UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | April 17, 2024

Angel Wood Know how to stand firm with confidence

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Question: How can I be more confident?

Dear reader,

Am I good enough? Do I have what it takes? Am I doing what’s right? 

These are all questions that many of us have found ourselves asking at one point in our lives. And because we tend to be our worst critics, our answers are often self-critical as we put ourselves down for not meeting our own expectations.

I have struggled with confidence for a large majority of my life. Some of my lack of confidence stemmed from being adopted into an all-white family as a Hispanic. Although I love my family with everything in me, being the only Hispanic in my family has not always been easy as I felt like I was always looked at and treated differently. 

Aside from the color of my skin, I was taught about the world’s definition of beauty at a young age as most girls are. In my eyes, I did not conform to those beauty standards, and I put myself down every day for it. 

So with a different ethnicity and with features I didn’t think were beautiful, my confidence was stripped away. It wasn’t until I entered college that I started to get some of that confidence back. 

Last semester, I competed in the Miss Utah Tech University, a scholarship competition for women. I participated for two reasons: to set an example for my future daughters and to gain the confidence I so desperately needed. 

Although I did not take home the title or the crown, I took home something far more valuable: confidence. How I did this was by creating a community service initiative titled “The Confidence Crisis,” which was aimed at improving the confidence of young women. Through this initiative and by putting myself on a stage that required me to lead by example, I found strength that improved my self-esteem in many ways. 

Am I saying you need to compete in a pageant to be confident? No, although I encourage you to do so if you ever get the opportunity. I am saying you need to put yourself in uncomfortable situations that will push you to be better and more confident. Whether that is a pageant, a position at work or dropping a person who always puts you down, take that step toward being a better you. 

Aside from putting yourself out there, I’ve found that the thief of confidence is comparison, which can lead to negative feelings like jealousy, sadness and self-doubt. From personal experience, those negative feelings combined are one of the worst feelings in the world. 

The only person you should ever compare yourself to is the person you were yesterday. Even then, if you desire to change, don’t dwell on who you were in the past. Rather than envying someone else for something they have that you don’t, look at everything you do have and everything you have to gain. 

No one is perfect, and no matter how they portray themselves in real life or on social media, there is always a part of their life that you are not seeing. Oftentimes, that side is not something you want, hence the reason why you don’t ever see it. 

It’s so easy to put yourself down for not being “good enough.” 

I got a terrible grade on that exam. I’m the worst. I’m never going to graduate. I’m going to fail every exam. 

I didn’t get the position. The person who did is better than me. I am not successful enough. My resume wasn’t good enough.

That person is so pretty. Why do I not look like them? Their life looks so perfect. I wish I was them. 

At the end of the day, thoughts like these may come to you, and you may be tempted to put yourself down and give in to these thoughts that are not true. But giving in to these thoughts will only hurt your confidence

Think about the younger you. The younger you that was so innocent and confident. Think about your future kids. Would you put them or your younger self down the way you put yourself down today? Would you want them to go through the pain and discomfort that comes from this?

Hard times will come. Your road to confidence will not be straight, easy or smooth. But if you can remember who you are, what you stand for and where you want to go, your confidence will soon be unwavering as you build a foundation that will allow you to stand firm with confidence. 

With that being said, Alexa… play “Confident” by Demi Lovato.

Sincerely, 

Angel Wood If you are seeking advice on something, it can be anything, message me on Instagram at @angel.utahtech.