Confidence is a choice. Confidence is my choice.
The Apraxia Conference and conversations with fellow attendees all lead to a common topic: Confidence.
How are you so confident speaking?
I wish I had an ounce of that confidence.
So on and so forth.
I am not downplaying these remarks, confidence on the apraxia journey-or life journeys without Apraxia-is perplexing.
Confidence appears arrogant if expressed inappropriately.
Confidence appears insecure if expressed without humility.
People mistake confidence for being a characteristic, or a person's trait. It's just "how they are."
To that, I disagree.
Confidence is a choice. It's a constant, almost daily choice that a person makes.
One doesn't wake up and say "I'm going to be confident from here on out."
If I let you in on a little secret, my confidence was tested at that Apraxia Conference. It always is.
Sure, I can present-but I nervous talk. Every time I babble and crack a joke while presenting-it means I'm nervous talking to all the eye balls staring at me.
In a conversation with a fellow attendee, "So, have you thought about going back to Speech Therapy as an adult?"
The question wasn't a rude one, it was an honest question and I am an open book.
Aloud I responded, "Oh, I can't go back now. I know too much, I have more years experience in speech therapy than the therapists themselves."
Mutual giggling, but inward thoughts of "Wait, does she think I need to?"
Those questions, the inward doubtful questions. That's when true confidence shines. In one brief moment, my self-doubt appears but I remind myself "More people are listening to my advocacy with this accent than they are if I didn't have it."
That's my reminder. It's a reminder of who I am, where I come from, and using that as some sort of strength to move forward, to not doubt, and to not question myself.
People asked or remarked on my confidence last week, and I wish I had some concrete answer as to how one becomes confident.
Perhaps years of Girl Scouts, making my own life-choice to quit speech therapy, or maybe athletics and using swim as a source of strength-sure, these helped.
But confidence, it's like a diet. It's a daily choice we make. It's a daily choice that I make.
One doesn't wake up and easily say "I'm going to eat and be healthy forever."
No, we go day-to-day.
We go with the good and bad days.
We try to resist the junk food or junk-thoughts (those criticisms and self doubt? Yes, junk-thoughts) even when they are so easy to cave into.
And we try to embrace the good, the healthy, the self-praise and assurance.