Little Black Dress

Recently, I was interviewed for a network that we work with.  I had known about it for several weeks and was relatively ready for whatever they asked me. Most of the time it’s pretty standard. How did you get started? What is a favorite memory from one of your seasons? Like I said, pretty standard, for me anyways.

That being said, you always want to look your best and feel good whenever you’re going to be on camera. This took me a while to learn. Me, I would be super happy in sweats and a ratty old t-shirt, but with the coaching of my team I’ve learned to spruce up a bit more. I quite like it now. It’s fun to be all fancy and put together. So for this interview, I found the most adorable black cotton v-neck dress. Ah it’s so cute! It’s one of those little black dresses that can be dressed up or dressed down and it only cost me $30. Score! So basically this outfit will be my go-to from now on for any and all events. I’m actually wearing it right now…no, I’m kidding. It’s safely hanging in the closet or else it might get bits of my breakfast all over it and that would be a shame.

So this little black dress, I felt good in it. I felt ready. My nails were painted, my lips had some color on them (thanks, mom!) and I was ready for whatever question they threw at me. Again, I expected standard questions.

First question they asked?

“Where do you get your confidence from?”


Those crickets were closely followed by a "huh?"

If y’all have seen the show, then you know I ALWAYS sound so eloquent and well prepared, never stumbling over my words or making odd faces or noises. ALWAYS, right? If you haven’t seen the show, that was sarcasm cause about four times every episode I fumble, stumble, and trip over my words.

My answer was no different. I hadn’t expected that question. Where did my confidence come from????

Where did my confidence come from? I kept repeating the question over and over. Saying it with different inflections, hoping that in doing so the right answer would magically make it’s way to my lips.

I’ve found if you don’t have it right off the bat, just start talking and eventually you’ll get where you wanted to be. See seasons 1,2, and 3 for reference points.

So I just started saying words. I think it was something like “well, first of all, thanks for thinking I’m confident…”

WHAT????? What in the world was I saying?

Why was answering that question so hard? I could tell you my favorite moment from the past three seasons, I could tell you a person that impacted me, or a time when I was totally freaked out, but never did I think confidence would have been a topic of conversation.

I eventually made my way through it with a couple more “well, I don’t really think about it. And it’s about knowing you who are…”

Seriously guys, no idea what I was talking about it. No idea. In the end they said it sounded good, my mom gave me the thumbs up so I decided to leave well enough alone and move on in the round of questioning.

But, later, after I had time to think about the interview, I really did start to think about my confidence. I’ve never really thought about people looking at me as a confident person. I’ve never actually thought about the person others see on the TV screen. Cause when people see me on TV, they see a girl who is jumping off cliffs and riding rapids, and ministering to strangers. They see a girl who isn’t pretending to be anyone else. They see me.

I think that’s what caught me off guard, is that I’m just being me.  But in being myself, other people see this confident person.

For the longest time, I was the shy person who didn’t want to talk to waitress at a restaurant, let a lone pray for a complete stranger.  I was the person who didn’t get asked out and spent her Friday nights at home.  I was the person who looked in the mirror and didn’t always like what she saw.

To say I’m not that person anymore would be a lie, cause there are moments when I don’t want to do the things I do for my job or I have a huge zit on my forehead and dread the thought being filmed close up.  At the end of the day though, all that’s superficial and not my confidence isn’t made or broken because of a challenge or acne.

Where I think my confidence comes from is in being myself and being okay with who that person is. It comes from years of seeking the Lord and asking him to reveal to me who He created me to be. It comes from not looking to the world for gratification or to tell me that if I just wear this designer or lose six more pounds I’ll feel great about myself. It comes from finding clothes, like a little black dress that cost me $30, that make me feel pretty no matter if I receive a compliment from someone or not.  Even a pretty dress couldn’t save me from getting in my own head. I will say, I can now look back on the interview and laugh at myself.

I do wish I would have been able to explain myself a little bit better, but my answer is 100% Jeni. Being authentically you is where confidence starts and from there it just grows and grows. 

That’s where my confidence comes from.

Where does your confidence come from?