Self Confidence for Dummies

Being self-confident is a little like having a unicorn. Everyone wants one, it’s very hard to find, and if you have too many unicorns, or too much self confidence, we all want you to shut up about it already.

Everyone has areas in which they are extremely self-confident. For example, I’m very good at making absurd noises when startled and developing Wikipedia-induced paranoia. If we were measuring my confidence in unicorns, I would have several herds when it comes to these specialities. (According to the Internet, a group of unicorns is called a “blessing”. The reason for this is that unicorns are cocky.)


See? Cocky. And oddly muscular.

We also all have areas in which we are not at all confident. These are the instances when we think to ourselves, Self, I would rather simultaneously get in a fight with a bear and a shark than do this. In fact, one of the areas in which I’m lacking blessings of unicorns is Stephanie vs. Shark vs. Bear fighting, so when I think that, I know whatever I’m about to start is going to be particularly unpleasant.

You know what? I’m sick of not having any unicorns when it comes to things like Talking to Boys, Cooking, or Anything Involving Locks, so I’m teaching myself to be more confident. Every time I catch myself doubting my abilities, I’m learning to take something away from the experience.

Horrible Situation #1: You are trying to flirt with someone and everything is going terribly wrong. Not just kind of wrong, because it’s easy to recover from that. I’m talking unsalvageable, here. As in, you’re shaking like you have a progressive nervous system disease, during the conversation someone hits you with a frisbee and your pants rip, and then you just start saying strings of nouns with no verbs or prepositions to explain them. That bad. (Not that this has happened to me.) (This has happened to me.)

The Takeaway: Think of all the things you did well. Think about how awesome you were at not sneezing on your crush, or accidentally injuring them. Consider how many nouns you know, which revealed your extensive vocabulary. Realize that the people who threw the frisbee at your head will probably be really nice to you from now on. Smile!

Horrible Situation #2: You run into an object with your face. The expression “it hit me like a ton of bricks” should rarely be taken literally. I have never seen a ton of bricks hit anyone. However, it is not uncommon to see someone hit a ton of bricks, usually with their face or other relatively important body parts. I regularly run into clear things, like doors and windows. It doesn’t do much for one’s self esteem.

I guess you’re supposed to go through these?

The Takeaway: Hey! You probably made someone laugh! And if laughter is the best medicine, as they say, you may have even saved a life.  You’ve also started to establish a very reliable sense of where things are, which is a great talent. It’s unlikely you’ll ever run into the same door or wall again! Smile!

Horrible Situation #3: You start to have body image problems. Unfortunately, the world we live in is incredibly shallow. (In a figurative sense. In a literal sense, it’s 6,378 km to the Earth’s core, which is farther than I ever care to walk.) If you’re shorter, fatter, homelier, or leprosy-er than Heidi Klum, it’s likely that you’ve experienced the terrible feeling that goes along with bad body image.

The Takeaway: Have you ever thought about how freaky intestines are? An adult male has 28 feet of them wrapped up inside. Even people who are physically perfect on the outside get disgusted with themselves when they think about how completely gross internal organs are. So the lesson here is that it’s what’s on the outside that counts, and as long as what’s on the outside isn’t guts, you really can’t be that horrifying. Smile!

Horrible Situation #4: You look into the bathroom mirror after having a conversation and you realize you’ve had a booger on your face or something green in your teeth the whole time. Maybe you have a cold which has caused your sinuses to become so clogged there’s nowhere for boogers to go but out. Maybe you have teeth like those of the venus flytrap, so things can get in but they can never come out. Whatever the reason, the fact remains that the entire time you were chatting, you had a slimy, giant faux pas on your face the whole time.

The Takeaway: There’s no upside for this one. The sad truth is that your life is over. No one will ever love you. Sorry about that. Smile!

But not if you have broccoli in your teeth.


  1. Idigina

    Horrible Situation Omega: You have a hard time talking to anyone you can actually see and even the sound your phone when someone calls you terrifies you beyond belief. This is why it’s on vibrate and why you never answer phones.

    The Takeaway: You have way with words on your popular blog. Once you are working with the written (or typed) word, people instantly like you.

    • Stephanie

      The worst part is that this happened to someone I was talking to this week, and all I could think was that there was no way for them to recover. Life… over. Just like that.

    • Stephanie

      We’re all a little leprosy-er than Heidi. But you have to remember she married Seal, so there’s hope for all of us. All of us huge, black singer-songwriters, anyway.

  2. emisformaker

    I will not order food over the phone. When I was younger, I would buy my brother a pizza of his own, provided he ordered them. Of course, I have a general aversion to telephone conversations, but food-related ones have proved an insurmountable obstacle.

  3. Jeremy (A Boy with Shoes)

    I have troubles talking to people period, not just the flirting bit. Though I am sure it is funny to watch. So a life saved there.
    I run into walls a lot, but at least they are there or I would probably run into floors with my face more often.
    And I sometimes rub my stomach when I think about food and think about my intestines and how awesome they are and how I am about to feed them. I also sometimes sing when I brush my teeth. Talking to my intestines and serenading my teeth don’t help much with my first statement.

    • Stephanie

      OR… it makes you very attractive to the gut-talking, teeth-singing crowd. I bet more people do that than you think. I regularly chat with my stomach like a nice, normal person.

  4. Pingback: A Salute to Ali Davies et. al. (62/365) | Amor Vincit Omnia
  5. Pingback: Slightly Delayed Karma’s Gonna Get You « Listful Thinking
  6. Pingback: Good Men and Unicorns « Psychetymology

Leave a Reply!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s