This is the next installment of my new blog series about confidence and what it means to everyday women. The focus is on you, a real, modern woman and your experience of self confidence.
I believe that when we shine our own light, we encourage others to do the same.
So be proud, stand tall, and choose to be confident.
You never know who could benefit from your confidence. It could be just the thing they needed to make their day just a little brighter. It may be the young girl who can’t stand to look at herself in the mirror because of what someone at school said to her. It may be the high-powered executive, who’s lost touch with work-life balance and needs a reminder that life is indeed beautiful and she is more than her work title. It may be the stay-at-home mom, who’s overwhelmed with her responsibilities as a mother and who just needs a nudge to reconnect to herself and remind herself that she’s an amazing and dynamic woman with a deep appreciation for mid-century art. Or she may be a successful business woman who’s chosen an entrepreneurial path over the traditional expectations of society, and has become so accustomed to her masculine roles and responsibilities that she finds herself wanting to re-acquaint with the softer, more feminine side that’s long been neglected.
I’m thrilled to share this Confidence According To… post today. Judy is just the sweetest, kindest and most friendly German you could ever hope to meet!
She always wears her gorgeous smile, whenever you meet her, and you can’t help but feel better after a little chat with her. I’m so pleased to have her sharing her thoughts about confidence on my blog today, so without further ado…
Yes, it was my Mom. My parents got divorced when I was 4 years old, so my Mom had to cope with me and my twin brother all by herself. She taught me how to be independent and strong from a very young age. She always encouraged me to be a powerful woman.
What’s the best advice you received to boost your confidence when you were younger?
Don´t behave a certain way because of what others might think of you. Most of this is your own story. Be yourself.
Did you ever feel pressure to conform to trends as well as expectations of family and friends?
Yes, sure. When you are a child growing up, there is a lot of pressure and expectations. I always tried to be a good child, knowing that my Mom was a single parent. It was hard at times always trying to be my very best. Looking back it was good though, as I learned quite early how to push myself out of my comfort zone.
What was the biggest influence on your confidence (good or bad) up to the age of 25?
Travelling. I went to Canada all by myself for about 9 months when I was 23. I had nothing planned for the first time in my life. No job, no travel plan, not even a hostel. The first week I arrived there I just cried my eyes out and didn´t know what to do with myself. But in the next few weeks I organized my travels, got an internship at a radio station and a lovely apartment sharing with a family. I thought if I can come out of this alive, I can do anything.
Rate your current level of Self Confidence
Very High Level of Self Confidence
What does confidence mean to you?
To be comfortable in your body, to feel strong inside. To walk into a room, and not care about what people might think of you. Not in an arrogant way though, but in a loving way, because you love yourself.
When was a time you felt your most confident?
It´s not one big moment, it is those little moments when I go to events all by myself and I just start chatting to random strangers. It is such a nice feeling to be alone, and not know anybody at the beginning of the event. And by the end of the night you made some real connections.
How do you celebrate yourself on a regular basis?
I need my silence every day. I have my ritual just before I go to bed, to just sit in silence and listen to the wind outside. I also go for regular massages because I believe that if you work hard, you have to reward yourself and give back to your body.
When was a time you did NOT feel confident?
In school. I wasn´t very popular and in my first years I just had close to none, or just a few friends. I didn´t feel pretty, was overweight, had bad acne and generally didn´t feel like I belong into this world. I didn´t even want to go into a swimming pool because I thought people would laugh at me. I wore my first ever bikini only when I was 25, and only because my amazing partner made me do it!
What do you do when you need an immediate confidence boost?
I put nice cloths on and dance in front of the mirror with my favourite music playing in the background! Singing and dancing always frees my mind!
Do you have any confidence boosting or self love mantras or sayings?
You are ok the way you are. You don´t have to be perfect, you just have to be you.
What online resources (websites, blogs, forums) boost your confidence?
I really love the Work of Byron Katie, which taught me how to question my own thoughts.
What advice would you give to a girl or woman who clearly has low confidence or low self love?
Everybody deals with low confidence differently, but I would encourage you to take small steps towards getting out of your comfort zone. So if you don´t like speaking in front of people, go to a Networking or Speaker Event, and try to do small speeches on a regular basis. It is the small changes that make the difference over time.
What advice would your 85 year old self give you about your confidence & self love, today?
Pause more often during the day to appreciate yourself. There is only one you, so if you are not there for yourself, nobody can fill that gap. Hug yourself, literally!
If you were 5% kinder to yourself, starting tomorrow, what would you start doing differently?
Listen to more music that I love. With my workload being extraordinary, I sometimes don´t take enough time to relax.