Confidence

A bunch of us shuffled into a 1920's themed bar that faced the Pacific Ocean. Ornamental crown molding and dark brown wainscoting framed the gold leaf walls. Red velvet booths and seats lined the bar and the long sidewall, all filled with patrons that ranged from casual to dressed to the nines. A live band was playing next to the entrance.

We headed all the way to the back of the bar where there was still room for us to stand and sit. Shots were ordered. I had a beer and avoided the shots, and enjoyed our conversation about nothing. Well, we were talking about what to do for New Year's Eve. So we were spending our free time talking about what to do with the coming of more free time. I'm not belittling my friends, but I was a bit bored. Then a dude strolled out of the men's room, dressed in a bright red suit. His head was up, posture straight, and he strode like bullets shot from a Tommy Gun would miss him.

"He's wearing that suit with confidence," my friend said. "Very sexy."

"Who?" her friend asked.

She pointed. "Him."

"Maybe he feels confident wearing that suit," he said. This peaked my attention. "Otherwise, why would he wear that?"

"Why wouldn't he?"

"I choose clothes that I feel confident in."

I leaned in and said, "But that's not confidence."

His brow furrowed. "Why?"

"Confidence comes from the inside, not from what you wear."

He scoffed and went silent. Sometimes I can be an imposing personality, but at this moment I wasn't.

Confidence seems like a very misunderstood concept. Clothes can say things about your wealth, whether you're conservative or loud, what you do for work, but, more importantly, they can make you look good. And if you feel good because you look good, then people may read that as confidence. The issue comes when you're not wearing those clothes. Will you still be confident?

Have you seen me nekked?

Cars can have a similar function. Why buy a very expensive European automobile when a cheaper and often more reliable Asian version is available? Because if I drive an Italian supercar, I'm assuming it says something about me. Like maybe I have a small penis and I need to compensate for that. That's what I think when I see a dude driving a Ferrari, but that could be my jealousy speaking...nah...OK...jealousy. But still...

If someone did derive confidence from driving an extremely expensive sports car, what happens when he's not in it?

"Ladies. How you doin'? You wanna ride in my red Ferrari?"

Women would see right through that.

Real confidence comes from within no matter what you have. That's not something that can be taken away like clothes or a car. Using those things to gain confidence is like using a crutch to walk around when nothing is wrong. You'll limp your way through life with a false sense of confidence and you won't know it.

In saying that no one is 100% confident all the time.

I have no filter when I talk to people. Even at work. Actually, I do have a filter. It just has really big holes. And I do read the group that I'm in. A lot of times I don't care because I wanna say what I wanna say. I've lost friends because of that, and that's fine. I'm also aware that I hadn't said anything outlandish like, "Dayem yous gots a nice bum. Can I slap it?" I don't need to be punched more than once.

A lot of people perceive me as confident because I have little shame. But if they've lived with me as much as I have, they'd know that there are many moments where I want to crawl into a dark hole because of insecurity.

There's nothing wrong with being insecure at times. Unless it stops you from pursuing your dreams, for example. I'd recommend just letting the feeling pass, and then go on with your life because the natural state of human beings is confidence.

When kids express themselves, even when that expression seems impolite, we need to encourage that because they're being their true selves. And I'm not talking about bullying. Those are kids being assholes. I'm talking about allowing kids to say what they mean without taking their power away.

My little niece was told to give me a hug when I had visited, but she didn't want to. More prodding only made her scowl. So I said, "It's OK. Don't force her to do something she doesn't want to like hug me, essentially a stranger." Because when she's older and goes on her first date, she may question her instincts to defend herself if a boy forces himself on her. Parents should guide their children on things like schoolwork, cleaning of rooms, eating healthy foods. Keyword being guide.

But when we force them to hug a stranger, we're taking their power away and instilling a level of insecurity because at this point kids will begin to question their intuition. That's why the saying "Do you" has so much truth. Within our true honest selves we find real confidence. And no one can take that away but us.