Life as an adult is hard and scary and sometimes really embarrassing. I’ve had my share of embarrassing moments. I bet you can relate. I’ve learned throughout my 33 years, that most of those moments come from a lack of confidence.
Confidence is a tricky emotion. It’s always there; we just have to find it.
My first television reporting gig was in a town called Beaumont, Texas. It was far away from friends and family back home in Nebraska which was good and bad. Bad because I missed them terribly; good because no one I knew could watch me fumble on live television. Why is it easier to mess up in front of strangers?
But back to Beaumont.
The day my first television story aired on live TV was both wonderful and terrifying. Moments before it was slotted to air, I ran to the nearest bathroom stall and locked myself inside. I assume it all went well enough, although I can’t be sure. When the news was over, I left the bathroom stall and ventured home without speaking to anyone. My confidence was shattered.
The next day, a seasoned reporter took me into the sound booth and gave me a piece of advice. She said, “Leslie, anytime you get nervous just tell yourself you’re awesome.”
It sounds a bit arrogant, but it really works. You are awesome. You know this. I do too. But sometimes it takes adults a bit of convincing to really believe.
We weren’t always like this. Throughout the years we’ve let the bad words or negative emotions sink into our souls, crushing our confidence along the way. But when we’re young, before the bad has made its way into our lives, our confidence soars.
I was reminded of this last week during a Kindergarten talent show. Each kid walked to the front of the room to show off their perspective talents; joke telling, singing, a few dance techniques and sports moves hit the make-believe stage. By the time my daughter made her way to the front, my heart was racing. (Yes, I was nervous for a Kindergarten talent show. I recognize there’s a long road ahead in this parenthood journey.) Her talent: reading a book while hula hopping. She made it to the last page of her book and then her hula hoop dropped.
I was crushed. She wasn’t fazed. She picked it up and finished with a huge smile.
On our walk home I told her she was so awesome! To which she responded, “I know, mom. I was awesome.”
And here’s today’s point. If a 6-year-old can grasp her awesomeness, surely we can, too. We are awesome at age 6, or 36, or 56, or 76. You get the point. Let’s remind one another how awesome we all are. I think it will help make this life a little less scary and a whole lot more confident.
And confidence keeps people from locking themselves in bathrooms stalls. I’m still working on that one.