The Perception of Confidence

Not long ago, I witnessed something thought provoking. It involved my aunt, her handbag and pepper spray. Now that I’ve introduced you to the characters of this story, let me move to the setting. My living room, me and my aunt at the dining table. Time, five minutes to midnight. My English teacher would be proud. This aunt in question was packing her bag for a date with some doughnuts and coffee (she’s an avid believer in self love). The first thing she threw into her bag, interestingly, was every not – so – gentleman’s saboteur – pepper spray. Over that she threw in an extraordinary amount of makeup, cash, a Tim Horton’s voucher for a free doughnut (free doughnuts are the best doughnuts) and her phone.

Being the ever inquisitive one I asked her why she carried around pepper spray. ‘It gives me confidence to walk the streets alone,’ she replied. Now, here I could talk about why women feel the need to have a defense mechanism to navigate the streets in the first place but I’m going to spare you and talk about the other thing that caught my attention.

If, God forbid, someone did proceed to assault her, she would never get out the pepper spray from underneath the multitude of items she threw on top of it in time. I pointed this out to her (I like bursting bubbles) but she didn’t seem to mind in the least (damn it). ‘I’ll figure it out’ she said and walked into the darkness with her head held high (that alliteration though).

Self confidence is the first step to great undertakings.

This made me think of how most of us often attach the value of confidence to a number of random things. Be it a lucky sock, drink, pepper spray or even a homo sapien. As long as that thing/person is with us, everything will go the way it is supposed to. Or at least, we believe it will.

It intrigues me how much we hold on to something that for another person may seem insignificant or ridiculous. We might know deep inside that our so called lucky ring might just be an ordinary ring, but we choose to ignore logic. We instead give into believing that the ring contains an element of the supernatural that provides the wearer with luck, thus boosting confidence.

However, when we ace a debate, exam or anything for that matter and attribute it to the sock we wore, we forget it was us all along, the sock merely an instrument to bring out the confidence that was always there in us.

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