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One of Life’s Most Important Words Gets No Respect

Confidence. It’s one of those words that we hear everyday but never stop to think about what it actually means. Despite how carelessly we throw the word around, I am going to convince you why it one of the greatest things we could ever strive for.
First, I want you to consider the pure dictionary definition of the word, without any added opinions or biases.

Confidence (n): the feeling or belief that we can rely on someone or something; a feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities.
Sure, this definition might be exactly what you would have expected it would be, but when you say that someone is confident, do you really consider whether they fit this definition? If you really took some time to think about it, the answer would probably be no. Sure they may be very social and love being the center of attention, but deep down do you really think that someone that was genuinely confident would need to command attention?
In my opinion, most of the people who seem “confident” are in fact far from it. In college, and actually throughout the rest of development, people go to extreme lengths to hide their lack of confidence not only from other people, but also from themselves. Because everyone is so good at putting up this façade of confidence, we convince ourselves that everyone, except for ourselves, are confident. In turn, this makes us put up the same façade for the fear of being the only insecure person amidst a sea of confident people. It’s all a vicious cycle: people pretend to be confident, you feel insecure about lacking confidence, then put up a façade.
Because we don’t know how to get confidence, or what it truly feels like after continuously putting up this façade, we shy away from thinking about it. In my eyes, this is one of the biggest mistakes that you could make. Having flaws is human; we all have them. However, true confidence comes about when we stop seeing these as “flaws” and start seeing them as characteristics. These “flaws” are what make you who you are and what sets you apart from everyone else. They are things that you cannot change, and you are more or less stuck with your whole life. Although it may be both weird and frightening to expose what you think are “flaws” to other people, doing so is without a doubt the sole route to achieving true confidence in yourself.
I believe that having confidence is the only way someone can genuinely be happy. Achievements, material goods, beauty and money mean nothing unless you are confident. So, although you may be one of those people who block out or reject the important role confidence plays in your live, remember that you are only harming yourself by putting up this façade. You are cheating yourself of the opportunity to experience genuine confidence and what it has to offer.
Image source: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ASE1-oQIm8g/TcLG_8_Ho9I/AAAAAAAAAE4/GAIVO6c-1QY/s1600/self-confidence.jpg

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