@loripalminteriTweets by @loripalminteri
“Confidence is usually a bluff – if you’re lucky you might have it, but frankly nobody will know the difference”
― Chrissie Hynde
Sometimes it’s annoying when someone who seemingly has it all confesses they struggle with confidence. Like this guy for example:
I know, right. He might be the best looking person, ever. I follow him on social media (naturally) and one time he was quoted saying, “one of my favorite sayings is, ‘confidence comes from being prepared.’ Being in such a competitive industry I find myself always prepared and I have carried that over into my everyday life.”
Okay, Christian, not all of us show up prepared with the face and body too good for Greek gods. In fact, none of us do. And I get it, people probably scratch their heads when I confess my constant battle of holding up my self esteem. I’m well aware I have the trifecta: Smart, funny, attractive. If you have the trifecta, you’re part of a much desired minority. It’s rare to have all three and I was basically born that way (thanks mom and dad!). But everything comes with side effects, even good things. And I’ve been lectured about how damning my low self esteem is, by close friends, therapists and even heroes like Colin Quinn.
Truth is, if I’m strutting around Manhattan thinking, “wow, I really am a gem of human with talent matched by my work ethic and people are lucky to be friends with me and one day, someone will be so lucky to marry me,” I’m probably drunk off my ass.
Comics especially have a knack for tricking people into thinking they are confident. But I can assure you, most are not. I’ve seen with my own eyes some of the people you’d think most confident quiver with self doubt. Truthfully, it doesn’t feel too good to know they are just like you. But I guess it takes some of the loneliness out of it.
Now I accept that confidence is just this fluid thing, as fickle as any of my moods, pulled by both inner and outer forces, with ebbs and flows as certain as the tides. How fun for me!!!! Here’s another picture of Christian:
But what I can tell you, for certain, is that having an air of confidence is a delightful thing— and it isn’t so delicate if it’s built on a foundation of what you’ve earned. When confidence is derived from a place of deserving, and you can see and feel that, it’s a much more sturdy thing than the confidence brought by a shot glass.
If you struggle with confidence, I’d perhaps implore you to allow other’s confidence in you suffice for your own, until you’ve earned it. This, however, can be a dangerous thing. It can be a dangerous thing to give others such a power that should come from somewhere deep inside of you (I wish Christian was deep inside me. Focus, Lori, goddamnit). But when you realize how many people’s confidence is just a facade, you might think it’s not such a horrible strategy. Perhaps the most dangerous thing about this is not the people who will seek to take advantage of you. Usually, these people are easy to spot. It will be the people who unintentionally take advantage of you. These people are harder to spot, as they will be unaware themselves that they are confidence vampires, sucking your energy in order to feel alive and not giving anything in return.
Look, I’m not here to tell you that if you walk around with intrusive thoughts like, “I’m a piece of shit,” that you shouldn’t feel that way. You might be a piece of shit, for all I know. But you’re probably okay. Probably, you’re not terrible. Just as much as a cocky asshole who (probably) works in finance might walk around thinking, “I’m the fucking man.” He’s not the man. He’s probably a piece of shit. I’m kidding (I think). But the point I’m trying to make is the person who walks around thinking, “I’m a piece of shit,” and the person walking around thinking, “I’m THE shit,” are more than likely the same— adequate. Nothing more. Nothing less. How disappointing the truth often is.
If, like me, you can’t accept yourself as being great just as you are until you’ve accomplished something great, then maybe use that. Use that. Create. And be better. But don’t allow those toxic voices to win. Trust yourself and trust in others whom you love and admire that you are more than enough. And maybe one day you will also walk the streets of Manhattan and suddenly you’ll notice people notice you more. Strangers give you looks on the streets. You know you don’t look any different than you did once before when you were invisible. But now you’re carrying a new energy. And people see you.