confidence and other life lessons

Anonymous asked: It is clear that you are an intelligent, confident lady. Where does this confidence come from? I got out of an emotionally abusive relationship two years ago, and since then have been living on my own in a city where the majority of my friends are my college roommate’s ex boyfriends. While this makes me feel safe, it is not conducive to me moving on and trying to find a new, healthy relationship. I used to be able to walk into a room and be the center of attention - now I’m tired of being a wallflower and ready to get back out there. Any advice on how I can get my confidence back and meet new people?

Good for you getting out of an unhealthy relationship!  That always takes courage, which is a good place to start for confidence.  

It’s sunny and I’ve had two cups of Emergen-C, so I am ready to make some grandiose statements about confidence.

I was confident since the day I was born.  The only time I ever cried was when they put me in the car seat.  They had to set up a pen in the back of the station wagon that I could crawl and play in when we drove places.  I was not one to be strapped in.  So despite my inability to remain quiet in car seats, I was otherwise 100% comfortable and happy just being.  Give me a cup of apple juice and some Polly Pockets and I’ll keep myself busy for days.  Basically what I’m saying is that I’m not terribly equipped to give advice on how to become confident since I’ve been posing for photos since I could recognize a camera.

However, I do have my down days, and when I’m keen on pulling myself together rather than pouting, I do have some steps I take.  Obviously there’ll be times you can’t do all of this, but you’ll get the idea.  This is my step-by-step process to faking it ‘til I make it, because sometimes people are just inherently cooler than me and a self-applied pep talk is the order of the day.  

Scenario: it’s Saturday and I’m feeling dull and inadequate, hesitant to go out.  

1.  Do some pushups.  Punch the air for a little while.  Do lunges, planks, situps, whatever.  Get your blood pumping.  If you have the time and you’re up for it, do a full workout.  But no matter what, blood pumping is key.

2.  Grooming.  Take a shower.  Blast yourself with some cold water.  Wake up.  Not in the “you’re sleepy” sense, but wake up your senses.  Make your brain pay attention.  Then take your time getting ready.  Put on theme music.  Right now when I’m looking for a confidence boost, I listen to the following:

- Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Beat the Devil’s Tattoo

- Kanye - All of the Lights

- Adele - I’ll Be Waiting

- Tavares - Heaven Must Be Missing an Angel

Then I generally feel sexy and awesome and fun.  

3.  Godspeed picking an outfit because this is the most chaotic moment of my day every day.  

4.  Name every single social networking site you can think of.  Guestimate how many users are on each.  Add those numbers together.  Realize that is the amount of people in the world (plus a whole lot more) who just want to make a connection.  Being a wallflower is not unique.  It’s sort of like being out-of-shape.  The idea of working out sounds horrific, but once you get going, it’s really not that bad and you feel awesome after.  So while it may sound mortifying to just go speak to someone random at a party, it’s usually fine once you start, and you’ll feel proud of yourself after.  

5.  Arm yourself with information.  You know that game tell 2 truths and 1 lie?  Come up with those.  Then think of 2 cool things you’ve done, and 2 things in the news right now.  You’re probably not going to talk about any of this, but it gets your synapses firing and it prepares you for conversation.  

6.  Go out sans haterblockers.  No headphones, no sunglasses unless necessary, no arm crossing, no grimacing.  Be friendly, god damnit!  AND SMILE.  

7.  Act like the host wherever you are.  Be inquisitive and available.  Pretend you’re on the Real World and there are cameras following you everywhere.  America will either think you’re the effervescent queen of socializing, or they’ll think you’re the pouty emo chick in the corner.  Your choice.

Fake it 'til you make it.