I have come across people in my life whom have no problem in looking you straight into the eye and tell you exactly whats on their mind. Their body language, way of speech and view on life seems to differ enormously from the people who live life on eggshells, or perhaps think they do.
Confidence is a matter of mastering your very own manifestations in which you are truly your own boss of. Once you understand, that no one other than you yourself is responsible for trusting his/her worth --that is when you can fully master your life and be satisfied with the way you are. As babies, we are confident enough (or total oblivious of course!) not to have a grasp of life around us, which enables us to scream, cry, demand attention, be taken care of, and cry again. Its the growth hormones that basically mess up the game and leave us in wonder; leading to question our looks in front of the mirror, such as the added zit on the forehead or the never ending length of our nose. Puberty is a killer. It steals you away from the normalcy around you and takes you to a very private place in the room where you start criticizing and over dramatizing the every little detail God has designed on your body, starting from the face.
As a growing teenager in Holland, you'd never believe the look I carried or my 'aloofness' in every day life, especially once you see me now! I was the eldest daughter of immigrated Pakistani parents which made me the 2nd generation of Pakistani kids residing in Europe. I was brought up in a very loving household and with my dad's expenditure on having the absolute best, I was always surrounded by beautiful things. Our culture itself, comes with beautiful and colorful clothing/lifestyle and by the way, have I ever mentioned that my mom (still is of course) was a beauty?! My point is that there wasn't a lack of beauty from where I came, but there certainly was a 'simplicity' and 'naivety' for having a careless outlook on being a child growing into a young adult, where the emphasis was on instilling moral values into your kids rather than presenting them as brainless fashion models.
At the time puberty reached, I had braces, pimples, glasses and tied my hair in a pony tail. Oh yes, I did. I was content in how I was, at least I thought I did, until High School made its brutal way into my peaceful life and showed me the cruelty of 'being different', which wasn't quite an acceptable experiment. However, back then... and now I frown upon it when I think back, I was confident to carry myself with dignity and poise and never let my culture, my look and identity down. I didn't care about negative comments some of my class mates would throw at me and I especially didn't care if the bully in the class was on a mission to hunt me down and make my life miserable. I kept on sitting in the front row seat in classes and always scored better grades than any of them. My oh so nerdy years, ha ha! Not to say that my self-confidence was pretty much shattered, but I managed to show the opposite.
As I recall, there was one scenario in where I was cycling back to school with two of my girlfriends on a narrow path which was the only path there to ride a bike on, in that particular area. As we were cycling and chit chatting about our day, my dutch friends spotted a group of popular students from afar and instantly slowed down their speed on the bike. I asked them why they were so afraid in passing them by in a normal speed and they said they didn't want to. Normally when people walk on the bike lanes, one has to ring his/her bell to warn the pedestrians of coming through. As a fierce and loyal traffic rules follower, I wasn't a bit afraid of the kids that blocked my way into riding my bike on the speed I was on. I then passed my girlfriends, rang my bell and made my way through the crowd. The kids were nasty and must have said a million bad things about me, but I clearly remember sitting on my bike, paddling away while passing through, knowing that I had the full right to do so and no one could bring me down. Oh yeah! My confidence in what was right, brought me into a lot of distress at school, to a point where my parents had to talk to the principal and warn him to keep an eye on the bad kids. This of course stirred more annoyance in the bullies and their attacks became quite severe.
Here's a scenario I will never forget; We were sitting in Art class when the master bully stomped into the class (she was a very problematic girl by the way who stayed at foster parents) looking for me as a target. I remember this as of yesterday. I was drawing something on paper when I was faced by this girl who started yelling at me in the middle of class. Our teacher was gone for the moment and she took her full opportunity in ridiculing me in front of class. She then made racist remarks about my parents, saying that they should fully learn the dutch language before even coming to school and defending their kid. As her remarks kept on growing stronger, my anger rose to a point where I couldn't stand hearing anything against my parents. I then stood up, yelled back at her and before I knew, we were facing each other, fighting and pulling each other's hair. I remember kicking her and how she sprung as a total surprise. My rage was instigated by all the hoped up frustration inside me, but really bursted out when she had the nerves to ridicule my parents. I warned her to stop, but she continued on making a scene.
That experience must have been the highlight of my teenage years. I wouldn't like to base the development of my confidence on that experience alone, but it had surely made me from being sensitive to a much stronger person. However, my self-confidence wasn't fully restored until I came to America at the age of 19. I felt more at home here than I ever had in Holland and people seemed to respect each other's differences. Life was much easier. I saw elderly sikhs riding their bike in their traditional clothing and often wondered how wonderful that was. My confidence rose as California opened its arms to us with its sunny outlook on life. I was happy.
And till this day...still am. Very confidently so. :)