Confidence. Confidence is a word that’s never really been a part of my vocabulary in real life. In my head, I have all the confidence in the world. In my head, I’ve always thought that I was the coolest, funniest person in the world. Actual thoughts from my head: That Alana chick is the coolest. Her every day outfit consists of a t-shirt and cardigan combo, skinny jeans, and Chuck Taylors and she rocks it. She’s also not afraid to pair that with a new lipstick. She’s proud to be from the great state of Georgia and truly believes in southern hospitality, but will be the first to drop a curse word or two in everyday conversation – which, as we all know, is also a part of southern culture. She comes out of nowhere with her love for hockey, but being from Athens, GA has taught her to hate the color orange and she carries that with her in the hockey world. She’s incredibly loyal and always wants to be the biggest cheerleader for her people. She’s not afraid to embrace her inner kid by watching Toy Story on the weekend or running around Disneyland during her time off from work. Her music library consists of rock music from 1984 to 2006 and she quotes The Simpsons on a daily basis.
Now I know what you’re thinking “Damn, that girl really knows her self, accepts herself for who she is, and has a good dose of confidence”. WRONG. Yes, I think all of that stuff in my head. Hell, in my head, everything is rainbow and sunshine and the Pittsburgh Penguins win the Stanley Cup every season. However, the issue I have is bringing everything out of my head and putting it out in the real world. Now, I can’t control the success of my hockey team each year, but I do have a good bit of control over myself and the thoughts and feelings I put out in the real world. Whenever it is time for me to hold my head high and present myself to the real world, I always run away, scared shitless of what the world and other people will think of me. At that moment, it doesn’t matter who Alana is and what she thinks of herself, it all turns to other people and then it all just goes to Hell. Being concerned about what others think about me and comparing myself to others have always been my biggest roadblocks when it comes to having confidence in myself.
I’ve discovered that not only is it mentally unhealthy to have these issues with confidence, low self esteem, and being concerned with other people, but it’s also affected me being able to accomplish any kind of goals that I set for myself. In some ways, it’s even stopped me from having goals at all. When I have found the energy to even start thinking about goals, I immediately start making excuses for myself, those excuses usually falling into one of the three categories I mentioned before. The biggest excuse I make is “Yeah, but” or, as I like to call it, “Yeah, but” syndrome. (You can trademark that diagnosis to The Life of Alana, please and thank you.) Let me explain. I’ll be on social media or watching TV or whatever and I’ll start comparing myself to another woman – whether it be how they look, what their job is, etc. I’ll mention it to… let’s say Jimmy. I’ll say “Jimmy, she is so gorgeous” and Jimmy will reply with “You’re also gorgeous”. Instead of accepting his very nice compliment and letting it boost my mood, I’ll reply with “Yeah, but my butt is ten times bigger than her’s” or “Yeah, but she can afford to have her hair done all the time and I can’t”. I not only do that when it comes to appearance, but I also do it when it comes to potential ideas or goals for my career. The other week, my friend, Madie, was at my house and we were discussing blogs, social media, and influencing. At one point, I mentioned that I would love to center all of my social media and blog content around hockey. She mentioned that that would be a great idea. I, of course, started with the “yeah, but” and she spoke up and said that me being a cute girl from the south who loves hockey is interesting and sets me apart from the rest. But here I went again “Yeah, but there are other people out there who know more about the sport than I do”, “Yeah, but I don’t live in a town with a NHL team”, “Yeah, but there are cuter girls out there talking about sports”. In that moment I should have said “Yeah, you’re right!”, not “Yeah, but…”. But because I can’t bring my confidence into the real world, I use excuses to either shrug off a compliment or let go of an idea.
Now, why am I saying all of this to you? This is not a diary post – this is a blog post, dammit! Well, I’m talking about confidence because I’ve decided to make it my word of the year. Hush to all of you who just said “Oh no, not another resolutions/word of the year post”. This is not one of those posts – BTW, nothing wrong with those posts! But I did decide to adopt a word of the year because I realized just how important confidence is when making plans and setting goals for the upcoming year. I spent a good bit of my time during my winter break thinking about what I wanted to accomplish in 2019, both personally and professionally, but something just kept feeling off about those goals. I would write down a goal and that “yeah, but” syndrome would kick in and I would start coming up with excuses as to why I couldn’t accomplish that goal. It made me realize that I have to have confidence in myself, plus all the other tools that I already have, to accomplish my goals. If I don’t believe in myself, how am I going to become a successful blogger or run a half marathon by 2020 or get a hockey team to invite me to a game, so I can cover it for my blog? I mean, it’s like RuPaul says “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell can you achieve all of your goals in life?!” Oh wait, that doesn’t sound right… but it still has a good ring to it!
So, consider me a part of the “word of the year” bandwagon. I will be dragging confidence along with me everywhere I go and with everything I do. I know that if I can change that one piece of my thought process, then all those words I wrote in the beginning can be said out loud and be seen in real life, instead of being trapped in my head. If you have a word of the year or new year’s resolutions or are just really good at setting goals and working on them, remember to believe in yourself and love yourself! And I’m always here to be your cheerleader!
I wish you all a wonderful 2019 – and as always – Go Penguins! (And also, Go Stars because I really think they have a shot at the playoffs this year, as long as they can learn to win an away game!) -Alana