By: Savannah Snow, SARDP President
“What do you do on the days you don’t feel that confident?”
“Uh, fake it.”
“Till you make it?”
“Yeah, why not? It’s either that or cry myself to sleep, and who wants to do that?”
You may have seen this transition Tiktok trend going around, and though the transformations are real and beautiful, this concept does indeed work!
I often am complimented on my confidence and presence, and my response is always, “Thanks! I built it myself.”
And it’s true! I wasn’t always confident, and to be completely candid, I still struggle with self-esteem and self worth.
I spent my high school years in deep south Texas. Down there, it’s a whole different ball game in terms of beauty standards for young girls. Parents take their teen girls to get their hair bleached, fake nails, spray tans, and designer clothes and bags. Beauty pageant culture is huge, and many of my classmates were participants in beauty pageants big and small. In fact, if you were to join the drill team or the cheer squad, you were required to meet a certain standard in terms of tanning and hair care. The cheer team even had a preferred vendor for a tanning salon! Growing up as a foreigner in Texas, my extremely conservative and religious parents didn’t believe in dyeing hair, painting nails, or even wearing makeup. This meant that by my peers growing up, I was considered “ugly”. I’d even have girls try to pass me business cards to their mom’s favorite tanning salons, not understanding when I said my mom would never pay for that.
All of this being pushed on me at such a young age resulted in some pretty severe self-esteem issues. On top of the things, I was experiencing at school, you may recall from my blog post earlier last year, “Reflecting on my Childhood”, that I was experiencing severe mental and physical abuse at home. So how does one overcome all of this? That’s right, faking it til you make it.
There’s an aspect of psychology that comes into play when we’re talking about confidence. Achieving confidence is based in the belief that you are confident. In order to believe that you are confident, you must feel like you are perceived as confident. As much as we’d all love to pretend that loving ourselves is enough, there will always be a carnal desire to be liked by people. It’s herd mentality! You can either choose to let that convince you you’ll never be liked or inspire you to take the reins and carve your own space in the world. You see, a common misconception is that in order to be liked, you have to conform. This is not the case! In most instances, the most admirable trait in a person is their confidence, that unwavering bravery to be themself.
I have a very specific methodology when it comes to faking and ultimately building confidence. Pick a fictional character or a real-life role model that you think is confident and aligns with your personality. For me, it was Hermione from Harry Potter! You want to start thinking in terms of how that character would react and behave in certain situations. Basically, emulate who you want to be. Eventually, you’ll begin incorporating those traits into your own personality and will no longer have to fake it!
The psychology of this ties into performative behavior. By acting and believing in yourself a certain way, eventually you will enter deep performance, which means that these traits will become a part of who you are. Eventually, you won’t have to fake it anymore!
A word of caution – imposter syndrome will often try to get in the way of this methodology. My advice for combatting this is to remember that even though you are putting on a performance, you are still doing the work to get where you need to be. You deserve to be confident! You are putting in the work to better yourself, and it will pay off! People around you will begin to notice the difference in how you speak and how you carry yourself.
Remember, the ultimate goal is self-acceptance. This method may not work for everyone and that’s okay! Everyone builds confidence differently. However, I’m of the belief that when you can convince yourself that you’re confident, you will feel more self-assured. You got this 😊 I’m confident in you!!