Independence and confidence are two words that people over use and seek to attain at any cost. They believe that gaining these two magical concepts will make them invincible and give them the life of their dreams, but how does one actually become independent and confident? As a 26 year old female, I’m at the age where I should be loving life and doing all the things I’ve always wanted, but instead, I’m focusing on all of the things I haven’t accomplished and all of the negative ideas I have of myself. Yes, I’ve graduated college, commissioned as an officer, gotten married, bought a house, got divorced, sold my house and countless other things, but none of these made me love my life or myself any more.
Over the past two years of my life, I have been told multiple times by men I’ve been with and friends alike that, “I’m too much”, “I’m too emotional”, “I try too hard”, “I’m too nice”, “I do too much” and the best one “you’re annoying.” I’ve got the independent thing down, but the confidence part is a bit more complicated. I have accomplished so many things in my life, yet I listen to the things people say about me and let that impact how I see myself. When I look in the mirror or have a lot of time to myself, I constantly pick at every part of me that I don’t like. I don’t see a confident 26 year old woman, I see a broken person…not physically but mentally. I hear over and over in my head “no one likes you”, “you’re an idiot”, “you don’t like yourself so of course no one likes you”, “you don’t deserve anything you have”, “no wonder no one ever wants to hang out with you”, “what are you doing with your life.” My mind plays these words over and over in my head 24 hours a day and it never stops. I’ve been conditioned by some unknown force to believe the things that people tell me I am, and it has become an incredibly hard thing to break out of . No amount of self help material or counseling has been able to help me see that there is absolutely nothing wrong with me as a person, so why am I still here focusing on the negatives?
For me, I haven’t found the recipe for confidence, but as a person who is very open about my struggles, it’s so important to write your thoughts down and see how you can change your mindset. Writing doesn’t have to be a daily activity, but for me, I have used it as a tool to write out all of the negativity and hurt so that I can see the poison my brain comes up with. Reading it aloud to myself helps me to see that although I may think these things, I am not too much of anything. I am me and that will never be too much for the people in my life that choose to be in it. The most important thing I’ve learned on my journey to find the confidence I so desperately want for myself is that those who leave you, do so because of them, not because of anything wrong with your personality or character. If someone leaves, let them go. They’re not a boomerang and if they come back sometimes it’s just best to let things be. Making a life I can be proud of is something I work towards every day and battling my mind is part of that process. You and only you create your confidence and that’s something I have to constantly remind myself.