Recently, I did a photoshoot at a local laundromat and Target. What?! Photoshoots dressed like THIS paired with poses like THAT? Out in public places where there are usually tons of people around??
Photography by Sweet Bun Photo.
If I did this kind of photoshoot a few years back, I probably would’ve kept saying things like: “Umm, what should I do?” Or “I don’t know what pose to do…” Or “Lol this is embarrassing.” All while awkwardly making eye contact with random strangers glancing over at me.
But during this photoshoot, I honestly didn’t care if people were looking at me or not. I struck my poses and held onto them. What was the difference between then and now?
I gained confidence throughout the years.
For some people, being confident is innate and pretty much second nature. For others, it’s something that has to be developed and worked on over time — and it might even take a lot more effort, too.
I fall under this second category.
Growing up, I struggled with my sense of confidence — whether it was in the way that I carried myself or even in the way that I would say things. I never really knew how to be or actually feel confident.
But like the young ones say, the glow up is real, fam. For me, my confidence grew slowly over time, but it wasn’t until I entered college when I really started to “glow up” and when my sense of confidence started to skyrocket.
College was the time when I began to really develop my own sense of style. I started to work a lot more and thus was able to afford more clothes of my own that I liked. When I was younger, I would always hesitate in asking my parents to use their hard-earned money for my own wants and needs. So when I was able to purchase cute clothes on my own, I was better able to express myself and my personality a lot more freely — which helped to boost my overall sense of self-confidence!
Additionally, as I continued to experience college, I started going out of my comfort zone more and trying things I normally wouldn’t do. They say there’s no growth in the comfort zone, am I right?? I began dancing and modeling for shows and events put together by student organizations on campus. I took on a lot of leadership roles (in various jobs and student group positions) where I continued to grow more comfortable in meeting new people, networking, and even public speaking. Trying new things that were out of my comfort zone allowed me to gain experiences and learn how to be more confident with myself in different ways I didn’t know I could grow confident in.
It was also during college when I started hanging out a lot more with people who radiate confidence. One example is my best friend and co-writer of this blog: Sophia! As you can tell, she is naturally a model — and she’s been fiercely strutting the runway and confidently striking poses since she was eighteen. (Notice how I started growing more confident while in college, and she began doing so in high school!) I remember asking her for advice on how to work the runway for a fashion show during my sophomore year in college. She told me, “Just tell yourself that you’re Beyonce. You are ‘Yonce.” This has stuck with me for the longest time and still does to this day. If I make myself feel confident, I am more inclined to actually feel confident. Fake it till you make it, yeah?? Surrounding myself with and getting tips from people like Sophia who already radiate self-confidence definitely allowed me to think that, “Hey, if they can be confident, I can too.”
I’m a constant work in progress, and so is my self-confidence. It’s definitely something that can always be worked on and improved upon. When I’m taking pictures in public places, I still sometimes feel a little awkward or embarrassed. But the more practice I get, the more comfortable I feel — and the more confident I grow. Whether it starts in high school or college, everyone gains confidence at different times in their life. It can take time to build — and I’m still working on building mine!
So, the title of this blog post. Did you read it like this? “What Is Confidence?” Or, did you read it like ‘Yonce? “What Is Confidence.” 😉
What is something that makes you feel confident? Let me know in the comments below!
***Special thank you to Mouy of Sweet Bun Photo for these bomb pictures. Make sure to check out her work!