Confidence is tricky and difficult to maintain. I would love to tell you how confident I am but the truth is that being confident is a constant struggle. Some people would have you believe that confidence is easy to obtain, as if you should naturally feel confident every morning after you’ve brushed your teeth. I am finding out though that maintaining confidence is an everyday battle and the longer I strive for it the harder the challenges are.
What is confidence exactly? Well, that depends on you. For me, being a single and independent woman, confidence is facing my fears of new challenges in the work place, dealing with difficult people, and having the confidence to try new things. It also is having the confidence to know when a guy isn’t worth my time. Maybe for you, confidence is about raising children, graduating with an engineering degree, or starting up that business you have always wanted. Your view of confidence will naturally be different from mine.
Confidence is taking risks. As a confident person you know to take calculated risks. In other words, you think things through before you just dive in. Even well planned risks can fail though. Confidence is having assurance enough to start a new project knowing that it could fail right before your eyes. A confident person does not let failure slow them down, they pick themselves up and start again.
Having confidence is knowing when you are in an unhealthy relationship. I’m not talking about an abusive relationship necessarily. Many women find themselves in relationships that are going nowhere, yet they often lack the confidence to end the relationship and be alone. Having confidence gives you the knowledge that even if the relationship fails you know you can live alone. Many people fall into the trap of jumping from one unhealthy relationship to another simply because they are too afraid to be alone. Better to be alone than to be in a relationship where you feel alone.
Body image is so difficult to have confidence in. We constantly compare ourselves to others and that can drain you. It is funny how I often find myself comparing my clothing to how some of the women dress in the office. Why do I do this? Why can’t I have enough confidence in myself to dress the way that I enjoy? Why should I be concerned that I am the only woman who wears glasses in the office? I have to remind myself that I am who I am and it is not a crime to dress a little different from everybody else. It will help me stand out.
This leads to a tricky topic for many women, especially when discussing the work place…dressing confidently versus dressing inappropriately. Many women feel that the more body parts they show the more confident they are. What is really happening is a lack of confidence. A confident woman knows when it is appropriate to wear something and when it is not. She can dress for any occasion and she only dresses for herself. Many women who dress inappropriately for work often are trying to attract attention from men and are not dressing to be an equal. I’m not suggesting that we should wear “Little House on The Prairie” clothing, but what you wear helps to create the image you want to portray.
Many of the female role models I look up to have a certain confidence about them. Their confidence has helped them achieve their goals in business, politics, and in their home. We as women need to encourage ourselves and others to have confidence. Our society is not going to give us that. What I have come to realize is that I have to make it my goal to have confidence in myself everyday and that some days that goal will be easier than others.
Written By: Kristy Trowbridge