So much of my growth and development in life has been founded on lies. Had it not been for these lies, I would have never seen the real truth of just how amazing I really am. There are many things that I never thought I’d be comfortable with doing. One of my main anxieties was talking to strangers.
Growing up, I didn’t find it difficult to make friends. Hang around me enough and you’ll want to be my buddy. It just kinda works. Humor was always a sound weapon in making friends. It’s gotten to the point now that the humor is just really who I am. Making friends with people you go to school or work with every day is one thing. Talking to complete strangers on a regular basis…not as easy. Currently, I work in a position where meeting strangers is a requirement. The Keshia from several years ago would panic at the idea of speaking to people she didn’t know. How did I change my behavior?
I lied to myself about how cool I really was.
In retrospect, my shyness was a symptom of my lack of self-confidence. You know how they tell you to speak positive statements to yourself in a mirror or to write them in a journal on a regular basis? Well that’s pretty much what I did. I wasn’t talking in mirrors or writing a journal (I am HORRIBLE at journals), but I told myself these positive things. I told myself that I could do things that I had always been nervous about.
How can positive statements be lies?
Well, in the beginning, I didn’t really believe them. I had to repeatedly tell myself that I was awesome. Eventually I started to believe what was first considered to be lies. 2016 Keshia? You can’t tell me that I’m not awesome. I take pleasure and pride in meeting new people and dropping the charm bomb. I can talk to anyone about almost anything. I don’t feel like I’m not worthy of knowing. I know that I have the power to bring happiness into the life of any person even if only for a few minutes.
The point of this post: chip away at those fears. Reinforce the positive. Look within yourself and I’m sure you’ll find all of those amazing qualities that others already see. Enough of this and you’ll have the self-confidence to achieve just about anything. It also helps to have someone else tell you what they find to be your greatest qualities. I used my stranger danger issues as an small example because I think that a lot of the fear came from my not thinking enough of myself in the first place. If I didn’t think much, how could anyone else? I made myself more outgoing by acting like being outgoing was normal for me when it wasn’t. I mimicked what I thought confidence looked like and it became a part of me.
I WON’T lie about the fact that my confidence is still shaky in some areas of my life. Most of those things are external and are easier to remedy. Self-confidence and self-esteem are the toughest things I’ve ever had to tackle. I committed to making changes and I found and unleashed my awesome. You can do the same. I just know it. Fake it til you make it.