There is a quote of the first female British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher who said: “Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.”
I want to address my thoughts to any audience but I mostly would like to tell all the girls and women of all backgrounds, skin color, race, that there is nothing more powerful in the world than preparing to be confident.
Confidence is not about being strong, you can be weak but self assured.
It does not happen once you buy a new gorgeous dress nor when you have a degree, job or a partner. Confidence is being aware of your authenticity. It is believing in yourself when no one does. It is standing elegantly in your own truth. It is an ongoing journey every single day for the better version of yourself.
Growing up as a nerdy, isolated but never an A student kid, I rarely felt like people saw me. They looked at me, but I was never seen. Depending on which geographical location I was residing in, the reasons for being looked at were different. Even though I had the sense of not belonging to particular community, there has never been a moment of seeking approval from anyone. That is, due to my childhood: the words I heard, the events I was exposed to and the atmosphere which was dominating in my parents’ house. I owe the personality I developed to my upbringing, for my parents gave me the freedom to do what I want and taught me the benefits of preparation. Success, they reassured me, is neither luck nor a matter of a simple desire. Success is a result of preparation. Preparing for what you want in life. Success is not measured by the amount of money you made or whether you could accomplish things that are expected from you by a certain age. Success, according to them, is linked to the confidence. It is being happy in the moment, without the influence of how others view what being happy entails.
So there I was, my entire elementary, middle and high school, as well as undergraduate years, studying, learning and grasping knowledge about the world, whether in my room or on a foreign soil. I mastered the skill of being comfortable with every side of me. I instilled the belief to the core of my character that how I feel about myself is always influenced by one person: me. Nevertheless, my confidence is quite, calm and composed, it does not shout about itself, it never will. The more I traveled, the more I understood that this is something that many wish an Asian looking girl in her early twenties did not have.
Confidence, I am convinced, is real when it is down-to-Earth and combined with mesmerizing effortless grace.
To those reading, I want to say you don’t have to prove anyone anything but to yourself. Like Thatcher said, if you have to tell others, it means you aren’t what you are telling them you are. Once you find peace with your whole self and prepare for the moments you want to be a part of, there is nothing that will drag you down. To live well is to live ready.