If you’re confident enough to wear bright blue lipstick and gold eyeshadow, there is nothing stopping you. Can we have some of your bright blue lipstick confidence, please?
They say there are no shortcuts in life.
While that may be true, there are tools we can utilize to make our lives more fulfilling. And I’m not talking about firming eye cream products or superfood diets, here. Those are not sustainable.
Our physical appearances (I hate to break this to us) are not going to be young, fresh and vibrant forever — no matter how many botox appointments we make.
What will last forever is our ability to foster fun and purposeful relationships with people.
So, while there is no shortcut to confidence, there is a secret to becoming — and staying — confident.
Here it is…
Having a good support system is the secret to a confident you.
Having good friends, welcoming neighbors, and supportive co-workers makes you feel safe and comforted in your community. At the same time, you feel lucky and excited to have found (or better put, attracted) such fabulous people in your circle.
If you’re thinking right now, “That’s nice Ashley, but I don’t have any of that,” my response to you would be, “GOOD. Fresh starts — while scary and time-consuming — are amazing opportunities to reinvent yourself and build up your own community, on YOUR terms.”
I would know. I have “started over” 5 different times in my adult life (aka moved states, made new friends, changed jobs, the whole shebang), and each time gets easier. As we get older, we realize spending time on anything that doesn’t bring us happiness does nothing but exhaust and bore us.
The “Self” Confidence Myth
We become confident — not by adorning ourselves in expensive clothes and getting weekly blowouts — but through our intimate connections with people. Simon Sinek says there is no such thing as “self-confidence” because confidence doesn’t come from the self — it comes from other people cheering you on and showing you how awesome you are.
Think about it. You stand a little taller after your boss praises you. You can’t stop smiling after a stranger compliments your parenting style.
The self-confidence concept is tricky though, because manifestation is such a key part in training your brain to believe in yourself.
I think it’s a combination of positive self-talk + routine feel-good habits + receiving genuine support and love from your friends and family that makes a person enviably confident.
Can Pandemic Life Teach Us How To Be Confident?
I’ve been thinking a lot about community lately due largely to my newfound East Coast identity, as well as witnessing how the world is responding to coronavirus in terms of social survival.
This New York Times Parenting article, Parenting Was Never Meant to Be This Isolating, is such an incredible depiction of how essential parenting pods have been since the beginning of time. The only difference is that they were called “tribes” way back when.
Overall though, the piece (brilliantly written by lead editor Jessica Grose) smacked me square in the face with how crucial it is for humans to interact with other humans, on the daily.
We need social connection to thrive.
How Do I Find My Peeps?
My “rule” for good people finding and keeping is the same rule to consider when buying a (forever) leather jacket — quality over quantity — always. And you have to remember that it takes time. The good people (just like the good leather jacket) are worth the wait.
One of my old editors gave me this golden piece of advice when pitching to publications, which I find to be applicable to all life situations.
“Treat everyone like they’re a reporter for The New York Times.”
My version would be, “Treat everyone like they’re a reporter for The New York Times, but be authentic as hell.”
You’ll never find the right people by being anything less than yourself.
No one is too small to make a difference in the world. You are not too small to make a difference in the world. We all matter, and we all have the opportunity to make positive impacts.
Keep that in mind no matter where you live, what you do for work, or who you could be serving.
Thank you for reading!
As always, if you have questions or comments, please do let me know. I am looking forward to the weekend!!! Cheers, ladies. Enjoy your Thursdee.
PS! My first monthly Q + A column is comin in HOT. It will be released Sunday, November 1st (which is my mom’s birthday — pop the champs, mom). And the first question I’m covering in it is, "Where did my zest for sex go?” So it’s gonna be a good one.
Send me your burning questions on relationships, motherhood, happiness, etc. and we will discuss.
PPS! THANK YOU to those of you who have upgraded your subscription to support this newsletter, and independent journalism in general. You are fabulous. And I will see you Sunday 😉