Confidence – ever increasing circles

Earlier this week I wrote a blog post about women and their relationship with make-up and have had a huge and quite unexpected response to it. So many women have sent in pictures to be featured on the site but more than that I have been blown away by the stories they have told me about their faces and ultimately their confidence.  (p.s. if you have submitted a picture and I haven’t replied I promise I will soon I’m in need of honing my ninja email skills.) And after spending a lot of time thinking about the post I’ve come to realise just how invasive confidence is within our lives and how organic it is. It’s not a static entity that stays at one level throughout our lives, it grows and its influence grows wider as we grow older.

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When I was a teenager my life revolved around me. Everything I did was about me, who I was, what made me happy, what made me unhappy and where I wanted my life to go. I think this is probably the case for most teenagers and it’s not a bad thing, that’s why there’s a whole section in film libraries called ‘right of passage’ about these teenage years. You are discovering who you are as a person in your own right, beginning to be independent from your parents and finding wider influences. Your confidence is intrinsically linked to this, it’s all about this fragile person you are discovering and has a tendency to be easily bashed and bruised. Your confidence feels extremely insular, like your self-awareness. It’s like an ill-fitting coat you haven’t quite grown into yet that hangs awkwardly around your small shoulders, bashing unintentionally into obstacles you would rather avoid.

Once you reach your twenties though you seem on a somewhat firmer footing having a better understanding of yourself and being more comfortable with who you are and your confidence also feels like something you have better control of. However, your confidence in yourself may be stronger but as you get older you start to form more intimate relationships and the sphere of confidence starts to grow into these new spaces. It can become entwined into these relationships and can flux as these relationships begin and end. Self-confidence can play a huge part in pursuing successful relationships and if you don’t have a great sense of confidence going in it can be hugely damaged on the way out. Not to mention how it can be manipulated by people to their own ends if we end up in bad relationships with bad people. This is all learning though, or that’s how I’ve come to view it. By my late twenties I was moving away from my confidence being linked to my romantic relationships and was able to be confident in a relationship in my own right. This was huge turning point in my life and it felt like it happened overnight but maybe that was just how things transpired. My confidence felt like it was part of a much wider circle than just me and became something that I could bring to the relationship and not have the relationship define it.

So now I’m in my thirties and confidence seems like a whole new ball game. I’m confident in myself, I’m confident in my relationship but the thing I struggle with now is confidence in my actions. I think this is again linked to a greater self awareness and understanding that a person’s actions have ripples and the older and wiser you are the further these ripples seem to go. I feel like I’m on the precipice of ‘something’ and I need to take a leap but I’m paralysed by the lack of acceptance and judgement by others but I feel if I don’t do something now I will never get the chance to do it. I tweeted earlier this week that I would love to do The Ranty Girl full time and two bloggers I respect hugely said ‘do it’. My retort was a million and one excuses as to why I couldn’t. Maybe I’m right, maybe it isn’t a possibility, but they main thing that if I’m honest, that stands in my way is putting myself out there for people to judge and everyone saying ‘that’s shit’. I have another venture that I love called Good luck Gertie but I keep saying to people ‘oh it’s only a hobby really’ because I’m so scared that people will hate it and laugh at me if I try and approach blogs about featuring or advertising. It’s a business and that’s what people do right? Sometimes you have to take knock backs and not everyone will like you but that doesn’t mean you want to hear it.

So I can sit here in my comfy circle and keep writing my rants and hope someone reads them and laugh off the idea that this somehow has any merit or place in the world or I face the critics and try and make something of my little corner of cyberspace………. Answers on a postcard.

I don’t know how translatable my journey with my confidence circles is to everyone else, some people may feel they haven’t moved on since those teenage years and others may have felt like Barney Stinson since the word go. But I wonder if you think back you can see where I’m coming from and if you have experienced the same things I have. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this on.

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3 thoughts on “Confidence – ever increasing circles

  1. Now this is a very thoughtful post. I spent my teens/twenties absolutely terrified of making a faux pas in anything & everything. There were a bunch of girls at school considered to be the ‘cool girls’ & they were nasty, really, really nasty. I was quirky, bit different didn’t fit, had a different accent as Im from another part of the UK & unfortunately Yorkshire in the 1970s was a bit backwards & introverted. That’s another story. But as I grew into my late 20s & 30s I began to ‘fit’ into my own skin & became less bothered about what people thought. This, funnily enough coincided with me using less make-up. Now Im in my 40s & Ive become ‘me’ and I actually quite like ‘me’ Im more tolerant, bit gobby can spot bull shit from space BUT I won’t go out without a bit of slap on, not even to the local shop. The only person(s) these days who see me sans make-up is/are my husband & my immediate family and that all goes directly back to school when the nasty ‘cool girls’ made my life a misery because Im pale, freckly, red head with invisible eyelashes. They were tanned, honey skinned & gorgeous. So some things, despite confidence in other areas do stay with you. I’d never ever go anywhere without my make up ..

    • It’s interesting how those early negative experiences can affect us even twenty or thirty years on. I remember getting teased remorselessly about my freckles but now I love them. But I think that’s because I always liked them but didn’t feel like it was OK to admit them when everyone said they were ‘uncool’.
      Maybe when you see the upcoming post with all the bare faced ladies you will feel more confident to maybe go bare faced just once? Maybe?

  2. Love my freckles now but was made to feel like a freak back in the day. I use a ‘see through’ foundation rather than the heavy cover all I used to use to cover them up. I’d never not use mascara though, that’s way too scary

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