Living Confidently

||"Believe in yourself!" -The lamest confidence quote that is supposed to make all your insecurities go away. (how???)||

My debate partner got me socks for Christmas and I love them.

They're not normal, solid colors. They aren't no-shows. They are knee-high, purple and green/black and purple striped glories. And I wear them with my suits.

Don't freak out. I don't wear them into speech or debate rounds. That would be a little far. But I do walk into tournaments, totally professional from hair to knees. Pencil skirt, hairspray, blazer, blouse. And, of course, knee-high bright green socks.

I don't wear the socks to get compliments or attention. I wear them because they're awesome, and wearing them with my professional tournament attire is a beautiful summation of my personality.

When we talk about confidence, the conversation is all too frequently reduced to positive self-talk and smiling more often. But saying "I am beautiful," or "I can do this," just doesn't do it for me. Believing in myself sounds like a great idea, but what happens when I fail? If I, "myself" don't measure up, cute sayings and inspiration Pinterest photos aren't gonna cut it.

There was a time in my life when I would spend time trying to fit in with the people who I thought were "cool" (what even qualifies some to be cool?). I would hangout with these people, and the day or evening would start out with me feeling like I could totally be best friends with them. But by the end of the day, I ended up feeling bad about myself for not liking the same things they did because I thought they were cool. I didn't share their interests and I had very little in common with them, so when I tried to fit in with them, I failed miserably and wanted to cry. But when I hang out with people who encourage me to be myself, that's what I am.

||"Confidence is being 100% real with who you are and not being afraid to [show] it." -Katie Gregoire||

If you're most yourself while throwing a Frisbee, or while putting on makeup, or while making Youtube videos, or while writing novels, then rather than hiding behind what you think is "normal" or "cool," you need to embrace those things. Don't do things because you want to please other people. God made you to be you, not your best friend, your siblings, or that kid you think is sooo cool. He made you to be you for a reason, on purpose.

To me, living confidently means choosing to trust that who you are is who you are meant to be, regardless of how cute your outfit is, how good you are at ping-pong, or if you wear crazy (awesome) socks or not. Yes, you should believe in yourself, but with an attitude of humility, not self-importance. Inspirational Pinterest quotes won't give you confidence because confidence is a choice you have to make every day. Acting like someone else will only take away your confidence. And that's what's up.