I’m asked about confidence a lot. Why am I so confident? Is it innate, can one learn how to become more confident? What can I do to gain confidence? When I reflect on my own experiences, contemplating why I feel I am enough, several factors come to mind: I played sports since the seventh grade, I am number three of four sisters and I am extremely competitive.
Being competitive, sports allowed me the space to hone that particular trait and having three sisters allowed me to enjoy and appreciate alone time. There were external factors that helped me with confidence: my teammates selected me as their captain, and I had supportive friends and family, but what happens when you don’t receive validation from others, and you must rely on yourself?
There is no easy answer to this; however, confidence starts from within. How you feel about yourself sets the tone for how others view you, and if you don’t feel good about you, now is the time to get quiet and identify why it is you feel negatively about yourself. Understanding the root of the problem, and believe me, it is a problem, will help. Some of us require help with this, and this is where a good Life Coach comes in, however, whatever method you use to uncover what’s holding you back, please do so.
I wrote this article for a magazine several years ago, and it’s still relevant today. The idea was to report on Who/What/Where/How and Why I was out and about. The column was titled: Fashionably Late. Please read on: Me, Myself, I am Enough
I thoroughly enjoy my own company. Whether it’s going to the movies, dining, shopping, attending parties/openings, exercising…all of it, I can do alone and with ease. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to turn down an invitation if I can and want to make it, but for most of the time, I’m okay going alone.
When I’m out solo, I’m always surprised by the questions posed by curious strangers:
“You came out by yourself?”
“Is it just you dining with us tonight?”
“May I buy you a drink?”
“I could never go to (fill in the blank) alone…”
“May I join you/will you join me?”
My answers to these questions are usually the same:
“Yes. And I practice karate.”
“No, not just me, but I will be dining alone.”
“Yes. Dirty Ciroc, up with a twist. Thank you.”
“I’m so sorry for you…why not?”
“Hmmm…depends.” (On my mood)
Many have inquired, “Why do you go solo? Don’t you have any friends?” and while I find this question rude, my typical response is, “I do have plenty of friends, and I enjoy a good night on the town with myself every now again. Thanks for asking…”
Sometimes this turns into a debate about going out single in the city, and I get it, it can be dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing…fodder for another post.
The goal when out and about is usually to get a bit of “me time” and hopefully get inspired to write something profound—like I’m doing now, or maybe I’m working on one of my novels and I’m blocked. Somehow, being out and about with the general public rejuvenates me and gets the creative juices flowing.
The thing is that we’re not alone. There are other people out and about watching the same movie, dining, shopping, exercising, and imbibing coffee and other vices at the party/gallery/museum/coffee shop. I’ve met some interesting and not so interesting people during my solo adventures. AND I’ve found that others are less intimidated to strike up a conversation when alone, but almost always, there’s a great story to tell at the end of the outing.
Take for instance my dining experience at Zed 451 (WHERE). I’d only heard about it and the hype drew me in. It’s billed as a “dining experience” and the website doesn’t offer much else, increasing the intrigue. A kind host, noting that I was alone, sat me at the chef’s table. WHAT I wore: pastel chiffon dress—flowy and girly paired with hot gold gladiator sandals—yet another much-hyped item that enticed me. WHO I saw: lots of people. Some ate at the chef’s table, while others I met in the “common section” which is much like a buffet of sides. The “meat waiters” were great, as they presented me with their carnivorous forté: lamb, venison, chicken, pork, several varieties of seafood, steak, and they battled for my approval. HOW late was I? Not one second. Another plus for going out solo…you’re never late! WHY I would go back: the scenery is great, the food is wonderful, the people watching at the bar or on the rooftop is grand, and did I mention the food?
It’s always nice to treat yourself to an indulgence now and again and experiencing it all as a party of one can really be a bonus. Try it…you might like it, and perhaps we’ll meet. You can buy me a drink, or better. There’s nothing sexier than a man who offers to buy me dinner just because and on a whim. Not only is it a random act of kindness and completely unnecessary, but it makes a great story and it’s just so manly—which brings me to my next topic: When did men become women? But that’s for next time.