The young woman who grew her natural hair into an afro before the word became a hashtag is confident. Not because she wasn’t told that her cotton hair was ugly, or that she her professional life might be jeopardized because her afro didn’t hold the right kind of curl.
She’s confident because despite the comments, she knew that wearing her hair the way she did made her feel more like herself and fitted in with her own sense of being a smart creative. She’s confident because she hated the feeling of claustrophobia that overcame her when she tried to blend in. She preferred to stand out instead.
She wore cowboy boots to Sunday mass. She dressed in yellow and purple when her high school teacher said that the chosen colours for sports day were black and white. Later, she’d pursue dreams like crazy without care for the potholes that opened crater-like before her. She’d take leaps when there were no guarantees.
That’s the thing about confidence.
It often requires that you to go against the grain and oftentimes it is built on success as much as failure. It comes from figuring who you are (yes this process can be painful) and what you’d like your life to represent. Of course it bubbles from within. But many times, it is shaped from external events and by other people who believe, even when you didn’t dare.
The confident journalist asks tougher questions. The confident dancer expresses deeper emotions with her body. The confident lover listens. The confident business leader keeps moving forward.
Confidence requires faith, lots of it.
You succeed not because everything is perfect. You succeed because you allow that badass to kick in when everything is not.