"Dear Editor. I'm offended. Not always, but often." - Letter in the Daily Universe

Dear 100 Hour Board,

There's this awesome girl that I'm interested in, and she agreed to go on a date with me! She's flirted quite a bit with me, which is good but I'm also kinda surprised. Part of me isn't sure why she's interested in me. I know that's not the best attitude to have, but that's where I'm at.

What can I do to boost my confidence/self-esteem? In general, and also specifically leading up to the date.



Dear friend, 

Well, my binge-watching of all three seasons of Queer Eye in the last week has definitely paid off because I now am an expert on raising people's confidence (sarcasm, guys... c'mon. Buying things isn't the way to be more confident. But I did learn some valuable tips!)

The general rule for all of these tips is to make sure you're happy. When you are feeling good, you naturally are more confident. So, while not all of these points I'm about to make will be the kind of things that make you happy personally, if you can find what works for you, you will feel more confident. 

  • Take care of yourself physically. Shower every day, get your hair cut (change it up a bit, even!), shave your face, brush your teeth, make your bed, do your laundry, and anything else that's on your self-care agenda. When you have your life in order, you will feel happier. 
  • Exercise as regularly as possible. 
  • Smell nice. A bit of cologne/perfume goes a long way, especially in prepping for your date. 
  • Stand up straight.
  • Smile! The action itself can impact your mood. 
  • Listen to some confidence boosting music. If you want, I have a playlist specifically dedicated to this that I can send you, just shoot me an email. 
  • Wear clothes that you feel good in - things that fit properly and are your style. I budget in 1-2 new items a month and donate 1-2 items because I feel like having something new to wear makes me a bit more confident. That may not be the case for you, but I still offer it as advice. 
  • Do something special for yourself. Take a weekend to indulge in your hobbies, try new foods, etc. This can involve a date as well, but the point is to be open-minded and do things that can make you happy.  
  • Say nice things to OTHER people. Being able to recognize good attributes in others and say them out loud makes it easier to recognize those things in yourself. 
Personally, the advice that Quixotic Kid gives below is the most important thing you can do. Change the way you talk about yourself. If Queer Eye has taught me anything it's that no matter who you are, what you look like, where you're going, or whatever else, there are LOTS of things to love about you. You just have to be able to recognize them. Sometimes, it helps to ask other people as well. It's okay to tell your friends and family you're trying to be more confident, and ask them what kinds of things they love about you. Add those comments to your arsenal of things you can say about yourself.  
Another exercise I've been doing this week (and you can laugh at me all you want, but it's totally working) is waking up and imagining what kinds of things the Fab Five would say to me if they met me. I've created my own mental hype squad. So I wake up in the morning and think "JVN would be so proud my eyebrows" or "Wow, those jeans look great on you!" or I can think of Karamo telling me that I'm just a really forgiving and kind person. Antoni would be really impressed with my cooking skills for a college student. Things like that. (I can't say that Bobby would be super impressed, but that's because I live in college student housing and don't have control over the dump that is my kitchen.)
Being able to talk positively about yourself is the best, perhaps the only way, to feel more confident. The other stuff may help you get there, but ultimately it's about your own thinking. 

Spirituality-wise, remember that God loves you and is proud of you all the time. And at the end of the day, he's the one whose opinion matters the most. Just make sure you're doing your best to make him happy, and you can be confident you are your best self. 

Have fun on your date!




Dear Human,

One thing that has definitely helped for me is making a conscious choice to pay attention to and change the negative things I think and say about myself. 

For example: Instead of "I'm a failure," you could say, "I'm working on it!"

One of my biggest issue with confidence is my body image issues. I'm overweight, and it's always been difficult for me to believe anything other than that I'm disgusting because of it. But about a year ago, I switched my thinking. Instead of thinking or saying, "I'm so fat" or "I'm gross", I think or say to myself "OOO, SHE THICC!" It makes me laugh and it helps me remember that everything's fine and that people who love me love all of me and not in spite of my weight.

I know this got a little real, but you know. Mental health stuff gets real.

You can do this, friend!

-Quixotic Kid