Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Confidence is Freedom

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!


  1. Love this! Just to let you know that you are one of those people I look at and think/say I wish I was more like her!! So when you are thinking those nagative thoughts and wishing you were like someone else remember there are people that wish thy were like you in many ways x

  2. Very sweet Gemma....I had never thought that would be a possibility!

  3. This dropped into the inbox today from Gaia from the F**k It Life (Hill that Breathes). I immediatley thought of you having read your post so read it and heed it because you are just as clever, just as genuine, just as special, just as beautiful, just as important and just as loving, loveable and loved as everyone else.

    "As a woman I can apparently make a proposal of marriage today. But I have a proposal on the subject of love to make to you all instead (and I’m already married after all). And not just any old love, but love of the unconditional variety.

    I propose that as from today you decide to love yourself unconditionally forever.

    Nice words eh, but what does it mean? How does one do THAT? Well the first step is to understand what unconditional love means. It means love without conditions… doh, so far so obvious. But most of us love ourselves only when many conditions are fulfilled. Most internal conversations go like this:

    “Once you are slim, successful, meaningful, say the right thing at dinner parties, are wanted by everyone and fulfill your life plan, then I think I will love you…”

    So love becomes like a currency, so much love for myself for so much achieving. This is a rather harsh way to live. Well today you have a chance to make yourself another kind of love proposal altogether:

    You don’t have to go on your knees in some romantic location (but you can if you want), you can buy yourself a cool ring, though a slice of chocolate cake will do. But for sure you do need to mean it when you say to yourself:

    “From today I choose to love me,
    For better, for worse,
    For richer, for poorer,
    In sickness and in health,
    To love and to cherish,
    Till death us do part.
    This means that I’ll give love and approval to me,
    Whatever I am feeling, whatever is happening,
    Whether I feel good or depressed,
    Confused or clear,
    Slim or fat,
    Lost or found,
    My love has no condition and it is not an exchange for performance.
    I don’t need to prove anything to anyone, and particularly to myself.
    I just love myself without needing a reason.
    And that is just as it is.”

    Loads of (unconditional) love. "

  4. I love this - unconditionally! Thanks so much x

  5. You are the most beautiful woman in the world and you should love yourself much as I do.

  6. You are so beautiful and I wish you could love yourself as much as I love you