Saturday, January 11, 2014

Countdown to Confidence: My Story

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Hi there! I was sitting there combing through memories the other day when I remembered seventh grade. In seventh grade, a lot of things happened and one of those things was English class. We had to write a slam poem about something and at the time, I was probably the least confident I’ve ever been. It was nothing super serious at all, but it didn’t make me feel so good about myself, so I decided to write about that. I also decided to share that poem with you today.

I thought it’d be appropriate to share this today because tomorrow, I’m going to share with you my tips on how to be confident and I wanted to share with you a bit of my past. Oh, it’s funny how dramatic I sound right now…

It’s going to be a pretty decently long series called “Countdown to Confidence” that I’m very excited about, but I realised my “confidence story” as I like to call it, didn’t fit very well into that post, so I thought it’d be better to post it separately. It's going to be a series all about achieving confidence and I can't wait to share what I have to say with all of you!

Enough of me rambling, let’s get into it.

My name is called to present and I stood up
A zoo full of animals let themselves free in the pit of my stomach
And I couldn't care less if that made any sense.
I’m proud of it, but now I'm too scared to admit it.

Why? Why is it that I'm scared?
Maybe it's because of every judgmental stare that I'm sure is to come
Maybe it's because I'm scared of what you think
Maybe it's because I think I'm not good enough for you.
Or perhaps it's because I think your opinion of what I'm proud of is more important than mine.
If this was a multiple choice question, I would answer “all of the above.”

Should that be true?
You tell me, “No.”
But do I honestly think it is?
Without a doubt, “Yes.”
So why do I value what you think?
Why should I care if my clothes look good enough for you?
Why should I care if my arms are thin enough?

Why should I care if my hard work lives up to your expectations?
But I do nonetheless.

Your expectations, they should not matter to me
They are outrageous and pathetic, what I'm sure you want me to feel.
Would you like another gleaming trophy to add to your collection of them?
They are only things that are going to bring me down, make me surrender and cry
So don't give me that look and ask why I'm crying when I do.
Don't stab me and wonder why I'm bleeding.

It is unspoken that you ask me to be perfect.
There, I tried.
And failed.
Everyone does.
Should I admit that now?
Should I retaliate, give you a piece of your own medicine?
Fling insults your way and watch your ego crumble to dust?

The “why” still bugs me, though
Why do I feel this way?
Is it because I've been burned so bad
That I am scarred for life?
That it most likely true.
I suppose that I'd rather look back on my life and only remember the moments when I wasn't embarrassed for those things I said.
Cringing every time they crossed my mind
Though not saying anything at all will surely lead to different regrets.

You once told me to stand up for myself, not to be intimidated by others’ harsh criticism and forceful opinions.
So is this what it means?
Is this the test that I have to pass?
Because the 'F' is still not going away.

This wondrous wall that I've built
Carefully pointing out my own flaws
Adding to it, brick by brick, mistake by mistake, flaw by flaw.
Blocking my view of what I'm proud of, until I am no longer sure.
You might ask why I do this
But I think the answer is quite evident.
There is a reason why I don't speak up in class
I don't bother raising my hand because I'm afraid that what I'm going to say will sound moronic and foolish.
There is a reason why I barely speak audibly
Maybe it's better that you don't hear my incoherent mumbling
Just the “never mind” that is sure to come, covering up my possible mistake.
But I’ll never know if it really was one.

This wall
It has to come down
It all has to stop.
Someone once told me, “Your insecurities will only destroy you.”
So I guess I must be dead.

This wall
It's coming down.
I will stand up straight.
I will stop insulting myself, criticizing every little detail that would’ve remained invisible.
It will start with a delicate fissure in a brick
And will break apart until only a handful of them remain standing.
Those are the only ones that I will leave alone.

So the next time I say “never mind.”
It won't be because it sounded better in my head
It will be because you should have heard me the first time instead.

Have you ever felt that way? Did you overcome it, or are you still working on it? Are you excited about my new confidence series? Share your stories below!

Thank you so much for reading!
- J


  1. This article brings back so many memories... I don't think I was there when you performed this, but I think you may have practiced it in front of many once. It's so interesting for me to see how much you've grown since I first met you and it makes me honestly a bit proud, too, of how confident you've become.
    I'm really stoked to read your new series! I can't wait for your post tomorrow! :) x

    1. Thank you so much, Bohmyi! When I was writing this, it brought back quite a few memories for me, too and made me reflect on how much I've grown over the past few years. It's kind of crazy. :P You're just the best, thank you so much for everything, Bohmyi, you have no idea. - J

  2. ❤!!!
    Looking forward to tomorrow post. x

    1. I'm so glad you're excited!!! :) - J

  3. You're such an inspiration. I love you JubeJube! <3 BT

    1. Thank you so much!!! Love you, too. <3 - J