Shopping Into Confidence

Jena - San Diego, California
Entered on April 30, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

I am a girl; and unsurprisingly, I like to shop. Perhaps it was a particular gene I was born with, or simply a trait acquired through time, but the idea of new clothing brings a smile to my face. Recently I purchased a new shirt. I thought it was bright, fun, and would be perfect for spring. When I tried it on in the dressing room, I immediately felt confident, and ready to take on the world. I knew instantly it was coming home with me.

Shortly after the purchase, I met with a good friend and anxiously asked his opinion on my new shirt. As the words escaped my smiling mouth, I could see his eyebrows raise and a sigh release from his breath. Let’s just say he was not as fond of the shirt as I was. He thought it was “over the top” and not as flattering as I had thought. Even though I had previously felt great, his opinion changed my entire state of mind. In an instant, my manner shifted from one of excitement and assurance, to cautious and insecure.

It was not until days later did I realize that what brought me to purchase and wear the shirt was not what others thought of it, but rather, how I felt while wearing it. I allowed my self confidence to weaken based solely off the idea that one person showed distaste towards it. I assumed that how he felt was how the rest of the world felt, and that the decision to purchase the shirt was a mistake. I dropped all previous emotions of happiness, and allowed my confidence to shrink.

This simple instance reminded me not to rely on others to determine my own state of mind. How I feel on the inside should not fluctuate based off the opinions of others. My state of mind is personal, and while other people in my life are important to me, the happiness and reassurance in my life should not be based of their opinions or feelings. I rely of myself to determine on my state of mind, this I believe.