I have a list of women I wish I was.
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.
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!