Be Your Own Boss

7 years ago Leighest 0

By Malka Kopolovich


By Malka Kopolovich

Let’s talk about confidence. Confidence is something we all know about…maybe some of us even have it. But, do we really know what confidence is? Do we know what having confidence entails? Anyone? Anyone?

First of all, confidence is not an aspect of your personality…it’s not like a shirt you can slip off or on. It should be engrained into your lifestyle—into you. Some people think that confidence is about being outgoing—standing on stage and giving a speech or performing, or having a loud voice is not confidence. It’s understandable that confidence isn’t about being social or brave, because if it were, we’d all be public speaking social butterflies, which we aren’t. So how can someone instill confidence without being “out there”?

What is it, and why is this gingerheaded seventeen year old so obessed with it?
Confidence is doing you, while prohibiting negative opinions from weighing you down. That doesn’t mean you put both fingers in your ear while singing, “Nananana!” but it does mean knowing yourself and knowing your worth enough to say, “I know I’m doing the right thing, and your negative input can’t affect my life.” If there are people in your life that try to tell you that practicing Judaism is “stupid” and “silly”, and you push forward, ignoring their comments, you portray CONFIDENCE. When you stand up for Judaism or Israel in class, you portray CONFIDENCE. When you allow the other person to have the last word, you portray CONFIDENCE.


Life is too short to fight for the last word in arguments. Your days don’t have enough hours to allow irrelevant people to tell you how to live your life.

I personally felt that people were trying to tell me how to live mine when I made the decision of going to seminary in Israel for a year after high school. When I tell people, I receive scoffs and the usual, “You’re wasting your time.” And at first, I actually shut the idea down because of what people were saying. After speaking to my guidance counselor about what a “waste of time” it was, she smiled because she had figured out the problem. “Malka, is that what you really think?” After she heard me sigh in frustration, she knew I was allowing other people to make my decision for me.

Ever since the fifth grade, I have been known in my school to be the one willing to do ANYTHING. Whether it was to climb on stage to perform, wear wacky accessories to school, or speak up in class about anything, I was always the one that would be the first to try something new. I never cared what people thought, ever. But when I became one out of two girls considering a year abroad in Israel, I suddenly became super conscious about my decision, even going as far as altering my decision every time someone told me it was a bad idea. When my guidance counselor realized what was happening she asked me a question that changed my entire perspective on the situation. “Is it your year after high school, or is it theirs?” She asked, knowing I would make a final decision because of my answer to her question.

If you allow people to live your life for you, who and what are you living for? When you allow other people to make important choices for you, you lack confidence. When I listened to the opinions of other people about Israel, I lacked the confidence of making my own choices. Are you the one driving in the driver’s seat if the person in the passenger seat is steering the wheel for you? Living your life confidently should be a lifestyle, just like breathing, eating, and sleeping. Living life is a job, and it’s up to us to go into the world and live our lives the right way. So, go forth my friends, with the confidence you need—and I know you have it!—to make your life your own.