Inside I was so afraid of what they all thought. On the outside, I wasn't afraid of anything.

The Truth About the Confident Girl

This may be the most transparent post I’ve ever written, and I’m a little uncomfortable writing it. Yet I think there are many women who can identify with what I’m about to say.

I’m going to tell you the truth about the confident girl.

I am one of them. I am not shy. I’m an extrovert. I love people, I love to laugh, and I love parties. I like to look nice – I shower and put on makeup every day. I know what I think and stand on what I believe.

But inside, there are times I am anything but confident.

I’m not fishing for a pity party here, but I want to offer a little insight into women like myself. We are the ones people label “intimidating”, whether because of appearance or lifestyle or job – whatever. I’ve been told, “Before I met you, I thought you were – ” fill in the blank a thousand times. I am sure the same thing happens with introverts and loners. People will always make assumptions; that’s just how the world works.

But for years, confidence was my crutch. Just as introverts might hide behind a book or among familiar friends, I pulled myself up by my bootstraps, slapped on a smile and some lipstick and faced a world I wanted to cringe from. Inside I was so afraid of what they all thought. On the outside, I wasn’t afraid of anything.

I learned to adapt to my environment. While people around me wondered if I liked them, I was terrified that I made them feel that way. I bent over backwards to be who I thought they’d want me to be. I tried to make everyone feel welcome, make sure everyone had a good time. And if someone didn’t, I took it as a reflection on who I was as a person. I offended them with my personality. I should have been quieter. I look too high maintenance. I made them feel bad about themselves.

I was a chameleon, watering down or amplifying whatever part of myself would appeal to those around me. “You’re so confident!” I was told, while I was anything but.

Perhaps you know a confident girl, and she does intimidate you. You don’t want to approach her because she seems too {insert descriptor here} for you. I’m here to tell you: She needs you as much as you need her. You need each other. She may indeed be confident, but inside she is still a woman… just like you.

Though outwardly confident, I wrestled to release myself from fear in my relationships with other women. I wanted to be true to who I was, but I was terrified that who I was would push them away. But the realization came upon me like a tidal wave. I was tired: Tired of being someone I wasn’t. Tired of being afraid. Tired of being disingenuous and people-pleasing. That was the day I embraced who God made me as a woman.

And that was the day I embraced other women for who God made them to be.

Here’s the thing: I can’t be anyone other than Phylicia. To be genuinely Phylicia means being confident in my God-grounded personality. This isn’t about “self esteem” or glorifying my personality above others. It’s about accepting what I am and what I love and ceasing to apologize for it. I love lipstick, a clean house, and an efficient schedule. I like working out and cooking and organization. Because the things I love in life also happen to be deemed “social requirements” in this culture, I have often apologized for them out of fear I’d make others feel bad. But I’ve stopped doing that.

Whether you are an extrovert or an introvert or anything in between, there is no need to apologize for who you are and what you love if you are walking in the Spirit of God.

We are not responsible for others’ feelings about us. We are not responsible for their reactions to who we are. We are responsible to love God and love others. Even so, not everyone will like us.

The irony of this acceptance is that it frees us to embrace other women for who they are, without baggage, without comparison, and without fear.

The truth is this: the confident girl is just as human as you are. I think I speak for most, if not all, “intimidating” women when I say we want to form quality friendships. We want to embrace relationships with other women. We may be more Type-A than the next girl, but that’s not a statement about anyone but ourselves. The passions of the confident girl are not mutually exclusive with the passions of women different from her. There is so much we can learn from one another if we give these friendships a chance.

Maybe you know a confident girl… an “intimidating” girl. Maybe she seems like she has it all together. I promise you – she doesn’t. No one does.

We can stop living in fear of what others think of us. We can stop measuring others against the yardstick of our own preference and personality. And when we do, we will all be free.

We will all be living in God’s design.

We will all be confident girls.

“It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.” (Psalm 118:8)

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