I think when you embrace your quirks and really own them, you come into your own. I’ve recently spent time with some younger dolls who were always a bit socially awkward and not fully embracing the qualities that they had to bring to the table.
Lack of self-confidence is natural when you’re a baby and feel out of place. You think you have to adapt to some mold.
But as you get older, you can choose the life you want to lead, and as I’ve said before and will say again, “You’ve got you, you’ve got one life, and you best be living it for you.” Anyone a bit or much older (well, those who are not ignorant, because there are plenty of those tragic, stuck souls) will tell you that once you do, you’ll be happier.
I’m so happy to see some of my shy friends blossoming, having the confidence to be authentic to themselves. I always felt weird about being me—not looking perfect all of the time, not always saying the right thing, not being comfortable with my true self because it totally does not fit in with the society I grew up in—but that was me, that was and is who I am. My best friends, crazy-big family, and people I associate with on a daily basis through work and business think my individuality is rad, and that’s pretty cool.
It doesn’t matter that I wasn’t awesome at soccer, basketball, field hockey or lacrosse. I wasn’t the best violinist, best singer, best ballerina or the best leader in every power position I was appointed to from elementary school throughout college and beyond. I’m a terrible driver (of cars, not boats). I’m dreadful at winter sports, not amazing at horseback riding, and have yet to surf, bungee jump or skydive (too scared). I wasn’t the best actress or editor despite my successful careers in both.
None of this ish has mattered in the long run. It’s not important to be the best or greatest at something—it’s important to be happy and do things that make you happy and surround yourself with people that make you happy.
I wish I could say to my younger self: “Spend less time worrying about what others ‘may’ think about you (and probably don’t, because they are likely too wrapped up in their own lives) and more time being yourself and enjoying life.” It’s short; don’t waste precious thoughts on stuff that drains your soul and ultimately serves no purpose but demise.
New experiences with my fave people or those from different walks of life challenge and fulfill me, even the endeavors I’m afraid to undertake or have failed at in the past. I’ll go in with a positive attitude and will probably have fun as I fail. Be brave to be vulnerable and completely bad at a sport - just have fun doing it.
The main point that I’ve veered from (another bad habit of mine) is that PEOPLE LOVE YOU FOR YOU [not your stats/accomplishments]. And all people: not just your family or best friends, but so many marvelous beings, acquaintances, and those strangers you have yet to meet. This world is such a big place; please never feel confined by what you think you're supposed to be. Being you is the best gift you can give yourself—and the world.