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It’s All About Confidence: From the Teen’s View

by Jacob P. | May 23rd, 2014 | Social, Teen Perspective, Teens

graduation-317121_640As a young adult, everyone tells you the same things: “It’s all about confidence,” “Confidence is key,” etc.  For the longest time, I was a complete skeptic.  I thought that the value of confidence was completely made up.  It was a mystified gift made up by adults as a way of trying to explain why some people are more socially graced and some aren’t.

As I grew older, I saw that I was completely wrong in believing that.  In the course of my high school years, I underwent a social and physical metamorphosis.  I entered high school as a socially awkward nerd who was useless as an athlete and could barely talk to other people.  However, I am leaving as an outgoing, confident leader, an all-state athlete, and an appointee to the United States Air Force Academy.  This begs the question — what led to this transition?

As you may have guessed, the answer is confidence.  As I said, I was wrong in believing that confidence is made up.  Rather, confidence is directly related to your success as an individual.  On the other hand, I was right in believing that it isn’t a gift.  You do not receive confidence, you make it.

Now, it is true that some people are just naturally confident.  Some people have inherent charisma and charm that allows them to shmooze up to anyone.  However, a lot of these people who seem to be so confident are just as insecure as anyone else, they just don’t show it.  That is the first lesson to gaining confidence.  Everyone has flaws, so don’t be intimidated by others.  We all have flaws.

Next, you need to own who you are.   Just as others have flaws, you must also live up to your own flaws.  I am a nerd and I accept that.  At first, when I entered high school, I thought I needed to change who I was in order to be cool.  Honestly, that’s a load of BS. Being cool is all relative in the eye of the beholder.  Simply own who you are and be confident, that alone is enough.

While these are important, the main piece of confidence is working hard (and having it pay off).  In the end, that is how I improved as an athlete.  I put in my time, worked hard, and it paid off.  In turn, this athletic improvement boosted my confidence.  I was able to identify as an athlete, all thanks to the work I put in.  Watching yourself succeed through hard work is the premier confidence booster.

Finally, you need to be okay with failure.  You will not succeed at everything, but that is okay.  As a younger teen, I would be haunted by my mistakes.  Now, I understand that it happens.  Yes, you may screw up and look dumb, but it’s fine.  Everyone screws up sometimes.

Confidence will take you more places than you can imagine.  People will respect you more, be more apt to hire you, all of these great things.  It will make you the individual you want to be.

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