your life is over. No one will ever love you. Sorry about that. Smile!