Confidence is a wonderful attribute to possess. Confidence can take you far in life and help you to overcome insurmountable obstacles and accomplish the most amazing goals. When I think of confidence, I picture someone wrapping a cape around his or her neck and immediately receiving the power to display phenomenal abilities. How exciting would it be if confidence capes actually did exist! Unfortunately, stores do not carry them. Confidence is not a tangible item that can be bought; it is something that one must become, and I am on a journey to become this. I was a pretty good student during my school years. I completed my homework, received good grades, and took advantage of extra credit assignments when the opportunities arose. However, I did not consider myself a very confident individual. I absolutely dreaded the times where I was forced to give presentations in front of my class. I would watch other students speak so eloquently and confidently and wish that I was able to present the same way. When it was my turn to present, I would stand up with my heart pounding and begin talking so fast that I had difficulty catching my breath. My presentation would consist mainly of a bunch of “umm's”, stumbling over words, and constantly looking back at my note cards to remember what I was supposed to say. I can confidently say that presentations were a huge pet peeve of mine. My lack of confidence carried over into group projects as well. Many times, I would not feel that my ideas were as good as the ones projected by my classmates; therefore, I would remain silent and agree to the tasks that I was assigned to by my peers. I so desperately wanted to contribute great and innovative ideas, but there was part of me that felt incapable of doing so. Once I graduated and stepped out into the real world, it was time for me to apply for jobs. I developed a decent resume and looked good on paper, but when it came time for the interview process; once again, my nerves and lack of confidence got the best of me. I honestly started feeling like a failure. I began to question if there was even a point of making good grades in school and receiving my degree if I wasn't able to effectively get through an interview to land a job! I knew so many people that had no difficulty interviewing and public speaking, and I wondered why it was such a daunting task for me. Fortunately, I did have one successful interview and received a job in my profession. A few years later, I made the decision to join an organization called Toastmaster's, and this helped me tremendously with my speaking skills. I also found a mentor who taught me the importance of believing in myself and helped me to become a more confident individual. I am on a continual confidence journey; however, I feel that I have grown by leaps and bounds in this area. I have learned that confidence is simply a matter of programming your mind to believe in yourself. Confidence is believing that you ARE good enough, competent enough, capable enough, strong enough, and powerful enough. Confidence definitely is not something that you can simply buy from a store, but it is something that we can all become.
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