Where Does Your Confidence Come From?

By Jennifer Rasmussen

Confidence is, “the feeling of trust in ones abilities, qualities, and judgment” (http://believeperform.com).

What is it that gives you confidence? I think all too often confidence stems not from oneself, but from other people. Does a text, a snapchat, a like on social media, or having a boyfriend or girlfriend somehow make you feel more confident or more satisfied with yourself?

I cannot tell a lie (well, I can, but that’s not the point right now); I am sometimes the person that gets a text, a snapchat, a “like” etc. and suddenly feel more confident. I feel like I’m worth something more because someone is giving me attention. It seems that what I’m doing has been validated because someone else likes it.  I don’t think I’m alone with this; I have a feeling this mentality rings true for quite a few people.

Does the fact that so-and-so is interested in me or “likes” what I’m doing change my abilities, internal qualities, or judgment? If you answered no, you’re correct. (To paint a realistic picture, if I was saying this to you in person and you answered “no” to the above question, I’d give you a high five or a fist bump, maybe an awkward combo of both where one person does one and the other person does the other, then I’d laugh at myself and just smile at you).

When I’m not getting texts, snapchats, or likes and it seems like everyone else around me is, why is it that I feel less confident?  Am I worth less? Have my abilities, internal qualities, or judgment somehow changed? The answer is once again, no. I’m feeling less confident because I’m letting someone else dictate how I feel about myself. You wouldn’t let someone else choose what you want in your Chipotle burrito, or whether you like sour or regular Skittles, or which One Direction band member is totally your favorite. Letting someone decide important things like that sounds like a crazy parallel universe I don’t want to visit. Letting other people dictate how we feel about ourselves is the capital city of that crazy parallel universe. Letting attention, social media or relationship status dictate my self-confidence allows someone else to decide how I feel about myself…AM I IN THE CRAZY PARALELL UNIVERSE?!?!

Jokes about parallel universes aside, the presence of a romantic relationship, or lack thereof shouldn’t have an effect on one’s self-confidence either. When I started college, most of my high school friends went to different schools in different states.  We would call each other every now and again to see how everyone was doing. My one friend would rave about her awesome new school, her awesome new friends, and the best part: her awesome new college boyfriend.  When the call would end, my head would start to spin a little. Goodness gracious, she had to get off the phone so she could put some mascara on before her movie date, and I had to get off the phone because I just spilled salsa down my pajama sweatshirt. Am I doing something wrong?

Was I somehow not as good of a person because I didn’t have a new and exciting college boyfriend? Don’t get me wrong, it’s okay and I think normal, to get excited over a relationship. I’m not hating on my friend for having a boyfriend; I think that’s awesome! You go girl! Building romantic relationships are a wonderful and natural part of life. However, the presence or lack thereof shouldn’t have an effect on anyone’s self-confidence.

Tweet this quote, “Your self-confidence should be rooted in your abilities, not in attention.” www.collectivefeminism.wordpress.com @scsuwomenscentr

Your self-confidence should be rooted in your abilities, qualities, and judgment, and not in attention, relationship status, or amount of “likes” on a social media site. If you take a wrong turn and end up in that crazy parallel universe, get a flight out of there real quick (I think a flight…I’m quite unsure what the modes of transportation are in said parallel universes). How you feel about yourself is a decision you get to make: don’t let anyone else decide.

Jennifer Rasmussen is a 2ndyear Mass Communications student at St. Cloud State.  She writes for her personal blog, Jenstyle, as well as working at Kidstop in her spare time.

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