Confidence. I hear that word often. Each time I do I wonder what they are referring too. I have fears just like you have fears. I doubt myself often. Before I go to an event or meet someone new I normally have to give myself a pep talk in the mirror and practice my jokes.
I remember when I was a teenager. I just met a boy at some church camp thingy I went too over the summer. We had magical moments under the stars where he would look at me in such a way that I swear my heart stopped. We came so close to kissing that it was just enough to make me desperate with finding him in our big old high school when school started.
To my luck he and I literally run into each other in the isle way of the auditorium at the opening assembly. We planned to meet after school where he would walk me home.
When we walk later that day he would spin me and twirl me and I would laugh and catch myself looking into his deep eyes just to check to see if he could still stop my heart like he did for those brief days out in the desert during the church camp out.
He walk me to my door and kissed me. It was my first kiss.
For days after he and I would meet up, walk home and kiss.
He then asked me to meet up with his friends.
So we planned it for the weekend.
Terrified, I questioned it and wanted to cancel to pretend that these few days were all that I needed.
Instead I showed up to this house full of people who I didn’t know to only be stood up by the boy.
In that moment. Everything I feared came true and I had to make the choice. Do I leave? Do I cry? Do I stay?
Young Audrey made a choice that allowed for growth to come.
She choose to stay.
I sat on this porch with people I didn’t know and did so with every ounce of confidence I could muster. When all I wanted to do is scream, cry and explode.
What I learned in that moment was that regardless of my fear or pain I could make the choice to do something that is so hard that you can hardly breathe.
And you may ask why I thought it would be important to stay with this group of people and at that time I couldn’t tell you. What I can say now is that I stayed because I knew that leaving would be harder.
Admitting defeat felt like I would crumble. I never wanted to be a girl who would crumble due to men making me feel so small.
So in that moment I made the choice to be strong and because I did, those strangers on the porch become friends who I have had for years.
I spent all of teenage years hanging out their porches, around the bonfires we made, skinny dipping and getting into all the mischief that was needed. I learn to love, to let go, dream and think bigger than myself.
If you think that I am confident than I want to thank you for seeing the strength I choose to have in the moments that may seem hard for you. It has been years of learning to trust my abilities.
Because I have had the moments where instead of choosing to face the hard choice. I chose to turned around and walked away from an opportunity. Like the time I walked into the school auditorium for an audition to see the girl up on stage doing hers confidently and singing so full that I swear my hair flew back.
Instead putting that much force into mine. I turned, walked out not looking back. Only to see the dreams of acting shatter as I closed the door behind me.
Confidence is truly just a fancy word stating the fact that you choose you over what is laid out in front of you. Whether that be showing up in front of a group of people, going to a job interview, choosing to get up out of bed in the morning or making the choice to not let what one silly boy did turn you into a blithering mess.
Now although I write this and seems like it is easy to pick the choice that will give you the strength to be confident. It is not as easy as that.
You have to fail. You have to take the time to learn from those moments of mistakes all while relishing in the joys you create along the way.
The thing about life is that YOU get to make the choices though. You can choose to fail, to give up, to live as a victim to your circumstances. Or you can choose to learn the art of embracing your trails, the mistakes, that gritting stuff that makes you, you.
And do so with the confidence in your abilities to grow through it all.
So yes, to some it may seem easy for me. It may seem like I live life with joy over the pain but what I want you to realized is that I made the choice just like I did years ago on that porch that I wasn’t going to let a boy or this thing called life make me feel small.
That I was going to allow myself the space to be bold, to brass, to be loud, to stand up for me and do what I knew what I know to best and that is all I can do.
And so can you.
It wont be easy. It will be hard. You will have to face the uncertainties of what life for you will look like, if you choose [insert fear here.] But overtime your mind will come to it senses, your thoughts will a line with your soul and you too will be able to be confident in your own abilities to achieve what ever it is that you told yourself that you couldn’t do.
It all starts with making the choice to stay, to go, to grow, to be, to explore, to embrace, to being committed that your confidence though may be small, will grow with you over time.
What will you choose today? Will you embrace your own uncertainties despite what your previous self lead you to believe? Do you even know what those are? If not, are you will to challenge yourself to discover them?
Confidence isn’t about feeling superior to others including your past self. It’s a quiet inner knowledge that you’re capable of whatever it is that is placed in front of you.