Confidence Isn't Given; It's Taken

“Be confident!”

That’s what parents, grandparents, teachers, coaches, directors, etc., tell us when we’re young.

As if we have a choice in the matter.

Growing up, I usually felt that I did not.

As a parent, I know that exuding confidence is what I want to see in my kids.

Recollecting my own childhood, I remember feeling that “other people” were born to be confident, but I was not.

I was too unsure, too pale, too flat-chested, too big-thighed, too untalented, too un-athletic, too poor at math, too missing whatever to believe I could be confident.

Yes, I believed that confidence was a gift, given to others rather than me. That I had no choice to not be as confident as another person.

Now, truth be told, I did have my moments of confidence, also. In high school, I enjoyed acting and speech, and joined the Forensics team and competed well and won many awards.

I criticized myself a lot, but also knew that I could be a good dresser, did my hair well and despite my worries, was in general an attractive person.

Post-college, I wasn’t willing to settle for a job (for very long) that I felt didn’t suit my abilities, and moved on to well-paying jobs with good titles.

Yet, I still suffered from many pangs of under-confidence, which have been sprinkled throughout my life.

It wasn’t until I had children that I realized in many instances, faking confidence can actually make you feel that you ARE indeed confident.

The conclusion I came to was that the following are the single-most important tools for success in life:
1. Confidence (yep, I wrote that)
2. Strong sense of self, despite the odds (with a good dash of humility)
3. Perseverance. Let me repeat that. Perseverance.

These tools must be presented in this order. Because one must be confident in order to achieve the other two traits on the list.

And these qualities are the ones that matter more than intelligence or talent alone.

Because over the years, I’ve seen many naturally talented and intelligent people settle for less money, less in a partner, less of a career because…they didn’t have the confidence to believe they deserved more, and go for it.

They settled.

That was a wake-up call to me.

At age 51, I’m still trying to figure out what I want to be career-wise. I have ideas, and am pursuing some advice from experts to help determine my next paths.

In some ways, it’s more exciting now to be considering my options than when I was young because I finally know who I am now.

When I was 25, I always thought it sounded so dumb for some fifty-something to say what I just wrote, but whaddaya know…it’s true!

For many of us, it takes a lifetime of experiences to have enough information to be able to sort out what works for us and what does not.

And now, I actually DO have the confidence to believe in myself and pursue it authentically.

My hope is that I can present this realization shortcut to my kids in a way they will find believable and be able to cut to the chase faster than I was able to.

In the meantime, as a woman and mother of a daughter, I’m delighted with all of the songs in recent years exuding female confidence.

What I DID know when I was young still holds true today – if you want to boost yourself up, find a rocking song that blasts your spirit into that mode.

Demi Lovato’s “Confident” should do the trick…(just listen to that brass…my daughter is a trombonist!)

Nothing wrong with bein’ Confident…

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