On Confidence and Women I Wish I Was 

I have a list of women I wish I was.

Lena Dunham. Jenny Slate. Sali Hughes. Grace Dent. Emma Thompson (I won’t link to Emma Thompson, I’m guessing we all know who she is.) At the top of my list is Amy Poehler. She is my Queen.

What is it about these women ? When I wrote the list out for the first time ( it was always just in my mind until now , I don’t have an actual laminated list or anything ) it came to me straight away that what they all have is confidence and the unerring sense that they don’t give a flying fuck what anyone thinks of them . (I’m pretty sure they’re all card carrying feminists too, it goes without saying.) They are entirely content in their own skin; why aren’t I ? Where is my confidence and why do I give a fuck about the opinion of others.

Mid-way through writing this post I had a brief Twitter conversation with @HonestMummy after reading her blog ‘Be Who You Want to Be‘. I replied to her that confidence seemed to be the key to opening so many doors, but how can it be achieved?  She told me that you have to practise confidence (fake it till you make it, you know) and then I had a total lightbulb moment when she said ‘the brain is plastic, if you worry lots, it gets good at worrying.’ I had never really thought of it like that and it makes so much sense to me now. Confidence is something that doesn’t come naturally to me. My inner voice is a critic, always giving me reasons to give up or reasons I’m not really good enough or couldn’t or shouldn’t do something. But I am my inner voice, there isn’t actually someone else in there, and so it’s up to me to change my inner voice, to practise confidence and turn my critic into a cheer-leader.

I’m new to blogging , and I was reading other blogs and twitter accounts over the weekend, I could hear my inner critic mumbling ‘this is a lot of hard work, there are already so many good blogs out there, you should just give up now, what’s the point?’ But no, I will practise confidence and say instead ‘there is a great network out there of people like you , who might be interested in what you have to say and isn’t it great that you’re trying something new. Well done!’. And so I didn’t give up over the weekend, and here I am on Monday morning writing another post.

Yes please

Yes Please, Memoir by Amy Poehler

My Queen, Amy Poehler, wrote a book called Yes, Please. Read it. ( I actually bought an actual book , check out my post Books are my new jam to see the significance in that.) One of the key quotes from the book is the motto she says women should constantly repeat to themselves, ‘ Good for her! Not for me.’ And I think this is key in the not giving a flying fuck strategy. We are all living our own lives, doing our best to make it all work and what works for one will not work for another. We all only see a window into each other’s lives and cannot possibly understand the myriad of events and circumstances which inform people’s decisions and actions.

When I was setting up the blog I thought originally that I would make it anonymous, that way I could reveal more of myself without being embarrassed or self-conscious about anything. I changed my mind. I decided not to care. So what if a friend or colleague reads this blog and sees that I am a mother who is under pressure , that’s not really anything to be ashamed about is it? On Twitter, I used to always censor my opinions, worried that it might upset one of my followers. Not anymore, over the weekend I got involved in some conversations on topics that I might otherwise have held back on (namely abortion and gender identity). Small steps, as ever, but practise makes perfect and hopefully eventually my Women I Wish I Was list will no longer be required. I will be enough.

I’d love to hear any of your confidence tips or any women, or indeed men, who inspire you!

 

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31 comments

  1. Honoured for the shout out-so important to remember we all suffer from self-doubt but it’s important not to let it win. Tara Mohr has a super book out called Playing Big and I’ve written a lot (and appeared on Sky News) sharing my views on the imposter syndrome. I’m so glad you started your blog, you write like a dream and everything that is worth having/pursuing feels scary (that’s how we know we want it)!. The brain is plastic was passed down to me from other kick-ass women x

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    1. Thank you , so much, for that lovely compliment. I will add it to my inner voice.

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  2. I love Amy Poehler too 😍 and her memoir!
    Also dig spiritual speaker Gabby Bernstein – she talks about the ego being literally ‘a fearful thought’.xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Sustygirl. She is awesome. I dont know Gabby Bernstein, but that is so interesing re the ego, will check it out.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. moderatemum · · Reply

    Okay your list is my list and I realise it’s because all those women are so authentic and really celebrate who they are (and what they can do). #stayclassy

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes – they are themselves and aren’t afraid to be. Goals .

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I adore your list – Amy Poehler’s book is amazing! I love Caitlin Moran, too. I definitely subscribe to faking it until you make it and I had all of the same thoughts as you about starting a blog. I still have the odd wobble of course but I have a great support network of real life friends and family and a tribe of bloggers who are SO helpful and encouraging. Your writing is beautiful, I’m so glad you started blogging. #StayClassy

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    1. Thank you so much for that lovely comment. I have never really written before and am really enjoying a chance to be creative .

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  5. min1980 · · Reply

    I have just come across your blog for the first time and already I think I like you! We have pretty much the same list of women we admire. Fake it till you make it is great advice. I am generally relatively confident, but we all have our moments (and also, I find I am more confident in some areas of life than in others, but I guess that’s normal). Nice to meet you in the virtual world, and look forward to reading some more of your posts. #StayClassy

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    1. Thank you so much for that lovely comment – look forward to chatting with you !

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  6. Ah Beth I’m so glad to have connected with you! You know my mind! I am a big fan of Lena Dunham and Amy Poehler too! I had such confidence issues for a long time a few years back and its been a struggle to drag myself out of them. Not that I’m all singing all dancing now, I’m still shy but its no longer as painful. I was exactly the same when I started my blog, I didn’t tell anyone in my ‘real life’ (apart from husband of course) for months. But then I started to get some great feedback I just thought – you know what – fuck it. I like this blog, I like me writing this blog and if other people don’t, well they don’t need to read it do they?
    Great post once again, loving seeing you on the linky #stayclassy

    Ps. Do you watch Parks and Rec? Its hilarious!

