"It all started with a lazy Wednesday afternoon. Not looking forward to my evening politics class, I was surfing aimlessly on the internet, looking for a fast way to kill time without having to resort to small talk with fellow classmates. And coincidentally, I stumbled upon Suzanne Fetting’s promotional page for a seminar targeting women’s confidence. Intrigued, I made a self-daring step and registered for the course.
I have always doubted my capability in being confident. Perhaps it was all the stereotypical messages from the media that made me believe how a real “successful” person should look like, and how my temperament was not designed for that level of excellence. Or maybe it was the overflowing negative experiences from childhood that had sculpted me to dislike myself and fear criticism to the point of becoming a people pleaser. I used to live in insecurity everyday, constantly calculating the “errors” and “misrepresentations” of my physical image, while trying to change myself to talk and act the “correct” way via observing others. But as what most know—and even subconsciously, I figured—that such attempts are not the ultimate solution to improve one’s character. Deep down, I was still the same person, except for the extra layers of facades with which I need to keep up. It was very exhausting and frustrating; even though I realized what a socially confident individual appears like, I had no idea how to become one.
Suzanne’s workshop immediately clarified tons of my burning questions. I began to understand the fundamental basis for confidence and the fact that practicing as a skill is the way to better myself. Learning to be confident is not a quick fix by imitating others or “faking it”, but a personal discovery to self-worth and positive outlook on life. After taking on one-on-one coaching lessons with Suzanne, I was bombarded with numerous unfamiliar yet valuable, life-altering concepts. Wanting to change can be scary at first, especially when I was given multiple challenges every week. However, I lived up to my expectations and did not disappoint.
Suzanne made sure I understood each important component of the lessons and continuously expressed faith in my abilities. I now know that being shy does not equal standing in a socially inferior position; a person can overcome anything with a fearless attitude that does not falter at the face of rejections. In fact, I think having “quiet confidence” is just as attractive as the being the talkative extrovert next door! Instead of struggling to blend in, I strive to be different; because I know I can and I like it.
Thinking back to my less-glorious days, insecurities and constant need for approval dominated my social life in a sabotaging manner. Throughout the metamorphosis stages, I can see so many apparent improvements from within. For instance, I never even had the courage to eat lunch alone in the past; but now I have no problem attending all kinds of events solo! Instead of hiding in a corner, fiddling with the phone, or pretending to read as a way to avoid awkward social interaction, I am able to stride out confidently and initiate a conversation with strangers.
Also, I am beginning to shed off the “doormat” and “yes girl” label through a nice touch of assertiveness along with an all-time respectful demeanor. This has not been an overnight accomplishment; and even with these positive changes, I still have the ultimate responsibility to continue the learning process. In essence, I acknowledge the fact that although seemingly trivial, confidence encompasses many significant aspects of everyday life. In order to improve what is on the outside, we should first discover and then learn to flourish our personal “core”. I shall never forget how ecstatic I felt when a friend, who has been a close part of my life both before and after the one-on-one coaching, chimed in: “Geez, Amanda, I can tell you’ve become exceptionally confident! You used to be so shy and timid… now look at you! You are Miss Popular!”
I feel liberated… Thanks Suzanne! You rock!!"
- Amanda J.