OK, there are definitely days when you get up and feel a bit pants and then there are other days when you feel pretty good about yourself, right?
Today was a feeling good kind of day.
I sprung (well not actually sprung but maybe groaned a little less than usual) out of bed this morning, had a speedy hot shower and did the bravest thing that any girl over 40 (only a few weeks over 40 mind!) can do. I slipped my towel off my hot damp body (sorry, now its sounding like porn!) and positioned myself in front of the full length mirror. Gingerly of course, starting at one side of the mirror so as not to scare myself! As my body came fully into view I was actually not as horrified as I imagined. In fact, dare I say it, I was a little bit chuffed! So 40 (and a tiny bit), with no serious cellulite, an in and out sort of waist hip thing going on and what Dawn French would consider a "Tom Boy Tum"!
Yay for sun salutations and giving up coffee!
I got dressed in real clothes, which I rarely get to wear because I am always in yoga get up, and after a slick of mascara a bit of a blow dry and a spritz of Jo Malone I was headed out the door to a couple of appointments.
Appointment one was good. Appointment two, good too, but my "look at me all 40 and gorgeous" had been replaced with a "God I'm rubbish!"
I hate that, and it happens often. I get dressed look in the mirror and think, "you know what Fee? You're alright you are!" and then I go out, meet other people and think, "Why am I not like that? Why don't I look like that? Why didn't I say that/wear that/be that?"
Please tell me I am not alone in this!
Now, I know I have issues!
Bizarrely most people who first meet me think I am the most together person they know. It is only when they delve deeper and get to know me better that they realize I am absolutely and hopelessly lack of confidence personified.
Lets just say that my self esteem cupboard is bare!
I am also ashamed to admit that I am completely shallow and obsessed by appearance. Mostly other people's and how mine doesn't match up.
Now on the way home from lunch with gorgeous thing one and fashionable thing two, doing the whole woe is me thing, a funny thing happened. I actually stopped myself in mid thought and told myself off! Now I am sounding like a mad woman...stop nodding!
"Fee!", I said. "Stop it!" I said it a bit sternly actually. I frightened myself!
"You are still as gorgeous as you were in the mirror this morning."
"Was that bird so beautiful? Was that other one so trendy? NO! They were both really really confident! They are both happy in their skins, with who they are, with no apologies and no doubts."
"And that my friend is what you need to be!"
I said this last sentence a second time to myself with a bit less anger than the first time, with my gentle voice usually saved only for savasana, adding an air of compassion and an encouraging smile!
I know I am not the only one out there who feels like this, but I think my lack of confidence limits me daily. I need to have the courage to remind myself of my acvhievment, of my decent size brain and my lack of cellulite.
I need to celebrate myself, not apologise for myself!
No, I may not be quite as fantastically leggy as X, but I bet she can't hold those gangly pins up in boat pose for very long. Y has amazing eyes but I wouldnt give up my smile for hers, not in a million! And so what if Z thinks that Bikram Yoga is the only way to go. Its horses for courses and maybe if she was a little more open minded, LIKE ME, should would discover a whole new world opening up to her.
Confidence is beauty
Confidence is power
Confidence is freedom.
And because of my constant quest for freedom, in particular, I need to make some changes.
Do you want to hear my cunning plan?
I am going to start bigging myself up a bit, quietly, on the inside for starters, and then hopefully, like breathing in and out, it will eventually become an autonomic reflex. I won't have to gee myself up, I will know that I am lovely and intelligent and have a valid opinion and a big heart.
And then, if I persevere, one day as if by magic, I will be one of those elusive confident people!