The Upside Down Nature of Confidence

I have a lot of people ask me how I’m so confident, and I don’t share this with you to toot my own horn or anything like that, but to say that I’d love to share a little bit about how we can all carry ourselves well.

I’ll start with a quick personal story—

The other day, I had someone say to me that I was conceited—straight-faced, uncalled for, frustrated comment remarking on my confidence and keep your head up attitude.

And it made me really angry because I think confidence has been treated as conceitedness and fakeness. One of the most important things I’ve learned about confidence is that, whether you have it or not, people aren’t going to like you, what you stand for, or what you think about yourself—whether negative or positive, your self-image is going to be criticized.

I’ve been thinking about that comment for weeks, not because I think it’s true (if anything my confidence was boosted by the comment), but because it’s maddening that someone would look at another person, who loves themselves and is just trying their best and say they’re too much.

I think that’s one of the biggest issues so many of us have with being confident—society is not a fan of self-assuredness or a head held high enough to not be looking down at our feet and running around with our heads down in shame just at being a person and having a body and living our lives. You don’t have to be ashamed of not hating yourself.

For months and months, every morning, I would stare at myself in the mirror until I thought I looked beautiful, and then, after a while, my time in front of the mirror trying to convince myself my face wasn’t a terrible thing to look at became less and less. And then I didn’t have to look in the mirror anymore, and now I can walk down the hallway without having to check in the mirror every two seconds to reassure myself that I don’t look like a troll (and also, you don’t look like a troll either—you are a person).

I also realized, since I started teaching high school, that very few people are paying attention to you or me or anyone else. Every once in a while, I realize how many of my students dress like I did in high school and how many don’t dress like me and how little anyone really notices what anyone else is wearing. People aren’t staring at you expecting you to be the person of the year because they’re staring at their shoes too. That’s why confidence is hard to come by and few and far between person to person—and people don’t like someone who breaks the norms of comfortability.

Loving yourself and believing you are allowed to walk around with your head high does not make you conceited, it makes you different and frees up all the brain space you were using to think negatively about yourself and stare at the floor for better things. And confidence honestly makes you think about yourself less—we are so prideful in our negative self-absorption, but when we believe we are enough, we really do spend less time thinking about ourselves because we are believing about ourselves what we were designed to believe about ourselves!

So look in the mirror, and love yourself in a way that makes society feel uncomfortable—when we acknowledge that our identity lies in being Fearfully and Wonderfully Made Sons and Daughters of the King of kings and Lord of lords, we very much ought to hold our heads high. If the Maker of the Universe says we are Good and Lovely, so then we are Good and Lovely and that is the end of conversation.

I’m confident because I know I can be.

I’m confident because I know every part of me was designed beautifully and intricately and with a Holy Purpose.

But I’m also confident because I don’t throw on a paper bag every day—I take great pride in how I look, in how I dress, in how I do my hair—not because it’s done in a particular way but because I know I love how I look when I do it.

I’m confident because I know the clicking of heels often announces that I’m coming down hallway, and I’m ready to be present where I am.

I’m confident because, at the end of the day, I know that whether I look good or not, whether I feel good or not, whether I turn heads or not, I am more than a job, more than an outfit, more than any other person’s opinion of me.

I am confident because there is nothing that can ever strip me of my value. I am confident because my Confidence lies squarely on the foundation of Promise, Peace, and Freedom only found in Christ.

That’s the confidence we’re all looking for. I think true confidence is rooted in that transcendent Peace that’s only found in Jesus—I think true confidence is a consequence of Steady Hope and Freedom in the Savior Who made us ultimately out of Great, Incomprehensible Love.

•••

With Love,

Hannah

2 thoughts

  1. Hannah, I don’t think you could have written this any better. There is a huge difference between confident and conceited. Continue being your beautiful, confident self because you know where you come from.
    “Mediocre people hate successful people. Successful people can’t stand being mediocre.” Nick Saban

    Like

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