Here’s a bombshell for you: I am good enough. I’m good enough exactly as I am right now. I was good enough yesterday, and I’ll more than likely be good enough tomorrow. Say it out loud to yourself. Don’t really believe it? Too bad, because it’s true.
Too often people fall into the trap of “if only I were more ____” or “if only I had more ____”, then “_____”. If only I had more confidence, then I’d be in a relationship. If only I had more money, then I could do the things I want and be happy. Seems silly to write it, as I’m sure it seems silly to read it. But people say these things all the time. Go to any forum thread on why some guy is lamenting his lack of success with women. “Gotta get more confidence, bro!” Distill down 75% of the responses and that’s what you’ll get. The rest? Do something, change something, improve something. Full stop. No. Having attributes x, y, and z does not entitle you to a damn thing.
I realize it’s anecdotal, but how come it’s only ever the men we’re telling to “get more confidence”? Women ask the same things in forum threads, but no one ever tells them to “get more confidence”. The ether tells them to “stop thinking about it” or “just let it happen when it happens”. Sheesh, talk about a double standard. Look, some people (men + women) are attracted to confidence, some aren’t, and the majority probably don’t even really care (I know I don’t). There’s a whole bunch of people out there, and some are super confident, others, not as much. They’re all perfectly good people though. Each and every one is worthy of happiness, love and whatever else.
But let’s step aside for a second. If you think you have low self confidence, and deep down, you want to improve purely for the sake of improvement, and because you feel that doing so will make you feel better about yourself, do it. Honestly, that’s no different from deciding that you want to learn how to whitewater kayak, or learn how to paint. You do those things because you want to, and because doing them has some value to you. Kayaking is fun. You want to have fun. Painting is relaxing. You want to relax (and maybe paint nice scenery). Anyone can do any of those things. Men can be confident if they choose to be. Women can be confident if they choose to be. It’s for themselves.
The problem with the “if only I were more ___” mindset is that more ___ will never be enough. If you do get more ___ and then you’re still alone, unhappy, or whatever, what does that mean? Nothing. Not a damn thing. What’s the answer then? Even more ___? That’s the response most people will fall back on.
That’s why I started off by saying I am good enough exactly as I am. Could I be more confident? Absolutely. I’m a pretty shy, mildly assertive person. There’s plenty of room to grow there. But that’s hard work, and it can take a long, long time. God knows it has been for me. I fight for every single inch. Even if it’s a slow process though (you have no idea), I know the trend is upward. It might take most of my life. Who knows. Does that mean that in the meantime I’m doomed to be unloved, alone or whatever else? No. I am worthy of love, friendship and respect right now. Everyone is. Everyone always was.
So when you’re like me, and you don’t have much if any of that stuff presently, it sucks. Wouldn’t it be great if you could bargain for those things by getting more ___? Hell yeah! That’s a great deal, but it doesn’t work that way. I think it’s really hard to honestly admit to yourself that you are good enough. We’re so trained to think that hard work necessitates reward. Work hard, be a good Christian and you’ll get into heaven. (I’m going to resist the urge to say “fuck Christianity” here because I know that version is the worst interpretation of it, and fundamentally, I’ve got nothing against religions). We hear that kind of shit all the time. It’s so embedded in our brains, it’s hard to get away from it. Because of that, if we fail to get some reward, it’s automatically because we didn’t work hard enough. We weren’t ___ enough. Wrong. Things fail because things fail.
It’s hard to believe you’re good enough. I’d really like to feel less alone, or experience love, but those outcomes are mostly out of my hands. You know how it is. One day you choose to walk a different route, or visit a different store, or even just look left instead of right. All I can do is keep reminding myself that I am good enough for those things. Maybe someday I’ll have them, but the world keeps on turning in the meantime. Might as well maximize that time the best I can.