Confidence. This word can be daunting for some, inspiring for others, and/or an accurate depiction of how you carry yourself.
I guess now is the time for a confession. Confidence is something I have always struggled with in different areas of life. Academically, I always felt confident until I reached medical school. You realize everyone around you is brilliant. However, I always reminded myself that I was chosen for this profession for a reason. I am intelligent, kind, compassionate, respectful, and caring—a few key traits to becoming a successful and confident future physician.
Appearance and self-esteem: another area where confidence can be lacking, and for me, that’s how I feel most days. So what did I do about it? I challenged myself. I did something that scared me, something unthinkable. I modeled for a photo shoot. That’s right; I did it—JUST BECAUSE. It was the most uncomfortable experience, and I was terrified of seeing the photos afterward. My photographer (South of Indigo Photography) was incredible—super friendly and easy to work with. I told her I didn’t want to see a single photo until she was done with them. When I opened up the portfolio, I was disappointed. I hated every photo as I began to pick them apart due to the flaws I saw in myself. After all, you are your own worst critic.
What came next? I STOPPED. I put away the photos and focused on everything I had to offer as a person. Later that day, I re-visited the portfolio. I fell in love with the pictures. She captured the very essence of me in these photographs. What I learned is that no one is perfect, but we have a lot to offer as people. And that is something to be confident about—whether it be in your professional or personal life.
I believe Lupita Nyong’o said it best, “You can’t rely on how you look to sustain you. What is fundamentally beautiful is compassion for yourself and for those around you. That kind of beauty enflames the heart and enchants the soul.”
I challenge you to step outside of your comfort zone. I challenge you to be confident in yourself.