Somewhere between childhood and adulthood, many of us lose our confidence. Ask a five year old if they can do something and you will hear a resounding “YES!” At five, we all draw well, sing beautifully and are smart enough to run the world.
A popular You Tube video, features a little girl named Jessica. Jessica looks at herself in the mirror, and talks about all the things she can do and all the things that are great in her life. She is bursting with pride and confidence. If you haven’t seen it, check it out here.
What happens to the Jessica’s of the world when they get older? For many of us, some of that confidence is lost. Self doubt creeps in. Insecurities take over. Rather than feeling strong and emboldened we feel shaky and unsure.
It isn’t our fault. Since childhood, we have heard voices that eventually become naysayers in our minds, sending out warnings from our unconscious whenever we feel too confident.
“Who do you think you are?”
“Don’t get all high and mighty.”
” Get down off your high horse.”
“Well aren’t you awfully big for your britches.”
“You can’t do that.”
“That’s not realistic.”
We have listened to society tell us we are not beautiful enough, not thin enough, not smart enough, not athletic enough, not talented enough. Madison Avenue marketers prey on our insecurities while offering products to fix what is wrong with us.
Every now and then, someone comes along who inspires us, who makes us believe that we can do anything and be anything and chart our own happy course.
CBS This Morning recently featured just one of those people. Sixteen year old Maya is a teen entrepreneur. She started her business at age eight, selling headbands made from old clothes. Her company now employs seven. She has been featured in three TED Talks, and written and produced animated films.
Maya learned to code and created her own website. She is creating short films about the environment. Recently she has published a book encouraging young girls to follow their passion and believe in themselves. The title is an anthem to confidence, You Got This!: Unleash Your Awesomeness, Find Your Path, and Change the World.
What would have happened to Maya if she had been told she was too young to start a company, or that thirteen year old girls do not give TED Talks, or that you can’t become a professional animator until you have spent years of hard work and paid your dues? The world would have lost a voice of positivity, hope and inspiration.
An even more interesting question is what could we do if we all had the confidence of Maya? What would happen if we changed the negative voices in our head? If we stopped worrying about what others think? What would happen if we believed we could succeed at whatever it is we dream of?
Maybe we could all unleash our awesomeness, find our path, and change the world.
What would you do if you had the confidence to do anything you dreamed of? I would love to hear your comments!