Everybody knows THAT woman – right?! The one who seems unfazed in the face of life’s challenges. Who is not afraid to speak up. Who looks so comfortable in her own skin.
And, let’s be honest, all members of the female species secretly hate her a little, because although we admire her, we feel intimidated and unworthy in comparison.
Yet, all women were created to be like THAT – strong, confident and unshakeable. Yes, you too! And if you feel like you are anything but THAT, maybe the following counsel could comfort you.
Firstly, “THAT woman” does not really exist!
Even the bravest, most self-assured lady is not without limits. Once you realise this, you will feel less unsettled by “her”.
Be assured that even your biggest idol has those moments of quietly crying in the shower or thunderingly freaking out at her husband and kids. She too has meltdowns which “justify” the consumption of an entire box of chocolates. She is human with ample weaknesses. The only difference is that she has learned the art of living without fear and comparison – albeit only some of the time.
Now, the point is not to make you feel better about yourself by making you think less of our superstar sister. It is simply to free you of the illusion that such a perfect person exists. Perfection is unattainable and the persistent unprofitable pursuit thereof is the real reason why we feel intimidated by “textbook” types. However, if you realise that maturity – and not perfection – really lies at the heart of confidence and strength, you are liberated to believe that you too could become THAT woman through self-growth.
So, go on – grow up!
If you desire to live with confidence, you will need to know what you can be confident about. This requires truthful self-insight, which develops with maturity and under gentle, honest mentorship. You need to cultivate a balanced self-concept and avoid both extremes of unhealthy self-deprecation and conceited overconfidence.
Then, develop a sense of humour about your weaknesses and play life by your strengths. Be okay with your flaws, failures and other freaky features and be rightly (and humbly) self-assured about your assets.
And then, the thing about beauty…
A discussion on confidence cannot be complete without addressing the elephant in the room. Let’s face it, female friends: outward appearances affect our assuredness in life – for many of us to an unhealthy extent.
The truth is that the average woman is, well… average! She is not the most gorgeous gal who has ever walked the face of the planet. This pertains to the vast majority of us. We were all given special talents and traits and for a handful of us, this includes superior beauty. This one human characteristic should not be placed above any other attributes when we judge ourselves. Find your gold (and if this is not skinny, golden brown legs or stunning goldilocks – just as well!) and appreciate your own God-given treasures.
With that said – dressing to suit your body type, caring about your health and making an effort to look your best works wonders for womanly self-confidence. Shift your focus from poster-girl perfection to wellbeing and reasonable grooming.
Find an anchor for your soul
Like a ship, if we are not anchored, we will be tossed by the waves. We need to secure our hope in something greater than our fallible selves and gather our strength from some superior source. Only then do we truly become unshakable, because our steadfastness will not depend on our own human capacity.
What is your anchor? I know where mine lies.
Strength is always a work in progress
Life is filled with duality and this is no less the case with “strong” women. A (hopefully ever-shrinking) part of you will probably always remain a little girl with anxieties and doubts. There will forever be situations that trigger that feeling of intimidation (hosting a dinner party; dressing up; writing a report?) and you will consciously have to stand against it.
The secret of strength does not lie in having no weaknesses, but in acknowledging them. Not only will it make them less threatening – because if you bring something into the light, it seizes to have a hold on you – you will also be liberating other intimidated women by showing them the chinks in your armour.
May you too become THAT woman: strong, confident and unshakable. And remember – she is allowed to cry, get cranky and have cracks. So, no need to be fearful about being strong!