While waiting for little dude to get his feed on, I was mindlessly scrolling the news app , which by the way, I’ve noticed more recently has an alarming number of articles that read like amazon shopping lists. So I figure New York Times, that must be decent, and I came across an article titled “Practical Ways to Improve Your Confidence (and Why You Should)” by Eric Ravenscraft.
I wasn’t very confident growing up, for many reasons, most of which I’m not rich enough to work out with a therapist. So this article peaked my interest, Medium the other day tried to get me to subscribe because I was reading a lot of “self-help” articles. It even had copy touting the benefits consuming the articles they have all ready for me. The nerve!
So I guess, what I’m saying is they don’t have the credibility of a free New York Times article. Which was pretty good, it broke down the difference between Self-Efficacy, Self-Confidence, and Self-Esteem. Highlighted the difference between real confidence and arrogance. One requires internal the other external validation. It also included interesting tips.
Which reminded me about the moment I shed my shyness. It was fairly simple, I was young, graduated, heavily indebted, couldn’t find a job, so I decided to live in another country. Only, I decided I would leave myself behind. I’d keep the parts of me that I liked, that I was confident were necessary for me to exist. And decided to adopt a the opposite of whatever I didn’t like about myself.
Shy? Hold people’s gaze, regardless of who I think they might be.
Quiet? Make myself heard, repeat firmly and slowly
Unattractive? Grow my hair and have the barber have at it.
Unhealthy? Walk everywhere, and watch the sugar, literally, for every treat, I walked to the corner shop, let my eyes take in the sugar, and left content with the knowledge that the sugar I really wanted, was in a location far less accessible.
Did all this work? In some ways it did. I found that I became a lot more curious, and with that, less judgemental of others and myself. Not everyone can afford to reinvent themself by leaving their country.
But I learned what the difference between these two locations were. In the version of me I didn’t like, there happened to be people who didn’t get the memo that I changed. After all, home is where the heart is, and if your best interest isn’t at heart, find a new home.