Gaining confidence was a journey that led me to an unexpected revelation. It wasn’t the pages of books I poured over, the hours spent listening to podcasts, or even the grueling sessions at the gym that ignited this transformation within me.
Instead, an enchanting catalyst emerged in the form of my then six years old younger sister.
My sister’s pure admiration for herself helped me understand no one can really appreciate you like you, and that’s beautiful.
I was returning from a long day at work, for some reason I needed to see my mom before I went to bed. When I got to her room, she wasn’t there. In her place stood my little sister. There she was, gracefully twirling her hair, touching her dress and smiling at herself in front of the mirror. I just stood by the door watching her, found myself entranced by her self-admiration, and the authenticity with which she embraced herself.
Seeing her unadulterated self-love evoked something within me. Despite the years dedicated to poring over self-help literature, absorbing podcasts, and immersing myself in the cacophony of social media advice, the true essence of confidence had eluded me. It was in this very moment that a profound realization dawned upon me—it finally hit me.
The clamor of external influences, the barrage of advice from various sources, all paled in comparison to the simple yet profound notion of believing in oneself.
Confidence Isn’t Something We Inherited, It’s What We Learn
This whole thing with my sister got me thinking about this quote by Vince Lombardi, the legendary coach of the Green Bay Packers in the 1960s. He said, “Confidence is contagious.”
I can understand where he’s coming from. And while I’ve seen this in action and totally appreciate the inspirational model of confidence, I can’t help but think it’s not practical for everyone. Because it kind of suggests that our confidence is dependent on others. But in reality, it’s not. It’s something that comes from within ourselves.
Today, a lot of women fail to reach their full potential because of lack of confidence. How many times have you ignored doing something because you’re waiting to be confident?
For years we’ve retained a distorted idea of what confidence is. We believe confidence is a quality some people were born with—it could be people you consider more beautiful than you, someone who seems to have it all figured out, or even someone more successful than you.
That’s not true.
Confidence is not something anyone inherited from their parents, it’s something we learn and practice.
What is Confidence
What then is confidence? Simply put, confidence is believing in yourself. Confidence Isn’t what others determine about you. It is solely determined by you—it’s something you can consciously choose.
Confidence often walks a tightrope between being misunderstood as arrogance and truly embracing our authentic selves.
Some say it’s the ability to boldly proclaim, “This is who I am, and I couldn’t care less about others’ opinions.” Yet, deep down, we all care about what the people we cherish think of us—it’s human.
In fact, one of the most powerful things is that we want to feel a sense of belonging. We want to be part of a group, whether it’s a school, a culture, religion, a family, a friendship, a romantic relationship, a company, a dance class, etc. So much so that Abraham Maslow referred to this as the innate to belong.
This innate sense that is the desire to belong to one another is notoriously known as Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. (for those not in the know), understanding this is what helps us see human development and needs more clearly.
Here’s the no 1 life-changing concept to become a confident woman (that many women don’t get)
Confident people Are in Fact Vulnerable But Not Helpless
The gateway to genuine confidence is none other than vulnerability itself. It sounds counterintuitive, doesn’t it?
Confidence is hoping people accept you for who you are, but you’re okay with it if they don’t.
It’s about handling rejection and understanding that chasing approval isn’t worth giving up your self-respect.
Taking a leap of faith to do whatever you want to do, (no matter how unrealistic it seems) knowing you might fail or succeed.
See vulnerability as a canvas, not for manipulation, but for authenticity. It’s not about cleverly disguising your flaws in hopes that someone will find them endearing. Let’s be real here, especially for us women, it’s more tough to shake off the pressure to be effortlessly perfect than it is for men. But you know what? Imperfection is the tie that binds us all.
It’s in those moments when you can say, “Yeah, I messed up, but hey, who hasn’t?” Your confidence doesn’t crumble just because you made a mistake, or because your appearance isn’t sculpted like a magazine cover, or because your bank account doesn’t read like a fairy tale. Those piles of insecurities? They’re not the bars on the cage of your self-assuredness.
Why not embrace vulnerability, not as a manipulative ploy. Instead, think of it as a badge of authenticity.
Confidence isn’t about reaching a mythical state of flawlessness, it’s about embracing your beautifully imperfect self, insecurities and all.