Greetings All —
I’m taking new life coaching clients for the first time in a while and, well, I could tell you all the fabulous reasons to think about working with me or referring me. Or, I could let a testimonial from a recent client tell you instead:
Working with Nancy was one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself. She was … full of support and good ideas. She would help me take the germ of a thought and flesh it out to make it a reality. My “homework” was always thought-provoking and highly enlightening. Within weeks of finishing our work together I had accomplished all of my goals, including two not so small ones — a great career move and buying my first home! The 12 weeks I worked with Nancy were a true pleasure and I would recommend her to anyone I know who is looking to make positive change in their life.
What are you waiting for?
There was a little card in the May 2004 issue of O magazine that said, “Confidence is the sexiest thing a woman can have. It’s much sexier than any body part.” It was attributed to Aimee Mullins, a woman best known for her collegiate athletic accomplishments despite the amputation of both her legs. Since then, this little card has been fixed to my bathroom mirror.
It always bears remembering, of course, but the idea of the power of confidence was brought to the forefront of my thoughts last week when a friend used the term “Wet Blanket” (you know, the people in life who dampen our spirits or enthusiasm about something that excites us). In The Artist’s Way, author Julia Cameron says to ward them off with self-containment — “Zip the lip. Button up. Keep a lid on it.”
While I am completely aligned with that way of thinking and have practiced it many times in my life when feeling precarious, I have actually come to find the Wet Blankets useful lately. They help me gauge how much my confidence has grown. Think about it. If you can gracefully weather a comment from a Wet Blanket about the outfit you’re wearing, the essay you’ve written, the way you’ve decorated your kitchen, or the business you’re trying to start, you know you’re in good shape.
Let’s look at an example. You think the new sweater you’re wearing is flattering, but you’re feeling a little bit insecure. A friend says, “That sweater is so much more slimming than what you usually wear.” (Note to Wet Blanket: This is not a compliment. It means, “You look nice today, but you usually walk around looking like a blob.”) The not-so-confident person may be crushed or quietly resentful. The confident person might say a gracious “thank you” and move on, realizing the comment is a reflection of the person saying it and not the receiver.
The confident person stops putting people in a position of “judge,” thus making herself the “judged.” If you can talk excitedly and passionately about your goal or wear your new hairstyle with head held high and take the naysaying in stride, that is just plain exhilarating. What a feeling! I have found that forging ahead in the face of others’ pessimism can be quite a motivator. And, geez, I don’t think we’d have electricity or cars or telephones if a few brilliant men didn’t share this philosophy.
I find it particularly troubling that women on the whole seem to spend their teens, twenties and thirties fretting about not being thin enough or curvy enough. Then they hit their forties and fifties and suddenly feel a sense of confidence in their bodies like never before. Last week I walked down Fifth Avenue delightedly eating an ice cream cone. Frankly, I would never have done that in my thirties because I would have been hung up on what people would think. Sad, but true.
My conclusion? Learn to engage the Wet Blankets and the world is your oyster. There is freedom in confidence. How great is that?
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