“I am a work in progress.” – Violet Yates
What does confidence mean to you? Where does your confidence come from?
For me, I found mine after I joined the Army and realized just how much I was capable of accomplishing. Before that, I had spent years hearing my mom tell me, “we never planned to have you, you were an accident.” That will mess with your mind. I always had my dad for support and companionship, but when he died in 1984, just 3 days after my 8th grade graduation, all that I thought was, bad only became worse.
In high school I dabbled in drugs and alcohol, and during those times I felt like I was cool and confident, but that was a character I was playing. Little did I know that I would go back to playing a character in my adult life. I was the military spouse and successful realtor, off and on single mom when my husband deployed and I had it all together, or so I wanted everyone to think! I should’ve headed for Hollywood because I was quite the actor!
Confidence can be an illusion that shines bright on the outside of someone. It can be how they carry themselves, how they dress, speak and interact with other people. The truth for me, I managed to keep it together on the outside but inside I was lonely, miserable and hurting deeply. I felt that I had to keep that up to make everyone else around me happy and in a way trying to keep myself carefree.
After I spoke out publicly about my overdose I had people message me with words of compassion, support and love. I do recall one email where a person I knew from high school said to me (not verbatim), ‘Wow you have such a good life and you are so pretty I am surprised that you would have been depressed and try to kill yourself’. What do you even say to that?
My place in this world is mine alone, I am who God designed me to be, and yes I have fallen out of grace enough times and I have made plenty of mistakes that I ask forgiveness for, but I am still here today, and I am still trying.
- Confidence is like exercising, you have to work hard to build the muscle, but you also have to keep working to maintain it.
- Confidence isn’t just on the outside, but that is what most people see; its what is inside of us and it takes time to gain it, and diligence to maintain it!
- Confidence is not just about being proud of who you are, but believing in who you are!
- Confidence should shine from the inside out!
Almost four years after my overdose, I am finally in a place that I am happy with who I am; although I am a work in progress. I am rebuilding my confidence with a solid foundation, and building it up with the help of a wonderful husband, a loving son and niece and some amazing friends! My hope is to build a level of confidence that a 9.5 earthquake cannot shake from its footing.
So what is the dictionary’s definition of confidence? Does that relate to how you feel?
1. full trust; belief in the powers, trustworthiness, or reliability of a person or thing:
2. belief in oneself and one’s powers or abilities; self-confidence; self-reliance; assurance
We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face… we must do that which we think we cannot. – Eleanor Roosevelt