I have this great childhood friend who always said (and still says), “act confident and no one will know,” rather it was for a school speech I felt unprepared for, a test I was worried about, or an interview I had, this saying has applied and still applies to my life almost everyday.
Confidence, as I have learned, is the key to everything. Did you know you are more likely to get hired if you act confident? You are also more likely to do well on an exam. The benefits of being confident are endless.
When I was younger, as in pre-college, I was not confident. I believed in some things about myself, but was wishy-washy or negative about most of who I was. I would struggle to talk to new people, to speak to my teacher after class, to take the initiative on anything really unless I found it absolutely necessary. In fact, this one time in middle school, I stayed in Jazz Band for an entire year longer than I needed to even though I hated it just because I was afraid of, I don’t even know now, the teacher yelling at me or something? My heart rate would spike every time I was asked to play in front of the class, even though I had been playing for a good 6 or 7 years at that point. I even muted my keyboard for the first concert because I was scared of messing up and the entire performance going wrong because of it. And that is just one of many, many stories about my struggle to find confidence.
So, what even is confidence? It sure isn’t just standing in front of a room delivering a speech, its something more.
According to dictionary.com, being confident is “having a strong belief or full assurance” or being “sure of oneself; having no uncertainty about one’s own abilities, correctness, successfulness, etc.” It is not only standing in front of a room delivering a speech, but believing in what you are speaking about with your entire heart. It’s being bold in your actions and trying new things cause you know the worst that could happen and you aren’t afraid of it.
And, get this, acting confident is the same thing as being confident, or at least I think so. When you act firm in what you believe, even if there are a few doubts, you will actually find yourself believing in it and others believing in you. I’ve found that when I act confident in what I know, I am more likely to seek out answers for what I don’t. It sounds a little counterintuitive, but I swear it works.
For example, let’s say you are an hour away from taking the biggest, hardest midterm of your life. You feel stressed, even though you have studied for hours upon hours for this. You can either take the test while you’re still wondering if you really know what you’re talking about, causing you to doubt and second guess even the simple questions, or you can go in confident. You can tell yourself right before the test, “I know what I know and I can be sure of that.” You might not get the questions you didn’t study for right, but you probably wouldn’t have anyways. Instead, you will get the questions you know right because you just know what you picked is correct. No second-guessing here. Even if you don’t feel necessarily confident, you act like you are and do better on the midterm because of it.
Confidence is key. Be sure of what you know and what you don’t know, and seek answers for what you don’t. Act confident when you meet his parents for the first time and no one will know how terrified and nervous you are. Act confident when you deliver that 20 minute speech and no one will know that you were stuttering and shaking while practicing last night. Act confident when you’re about to ask her on a date and no one will know your nack for embarrassing yourself. Act confident when you don’t know what the heck you’re doing because *spoiler* no one does.
Act confident and no one will know (including yourself).