Confidence: it will make you or break you. This is a golden rule I know to be true like I know my name is Stephanie and I like sweet desserts like cupcakes topped with vanilla frosting and sprinkles as well as all things sugar. 

Think of the people you’re immediately drawn to. I’m sure, if you think about it, you’ll realize most of them are confident, or at least good at putting up a confident front. Face it: We are drawn to confident people. Be they your movie-typical sorority girl (Like, actually, I can’t even! You look so hot), or be they on the opposite pole (that girl with her head always stuck in a book. She has diagrams of all her favorite characters, and she’s not afraid to show you). Of course, nothing is that black and white, but you get the deal. You being you and not afraid to show that- there’s something undeniably beautiful about that. 

Think of the scenes from the movies. That guy/girl/whoever staring at you from across the room, a confident grin on his face, eyes ‘gleaming.’ You feel your heart leap, and your feet are already moving. That look alone pulls you into their orbit. Sure, sometimes the ‘quiet’ or ‘not-so-confident’ person is sitting alone in a corner, but there’s still this underlying confidence in them. You can feel it. You’re still drawn to them. However, if someone appears to totally be lacking confidence, that’s usually a total turn-off. 

And, let’s be honest, stereotypically ‘pretty’ people tend to have more confidence. The way they’re treated by people, the way people look at them adds to this. However, this is not always true. All people, I believe, can be confident. Let’s backtrack a little. What, then, causes confidence? 

A lot of things, really. There’s the whole nature/nurture debate, and I happen to think it’s split clean down the line 50/50. People are of course born differently with different personalities. This contributes to self-confidence. Some people are born more confident, others less so. 

There is also nurture. I think a large part of this is how parents treat their children during their childhood years. For instance, if a parent is particularly hard on their child, this can contribute to a lack of self-confidence. If a parent is their child’s constant cheerleader, this tends to contribute towards it. 

smiling woman in pink sweater

I want to conclude this on a happy note and say, if you don’t have it, it’s easy to get. Just do this, this, and that. Wa-la. But I know personally the uphill battle this can be. People who naturally have a lot of confidence often don’t tend to get it. Someone once told me, “Just think about being confident and you’ll be it,” but it doesn't work like that. Sure, confident affirmations are great, but they’re not a fix-all. So, then, what do you do? There are a few helpful things you can do. For one, you can give yourself positive affirmations. Every time a negative thought creeps into your mind, try to replace it with something positive. Sometimes writing this out helps. This usually takes practice and is not an immediate fix. You can also try to temper negative thoughts by replacing self-hating words with positive ones. Instead of thinking “I can’t do this,” think of all the things you can do. Of course, these tactics don’t always work, the mind has a way of refusing to accept the things you want it to. Sometimes there's just no fix. All I can say is try to live your best life and remember how unique you are. There’s only one of you. You’re beautiful. Despite all this, the struggle goes on.