On Confidence: Believe Yourself

I have spoken before about my hope that I won’t pass on my insecurities to my daughter. I have realised that everything I do in life is for her. She deserves the best. She deserves to have a strong mother who will guide her and teach her to be a proud and strong woman. Last week, I attended the Women’s Inspire Networking Event in City North Hotel, Dublin, and witnessed a room of 250 strong and powerful women who are creating a path for themselves. A path they have longed for, dreamed about, and are adament that those dreams will come true. I felt the energy in the room and admittedly I soaked it up, revelling in the desire to be more, to be powerful and to be successful. However, there is one thing that is holding me back. One important thing, which I hope my daughter will have in abundance when she is carving her own path as an adult, Confidence.

I sat in that room, full of inspiring and forward-thinking women, and felt the inward tug of my anti-social self pull me back down far too many times to talk to anyone. A networking event without the networking is somewhat redundant. I gave myself a pat on the back when I approached Victoria Mary Clarke for all of fifteen seconds, told her who I was, what I did and handed her my business card. I failed to leave a lasting impression on her and sure enough I imagine my business card is forgetfully sitting in amongst a hundred other cards never to be remembered. I failed to engage with someone who may potentially have helped me in my writing career. A lost opportunity, among a sea of opportunities.

For too long, I have sat on the sidelines and listened, blended into the walls and left the path open for others to make the good impression. What good is it for me to blend into the crowd and not be remembered?

It’s very easy for me to sit here at the kitchen table, tap away at the keys and write my thoughts down. It’s very easy to be somewhat anonymous and hidden behind my blog. What good will that do for me if I want to be remembered, if I want to be noticed and called upon? How will any of that help my writing career?

I swore that I would be stronger. For my daughter, if not for me. If I am to give her the life I want her to have, I must step out from behind the curtain and declare that I am here. I watched women at Women’s Inspire proudly step out from their comfort zone and shine, share life stories and aspirations. I watched as they embraced the audience and took their attention. These are the women who made contacts that will be worth more to them than ten years salary.

I find it difficut to talk to others. I hate talking about myself or what I do. I lack the confidence to be proud to shout from the rooftops that I’m a writer, now an award winning writer at that. I sink into my seat and let the world talk around me. What good does that do me? How will my confidence ever grow unless I step out into the limelight?

My confidence, or lack thereof, holds me back. I write well. I am strong. And I have an opinion. But who will know unless I tell them.

I naievely thought that becoming a mum would empower me, make me stand tall as the mother of my world. It hasn’t turned out like that. A natural parental confidence has eluded me and there are days when I’d rather stay indoors and live on the internet rather than make friends or meet colleagues. My daughter has more confidence than me. She is the type of child who hugs the waiter in our favourite restaurant because he gives her a lollipop or graciously thanks the shop keeper and tells them what we are going to do that day. All the while, Momma Bear shimmies away to a safe distance waiting for A to run back to me.

I had two revelations at the Women’s Inspire Event:

1 – I am a strong, powerful woman who will be heard

2 – I am a conscientious and talented writer who will be read

Admittedly, it feels a bit self-serving and egotistical to write those words out, but if I don’t believe them then who will? Why don’t I take A’s confidence with me? She is, after all, a part of me. I don’t recall ever having the confidence of a three year old. I don’t want her to lose that part of her. I need to be an example to her, to show her that she can be powerful and  successful but most importantly confident.

If I am ever to be successful as a writer the world has to be told. I will find that confidence thanks to Women’s Inspire. I will keep that confidence thanks to my daughter. Chances are at the next event I may run my fingers along the wall for comfort for a while but I promise that there will be a day when I am standing in the center of the room.

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15 Comments

  1. Ger, had your confidence blog for breakfast and always enjoy your writing. I understand what you say ’cause I have been there. I like to repeat to myself when I feel that old fear and lack of confidence”there is nothing to fear but fear itself. Your wonderful writing proves itself, trust yourself and get right into that circle, the fire is already kindled. Fan those sparks of possibilities into the flames of achievement. Your little girl is already proud of you.

    1. I’ve tried my best to say “There is nothing to fear but fear itself also” but it doesnt always work for me. I find it so much easier to put words on paper than say them to someone face to face but I know I need to work on this and I will!

  2. You made a big step in going along if you find it difficult. I always find it easier if I connect with people before an event, e.g. on Twitter or within a Facebook group and then it’s easier to chat at an event. Once I’ve spoken to people I know from Twitter, I find it easier to move on to complete strangers. I’m often slightly taken aback by the confidence of some people who come up to almost interrupt a conversation and introduce themselves.

    1. I’m lucky in that I glued myself to a friend who is also a blogger and we connected on twitter. I think I’d have been lost without her that day, and possibly not shown up at all only I knew she would be there. I find it much easier to talk to people I’ve chatted with online so I must start doing some online networking with the group before I go to the next event. I’d love to have the same confidence as those who can talk to anyone!

  3. This is so beautifully written!. I can relate to everything , from wanting to be strong and an example for your daughter, and the feeling of being socially awkward , the pressure we put on ourselves to network, and feeling invisible to the world,in person. Thank you for sharing your deep inner self and insecurities. I’m like that too. We are not alone 🙂

    1. Yes Rebecca, we really do put ourselves under such pressure sometimes. And although I don’t wish for others to feel like this, I do get a wee bit of comfort being reminded that we are not alone. All the shy women should meet up as a group at the next conference hee hee!!! 😁

    2. It really is good to know that I’m not the only one who felt this way and struggles with confidence. We’re not alone alright, but we will find our confidence, its there somewhere, so I’m told 🙂

  4. Thanks for sharing. I bet you weren’t the only woman there who felt like that!I go through phases of having loads of confidence to having zero confidence. But I’ll just keep on trying. Let the bad days pass and focus on the next one. I actually promised myself at the weekend that I’ll read at least half an hour a day of self-help, motivational books. Because sometimes it takes me months to finish one which is ridiculous! These days I’m reading GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER by Ruth Field. (she wrote Run Fat Bitch Run) No messing with her. 😌 So I need finish my coffee and go and practice getting my shit together!! Loving your blog btw x

    1. Thanks Gloria. I’ve started reading some self help websites but I think I’ll invest in that book too. It can only help. If I’m serious about my writing, which I am, then I need to focus myself better like you say. You’re right, I wasn’t the only one there feeling the same way but the group is fantastic and I genuinely can feel the support from everyone and know my confidence will get better.

    1. I’ve been wondering if I would have gone at all unless I knew you were going to be there Beth. I don’t mean to use you as a crutch but its so nice to know that you are there at these big events and I’m not alone. Its so much easier to have a friend.

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