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    1. Aw, thanks for such a lovely comment Sarah. I’m gaining so much confidence in doing the blog, and am really winning on my not giving a fuck strategy too. I do watch Parks and Rec, I was a bit late to the party and totally mainlined on the first three series a couple of summers back. Such feel good and comedy and there is nothing I dont like about Amy Poehler.

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  7. Over Heaven's Hill · · Reply

    I didn’t realise you were blogging a short while Beth. I went through all of the same questions and doubts myself a month ago when I decided to start this. I spent two weeks procrastinating and now I’ve thrown myself into it and it’s already changed me. I’m absolutely loving blogging and connecting with new and interesting and supportive people like you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. God it’s addictive isn’t it ! So great to share your thoughts with people who you would never get the chance to otherwise .

      Liked by 1 person

  8. This is so much a case of ‘everyone else seems to have it sorted’ when really I guess we are all paddling the high waves in a dinghy! I love the honesty of your writing and agree with the ‘I am going to be anonymous’start and then after a week we decided to really go for it and bare our souls as it seemed to actually produce far deeper, real writing and provoke more of a response. Thank you for this post 🙂 Lou at http://www.peppermintcove.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you – I guess everyone is putting on a show to a certain degree and we don’t know what’s really going on . And I agree , I think honesty produces best Writing

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  9. I am totally with you here – I have a bit of under-confidence too, but I think Vicky’s advice is right…let’s fake it til we are confident! I know what you mean about criticising yourself and in particular your comment about starting your blog really resonates. I had the same feelings and in the first few weeks was thinking, why am I bothering? Does anyone actually care what I’m writing? Everyone else is so much better at writing than I am… BUT I’ve had a few epiphanies since then, and realised that I love doing this so have to just close the door on those critic thoughts. Great post xx #fortheloveofBLOG

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    1. Honest mum is brilliant for confidence boosting tips, love her

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Your inner voice needs to be trained to say huge confidence things. I read a quote yesterday and popped on my Instagram that said ‘The only limit is you’ – it’s true and it really mad me stop and think. Why can other people have the say in blogging or being the best? You have every right too! A fab read and go grab that confidence – you rock! #fortheloveofBLOG

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  11. Hello!!

    A big high five to you!! Omg, this is me!! Totally me! ‘Good for her, not for me’!! – I am going to remind myself! Thank you so much for the inspiring post!

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    1. You are welcome ! Thanks for reading *high five*

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  12. aliduke79hotmailcom · · Reply

    I was (and still am a bit) unconfident in what I was doing, but just pushed my self to keep going and be brave and try and talk to other bloggers. I am a lot better now, but still have moments when I think “was that alright to post”. Don’t give up.
    #fortheloveofBLOG

    Liked by 1 person

  13. What a warm, open and thoughtful post. Really good points too. I do a lot of work with kids on something called the Growth Mindset (I’m planning to do a post on it soon!) and it’s basically all about ‘deep practice’ and effort and highlights the idea that our brains can grow and change due to the neuroplasticity. It’s exactly the same with Mindfulness – you practice recognising the inner-critic and responding accordingly…. and then your brain can start to break the habit of being so critical…. sorry I’m waffling but so much in this post caught my eye. Good luck with your blog and building your confidence. x #fortheloveofBLOG

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  14. Such brilliant advice from Vicky. She is on my list of women I admire for sure! Confidence is a funny thing because for me it varies from day to day and situation to situation. I think I fake it 90% of the time to be honest! I’m glad you didn’t give up, I think if you want to do something then you should say “fuck it” and get out there and make it happen. You’ve done the hardest part in starting the blog and its bloody good so keep at it! Thanks for sharing on #fortheloveofBLOG x

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  15. Im new to blogging too and often have those moments of “why am I doing this”. There are so many great writers out there. My posts tend to be here there and everywhere but I figure if just one person likes/relates to it then that’s good. If more do, then that’s just bloody brilliant 🙂 Go you and so pleased you’ve decided to carry on #fortheloveofBLOG

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    1. Thank you – more people have read it now than I could ever have imagined a couple of months ago !

      Liked by 1 person

  16. […] understanding of myself to know that those kinds of groups just weren’t my thing. (Remember: Good for her! Not for me. They are perfect for many people.) Or maybe I did know that they weren’t my thing, but not […]

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  17. […] one of the earliest posts on the blog, I wrote about Confidence and Women I Wish I Was. Top of my inspiring women list was Amy Poehler. Many readers agreed and like me had also read […]

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  18. […] of my earliest posts on the blog was about confidence, and how I was trying to practice being more confident and not letting my critical voice be the […]

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  19. I’m always wishing I could be more confident and not care as much about what other people think. I cared too much in school, it was only once I got to college and as I get older that I’m started to care less and be happy just doing my own thing, which is great. That’s a benefit of being in your 30s I think too, you start to realise things you worried about when younger just don’t matter! I always admire people who are really happy in their own skin being themselves. Faking confidence is a good tip.

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  20. […] of my first blog posts was a list of women I wished I was. The list included Amy Poehler, Grace Dent, Sali Hughes,  Lena Dunham. Women who seem […]

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