Owning your confidence
Updated: Jul 7, 2020
I struggled with my self confidence growing up. I doubted myself a lot, especially in high school. I would go through phases of self-doubt where I would feel unworthy and insecure. All these factors came into play because at the time, I didn't love myself to the fullest and I would take other people's opinions to heart. People are always going to have an opinion about you, but the most important opinion is the one you have about yourself. Forming a progressive and positive view on who you are is an intense journey that takes many trials and errors.
As a teenager, I struggled being me. I didn't truly understand what "me" was because I was still figuring out what I wanted to be in life. However, in the midst of the self-doubt, I was determined. That is what kept me going. I was determined to succeed and become someone great no matter what. I truly started to feel that fire in me during my senior year of high school. By that time I had a plan. I knew what I was going to college for and I felt eager to start the next chapter of my life. Sometimes that fire doesn't spark until later in life, and it's okay. There is no right or wrong in that. I was confident in the young woman I was becoming and there was nothing that was going to stop me, including other people's opinions about my decision to go into broadcast journalism. I knew my career choice was going to mean taking major leaps and sacrifices. It was not going to be an easy road at all. I was 17. A freshman at California State University Northridge (CSUN) and I was ready for whatever was going to come my way. That was my confidence finally speaking to me.
During my first year at CSUN, I landed my first internship at The Hollywood Reporter in Los Angeles. All I had on my resume was high school newspaper writing experience, but that didn't stop me from applying. I have learned that sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith no matter how small you may feel. The second I landed that internship I remember walking out of there feeling more determined than ever to pursue journalism. I had to start somewhere. It ended being one of five internships I completed in college. If it wasn't for owning my confidence, I truly don't know if I would have been able to land any of those internships. Don't get me wrong, I was also given a lot of no's while in college. But that only gave me more fuel to keep on going.
The truth is, there is always going to be an opinion out there and you ultimately have the power to determine the outcome. You have the choice to decide - will I let this define me? Or will I move past it and own my self-worth? As I mentioned earlier, owning your confidence all starts with your inner dialogue. It's re-assuring yourself of your potential. It all starts with how you speak to yourself from the minute the day starts. It's amazing how the mind works. It's like a muscle that you can strengthen. You have the ability to control your thoughts. Why not empower yourself every single morning and tell yourself that you will own your day? That you got this! That's confidence right there. This is by no means a straight road. However, just taking that small step can make a huge difference.
I share this because I have been through this process many times in my career. Especially when it comes to being on camera. If I don't own my confidence every single night, how will you watching at home trust what I'm saying? Another example is giving a speech. If you don't believe what you are saying, how will other people believe you? The same thing applies to clothes. If you love what you are wearing, you may feel 10 times more confident when hosting that event.
At the end of the day, confidence starts from within. You have to be your biggest fan. The inner guidance exists. You just need to choose your best self every day and push away the negative self that keeps you complacent. When you love yourself and your self-talk is positive, it's a game changer. It all comes down to owning it and you hold so much more power than you might think.
If I could define myself in one word, it would be - bold. I can proudly say I am a confident 28-year-old successful woman who loves her career and is still learning and growing. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter what other people think of you. As long as you know what your dreams are and what you truly want, that's all you need. This doesn't mean to not be open to feedback and advice. That is all needed in order to be successful. You have to be willing to trust the process just not the negative talk from other people. You don't need that. Soledad O' Brien is a journalist I admire very much and look up to. In her book, The Next Big Story, she wrote, "If you stop at every bitter comment you will never reach your destination." Let that sink in.
I challenge you to write down one word that you believe defines you. From that one word, ask yourself - why? What does this word mean to you and how do you own your confidence every day? Can your inner dialogue be better? What needs to change? These are just a few questions that you can ask yourself and you might discover something else about you. I hope after reading this you feel inspired to tap into your own confidence a little more. Just remember, you can do anything you set your mind to. Stay empowered and embrace all aspects of the journey. Most importantly, don't give up. You hold the power.