I remember telling my friend in 2017, I didn’t like the person I was. There was a disconnect between the person I was and the person that I wanted to be. I wanted to be confident, happy, excited about the future, but all I felt was dread. I felt dread about who I was, who I was becoming, where my life was taking me. And when 2017 was coming to a close I realized I couldn’t take that energy into 2018. It was a weird year, but 2018 was the year I found myself and my confidence.
1. I started doing, just doing. I felt unhappy in my job, so I quit. I wanted to go out more, so I did. I wanted to sign up for a 5K, so I did. I said I wanted to read more, so I am. “Life happens when you’re busy making other plans” – John Lennon. That quote made me think, it’s time to start doing and stop thinking.
2. I disconnected from social media. People say this all the time and you may take a day off or even a week. But I mean a month, two months, or however long you feel you need to. Social media can be fun but it can also make you feel isolated. You’re staying in on a Saturday (there’s nothing wrong with that! Those Netflix shows in your queue aren’t going to watch themselves.) and you see people out having fun on SnapChat. It makes you feel less than, but sometimes you need to just recharge your batteries and do nothing. Social media brings comparison and comparison will kill you.
3. Exercise, exercise, exercise. Like Elle Woods says, “Exercise gives you endorphins and endorphins make you happy.” I hadn’t exercised much sense I had surgery in high school. My friends would always make fun of me for not wanting to exercise but at first it was painful and then I lost the motivation to try. This year I made the goal of exercising so I could run a 5K in 2019. Now that I’ve started, I’m sticking to it, proving people wrong that said I couldn’t do it. And running with a killer playlist makes you feel like you’re on top of the world (exercise to the song Legend by The Score, you’ll feel like a badass).
4. Letting go of the past and surrounding myself with good energy. The things we go through help us grow, but we can’t let snide comments and mean actions from others dictate how we spend the rest of our lives. We are stronger than someone’s words, we are smarter than letting that person have power over us. Once I learned my power I was able to let in people that I love and love me in return.
5. Being proud of myself. On the long list of things that scare me at the top is disappointing my parents. I realized that what they think of me and my life choices is really important but something that’s more important is what I think of myself. This year I can say that I am proud of myself. I run two small businesses and while it is hard, I am proud of who I have become. I stopped letting the fear of the unknown scare me and started thinking about how the unknown could do amazing things for me.
2018 gave me a lot of lessons both bad and good. But a lot of great things happened. Black Panther came out in theaters, Ariana Grande dropped the iconic Thank U, Next music video, I finally saw Bastille in concert, and I am happy with the person I have become.
Confidence is something you need to work on every day. Things can ruin a mood in a second, but it’s all about how you handle yourself. You’re stronger than you think and I guarantee you have more confidence than you thought, just go find it!
Over the past few years, Brianna Wiest has gained renown for her deeply moving, philosophical writing. This new compilation of her published work features pieces on why you should pursue purpose over passion, embrace negative thinking, see the wisdom in daily routine, and become aware of the cognitive biases that are creating the way you see your life. Some of these pieces have never been seen; others have been read by millions of people around the world. Regardless, each will leave you thinking: this idea changed my life.