Impressing Themselves Instead of Others

A timid heart leads to a curious mind; a clear mind brings inner strength and self confidence which is good for personal health.

Mollie Wagner

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Fear of the future, of what happened in the past, and, most importantly fear of now, the present. People being comfortable with themselves means breaking up with their comfort zone. Nowadays, everyone at some point has struggled to find their safety blanket of confidence, whether it’s the way they look or the way they act. Humans seem to strive to impress others rather than impressing themselves. Junior Graci Leineberg has been a varsity cheerleader since freshmen year, which has required a lot of positive self perception for the past three years.

“Being comfortable in your own skin, being okay with who you are and not being afraid to show who you are, are the best ways to be confident.” Leineberg said.

One of two things that contribute to self confidence is self-efficiency. This is one’s ability to succeed or complete a certain task. Self-efficiency plays a major role in tasks, challenges and goals. People gain this when they see themselves achieving goals or developing skills that seemed out of reach. For Leineberg, putting herself out there in not only cheerleading, but everyday life has really played a role in her confidence. As a cheerleader, she has always been involved in the school and that alone has been beneficial to how she views herself.

“Being involved has definitely helped me in a positive way to feel good about myself,” Leineberg said. “I’m just so used to being put in front of crowds, so it’s nice to get cheered on all the time at performances and competitions. It makes you feel really good about yourself, which can be boosting.”

Self esteem is confidence in one’s worth or abilities. Possessing little self esteem can lead people to depression, fall short of their potential or result in them tolerating abusive situations or relationships.

According to Mindtools, “It also comes from the sense that we are behaving virtuously, that we’re competent at what we do and that we can compete successfully when we put our minds to it.”

Everything people do in their daily lives revolves around confidence and their mindset. Developing confidence does take time but it is eventually achievable with perseverance past others’ judgements. Senior Kayla Burkhart is also a varsity athlete in basketball and softball. Being in sports, someone’s confidence is usually at it’s highest point while playing the sport they love. It’s evident when watching someone play the sport they’re passionate about how high their confidence is.

“My confidence is definitely highest at the softball field with my teammates around me,” Burkhart said. “When I make a good catch or get a really good hit, I feel very confident in myself and I feel like I can do anything.”

Even though sports can help uplift a person’s confidence, that’s not the only thing that can make or break someone’s perspective on themself. Body positivity is a touchy subject that most people would rather not talk about, but everyone has done their fair share of shaming their bodies instead of loving them.

“I think everyone should take pride in their body, because these are the only bodies that we’re born with,” Leineberg said. “So no matter what you look like or if you like your body or not, this is your only one so you just have to learn to love it.”

Growing up in this day and age, it takes a lot for someone to be fully comfortable in their own skin. People loving their bodies and taking pride in it are totally different things.

“Some days I like my body, some days I don’t.” Burkhart said. “I work hard in and out of school to keep my body in shape mentally and physically. I try to do things so it’s not about what my body looks like on the outside it’s more about how it is on the inside.”

Body positivity has a lot to do with fear: being afraid of what people think, worrying about who likes what they’re wearing or if their hair looks right. Having nerves or being self conscious over these things can be changed, but not overnight. The media has put a standard on what bodies should look like.

“I think social media plays a big part in why people struggle with confidence, because everyone has put a lot of pressure on social media,” Leineberg said. “Especially things like Instagram because everyone wants to seem like they’re doing really well and that they’re all put together so it can bring people down or up, depending on how they put themselves on the internet.”

Depending on which way people are perceived, can make them more or less confident in themselves.

“To be honest, I think it’s social media,” Burkhart said. “I think social media brings a lot of people down, and the things people see around them on the internet makes them feel like they’re not good enough.”

Social media has had an ongoing debate on whether it’s good or bad, but in this case the negatives outweigh the positives. The media has targeted mainly girls and made them feel like they need to act and look a certain way to be classified as “good looking” or “popular.”

“I think everyone’s really scared about how other people think.” Leineberg said. “Especially on media, because a lot of times people can comment things anonymously so people aren’t afraid to say mean things without you knowing, I think it scares people that there’s other people out there who aren’t afraid to hurt them. Especially without putting their names on things, so social media definitely plays a big part in confidence.”

As society has been built and standards have been put on a pedestal, it’s also in people’s best interest to take a step back and remember that everyone has their own story and a different past. One of the main reasons people don’t have full confidence in themselves is what they have personally been through.

“Maybe things in the past have brought them down, so if they can overlook those obstacles and get past the past, then I think that’s where self confidence plays a huge role,” Burkhart said. “Move forward, look at life as a beautiful thing.”

Fear of the future is because of one’s past. When nothing has hurt someone prior to their reality, they have nothing to be afraid of. Having self confidence previously torn down is emotionally draining, which is why most people don’t feel the need to have confidence again. They’re afraid or just tired of being afraid. Self confidence has been an ongoing difficulty since the beginning of time and will continue to be a challenge as the media progresses. Don’t fear the future, look back at everything achieved, think about strengths, where to prosper forward, manage mindset and commit to success.