This post is a bit different. Still about style but the innate style that comes with confidence. And how to retain that confidence when it takes a beating.
Some people say the most beautiful thing a woman can wear is her smile. I’ll disagree and say it’s confidence. When I look at the women I admire, whose style I love, the common theme is confidence. They are different ages and sizes. They have wildly different aesthetics. But they are tied by comfort in their own skin and a kindness to themselves and others.
Confidence is a strange and shifting thing. I often think mine feels solid. Until something challenges it and the fragility is revealed. Suddenly what I thought had strong foundations is a straw house.
I actually had a different post planned for today. Something silly and flippant. I started drafting on the couch, snuggled into hubby, phone in hand and one eye on Survivor. I read what I had wrote to my husband, trying to gauge if my perspective was realistic. Apparently it wasn’t. Apparently I had been embarrassing. And all the confidence suddenly ebbed away.
I put the phone down. All desire to write had been drained away and replaced with doubt. Boring, limiting, useless, uninspiring doubt. I’m quite sure it wasn’t my husband’s intention. But this small thing had a big impact.
Why does it take the littlest things to bring us down and so much to build us up? How can strong positivity be so easily destroyed with careless, even unintentional, words?
Confidence seems to rely on a kind of bank. You store it up, deposit the things that lift you up. And then when the negative inevitable comes, you withdraw against what you have in reserve.
It takes vigilance and self-care to keep the confidence account topped up. Achievements need to be recognised. Compliments need be taken to heart and freely given. Kindness needs to be exercised in all directions and particularly towards self.
And of course, stealing someone else’s confidence by undermining them depletes your own reserves. Building others up, on the other hand, is a good investment strategy. I wish all women knew this, recognised it and live by it. Actually, I wish everyone knew this.
There have been some ugly comments on social media recently. Directed towards women I consider friends and role models. I really hope their confidence banks overflowed in resistance to the unnecessary hate.
Being careful with our words is important. Being mindful of our impact on people is important. Not being an a#@%hole (which seems fairly easy to avoid) is important. Building each other up is important. Building ourselves up is important.
I don’t think my husband realised he’d chipped at my confidence that evening. He just gave an opinion when asked and, in that way that seems particularly male, didn’t consider my vulnerability in his answer.
But we are all vulnerable. Even the seemingly impenetrable. Let’s keep each others back and confidence funds overflowing.