On our drive home this evening, my daughter gave me a little lesson in why confidence matters. And it’s always a little funny when lessons come from our little ones, but they sometimes make the best teachers.
“Mommy, someone at school said I look like you.”
With that sentence, I could feel my gut tighten a little bit, and I started down the spiral of things that could be bad about that. Her hair is too fine. She laughs a little too loudly. Her belly is getting a little too big. The litany kinda went on and on. But instead, I asked,
“Oh? And how do you feel about that?”
And her simple answer shocked me.
“Happy! I feel special when someone says that.”
Here is my precious 5-year-old, happily telling me that it’s a compliment to her when someone says we look alike. She didn’t automatically launch into all of the negative connotations with looking similar to me. She just saw the good.
So why, pray tell, was it me that jumped to the negative?
I immediately thought of all of the ways I didn’t measure up to a lot of the moms at her school:
- My hair wasn’t blown out. In fact, it’s still in a ponytail that I put it in at work so my hair wouldn’t get in my face while I read through some files.
- My clothes weren’t designer. I had on a striped shirt from Old Nay and slacks from Kohl’s. To be fair, I had on Tory Burch wedges, but those had been a gift, and I think I would have felt incredibly anxious to make that purchase on my own.
- My body still carries pregnancy weight from 2 kids, boasting a net gain of 40 lbs. I can come up with 1,000 excuses why I don’t go to the gym and why my diet took a turn, but the fact remains that I’m still 40 lbs. heavier than I was when I first got pregnant with my daughter.
- I am in this weird, part-time limbo. I wasn’t fully committed to being a stay-at-home mom, and I hadn’t fully embraced full-time work. Instead, I consult on some projects, work on this site, work a Beautycounter business. Professionally, I’m a bit of a mish-mash.
But you know what? None of that mattered to my daughter. I’m still not certain what she sees, but when someone said that to her, it was an immediate compliment. It didn’t come laden with baggage. It didn’t come dripping with sarcasm or passive-aggressiveness. She was legitimately happy that someone thought enough of the two of us to say we looked alike.
This has to be why confidence matters.
Confidence matters because my daughter is watching me, looking to me for cues on how to deal with this world. Confidence matters because complacency isn’t in our vernacular; kicking ass is. Confidence matters because I look at my daughter, and all I see is a world of possibility, laying at her feet, and she can’t take charge of that if she’s timid.
This is the point of my post where I’d ordinarily say 6 surefire tips to boost your confidence! but truth be told, I’m still figuring it out. I’m working through some body positivity. I’m working on being a semi-expert in my field with 10 years’ experience. There are some days that I feel on top of the world, and others, well, suffice it to say that getting out of bed is probably the only real accomplishment and validation I can get.
But I feel like I can say this: My children are why confidence matters. For them to be confident, I need to be confident. For them to be successful, I need to be successful (whatever that looks like). For the to be compassionate, I need to be compassionate.
And for them to be wrapped in love, I need to be wrapped in love. Which is not a bad thing.
So tell me, friend, what is something that you feel absolutely, 100% confident about and something that you need a confidence cheerleader for?