I've been thinking about confidence lately. There's nothing like starting a new job to make a person feel insecure about, well, everything. I came home the other night after a looooong day in court in which everything out of my mouth sounded, to my ears, like Jessica Simpson debating herself about chicken and tuna.
Seriously, at one point I had to look at the judge and say, "Never mind." Because what I was starting to say was so stupid that it simply could not be salvaged in any way.
So I thought I'd seek a little comfort in my husband, who also happens to be the best attorney I know. I asked him, "Have you ever done something in court that was really stupid and you were embarassed?"
He said, "Oh, I'm sure I have."
Me: "So tell me about it.
Him: "Well . . . there was that one time that I lost that argument, but I was actually right. It was the judge that was stupid."
And that, my friends, was it. That was as close as he could come to an embarassing moment in court. He was shocked that this didn't make me feel better. His advice was "just be confident, and people will be more likely to think you are right."
I know he's right, but man, is that ever hard. I see people who seem to just stride through life, putting off vibes of "I am the bomb-diggity, so why don't you just do me a solid and acknowledge my superiority" and I have to wonder -- do those people really feel that way, or do they just act like it?
As a teenager, I always thought I'd magically get a big dose of self-confidence just be becoming a grown-up. What I found, though, is that being a grown-up feels remarkably like being a teenager, just with better skin and more bills. I still feel compelled to point out my mistakes, lest the world think I am too dumb to realize they are mistakes. I still care tremendously how I'm perceived. I still want to fit in and be liked, and still worry that I'm failing on both counts.
Maybe the wry self-deprecation isn't working for me. Maybe I should quit telling the world that I'm old and fat and the worst violin player ever. Maybe I should try harder to point out the things that make ME the bomb-diggity and not be so quick to point out my flaws. Maybe if I just pretend that I am one of those cool kids who never loses sleep over what the world thinks of me, I will actually BECOME one of those cool kids. Like, for real.
Or, at least, the world will THINK I'm one of those cool kids. Which is really the same thing.