Confidence is an accessory that works perfectly with any outfit. I wish that I had more of it when I was younger. But it seems confidence is one of those things you earn with age. I’ll take the duller skin, the slower metabolism and the weekend-long hang-overs in return for greater confidence.
Here are 9 things I have the confidence to do now, that I didn’t in my twenties.
Go without a bra
I have never been a well-endowed girl, so to be honest I really could have foregone the bra in my pre-child years. But it didn’t seem to be the done thing and I worried about what everyone else would think. Now, if there is any way I can get away with it, the bra stays off and I stay comfortable.
Go without makeup
During my twenties I seldom left the house without makeup. I am one of those genetically blessed people whose acne hung around long after adolescence. In my twenties I thought that I needed to put on makeup as a community service. Nowadays, I realise that the only person overly conscious of my skin is me. It still sucks that I never had that period of skin without blemishes and wrinkles, but my oiler than usual skin means that have no stretch marks. Part of confidence is choosing to focus on the positive, rather than the negative.
Go out by myself
I think motherhood makes you appreciate time alone in an entirely different way. I am perfectly happy to go to a movie, a show, a speaker, a bar, dinner, coffee (you name it basically) by myself. In fact, I quite enjoy it. Learning to like my own company is a definite benefit of growing older.
I can walk confidently in 6 inch stilettos. I’m just in a lot more pain after wearing them for a few hours straight. Back in the day, I teetered uncomfortably and looked ridiculous. But I felt I had to wear them.
Much like the bra scenario, my own comfort now comes much higher on my list of priorities. I’m 177 cm tall, so I don’t need to rely on heels for height. I have also found that there are plenty of very stylish flat shoes. Back in my twenties, I didn’t think it would be okay to wear flats to any kind of occasion. Now, I adopt what works for me.
Compliment a stranger
If someone is wearing something I love, I tell them. It doesn’t matter if I have never met them before. More often than not, their face lights up and I know I have made their day just a tiny bit better. Ten years ago, I would have thought it but been too terrified to voice it. Kindness is never a bad idea.
Owning my strengths
Like so many women, I’m uncomfortable talking about my talents. Ask me what I’m lousy at, and we can have a long conversation. But I’m gradually learning to own the things that I do well. To accept compliments graciously and to realise the particular and unique value I can bring. It’s something I am learning as I get older. As a twenty year old, I wasn’t even aware of how dismissive I was of myself.
Reading back through these, I realise that confidence is about finding ease within my own skin. Accepting who I am, rather than a socially conditioned version of who I think I should be. Caring more about how I impact others and much less about what other people think.