A few years ago, I hit my 40’s. I spent some time reflecting on my life. Was I where I wanted to be? Had I achieved what I had wanted to? In all honesty, I wasn’t sure.
I realised that lack of confidence had affected so many areas of my life. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t acutely unconfident – if you met me, you would probably say I was a confident person. But deep down, I knew that I had held myself back. I would often doubt myself, over-analyse, over-question, seek other people’s thoughts and opinions.
I realised it was my right (and every woman’s right), to love my body, to succeed in the workplace, to aim high, to have aspirations, to give my love to a man who valued and respected me and to be able to go over to talk to a stranger at a party without feeling hugely self-conscious.
It was my right to feel good about myself no matter what the circumstances were or what my body looked like!
My Own Confidence
My own confidence has been up and down throughout my life. Work confidence I found particularly difficult to pin down. A work colleague said to me once that he thought I came across as very confident at work which surprised me. Inside I was often wracked with self-doubt and thought others came across much more self-assured than I did.
My body confidence had been pretty high during my life though had wobbled during and after pregnancy. I found it hard to adjust to a different body shape. I was less taut than I used to be, plus ageing was now taking its toll a little. When I looked in the mirror, I didn’t like my body as much as I used to. I would over scrutinise parts of my body now, parts that were of course ageing naturally.
My social confidence often rocked (in a you rock kind of way) especially when I was with close friends and sometimes fuelled by a little alcohol.
However, I was painfully self-conscious in front of people I didn’t know. Going to work events where I knew few people was particularly scary for me, after all, would my wit and small-talk endure 2 hours with a stranger? I didn’t think it would and would try various devious ways of getting out of attending the event.
It Wasn’t Just Me
The subject of women’s confidence started to fascinate me and I began to write a book on it. I started by talking to friends and then friends of friends.
As my own confidence grew, I approached companies and organisations who were researching into this area or who were championing women to love themselves more. Most of the people I approached thought that the subject of women’s confidence was hugely important.
And I learnt that many women suffered from a lack of self-confidence in some area of their life and were also holding themselves back. Some were hugely confident at work but besieged with anxiety about how they looked. Others were confident about how they looked but refused to share their opinions at work.
What Would You Have Done With More Confidence?
It was interesting to ask the question what would you have done differently with more confidence. A few friends said nothing but most felt there were definitely situations and circumstances they would have tackled with more vigour and less self-doubt.
I kept hearing I would have put myself out there more. Confidence affects so many areas of our lives – relationships, careers, well-being, public speaking, friendships, health, love life, socially – meeting new people, the relationship we have with ourselves.
Launch Of Woman Ready
My book isn’t quite finished but I decided to start sharing content on my blog.
I realised that I had a choice. I could continue my life with self-doubt and hold myself back or I could live a large life. One where I stopped being scared of doing new things, where I pushed myself forward, where I stepped out of my comfort zone more, where I was less concerned about what people thought. A life where I liked myself as I was.
I hope you enjoy reading my blog. I’d love to hear from you about your own self-confidence and whether it has impacted your life. Please share your stories, any tips you have etc. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.