Older, not bolder: why confidence fails us?

Karin Stierle.

What is it about confidence and women? Are we born with it or can we learn it? As a women in the second half of life, this is a question that has arisen in different forms lately. In this article Karin shares some thoughts and solutions to the low confidence issue.

Where does confidence come from?

Do we lose confidence as we age and if so why? I attended My Second Spring's wonderful event in The Merrion Hotel last week to try and understand why my hair is falling out, not just thinning but falling out in patches, and instead I came away with these thoughts and questions in my mind - Where does confidence come from? and How do we make ourselves feel more confident?

Feeling good about oneself makes you more confident, I hope most of you will agree with that statement. So how do we make ourselves feel good about ourselves?

There are a number of things that I have always thought help me feel good, exercise, doing something I enjoy, eating well and fitting into my clothes - yes weight! I do most of these things on a regular basis and although not slim I have got my weight under control. These things make me feel good and better on a bad day but really do they give me confidence? I don't think so.

Let's celebrate all positive experiences and achievements

So here is my question, Why is confidence such a big question for women and particularly women of my age,? Confidence comes from within -  why do some people have it in buckets others not so much?  I think there are a number of things that we can all do to help ourselves and the women around us have more confidence. There is an underlying negativity in many of us - it is easier for the brain to react negatively to something than positively, it seems to be its first response, I am more guilty of this than anyone. How many times have you heard “I only can do ..” “I could never do that” , “ I would love to but…”.  OK,  to give you an example - I was talking about swimming with a group of friends recently and a one of them said “I only learnt to swim last year, I am not that good” This lovely women learnt to swim in her fifties and now swims 35 minutes every morning before work! What an achievement! We, and she, need to see it for that, let's recognise all the things we do and see them as positive achievements on this journey. We are so very good at remembering the bad, let's balance the scale and recognise those little things we achieve in our lives.

Let's stop knocking other women

My other idea may be a little less palatable, let's stop knocking other women, women that don't dress or look the way we feel they should. Let's be honest we all are guilty of this from time to time. This behaviour undermines women, it also undermines our own confidence, if I am saying something ‘bitchy’ about someone what is someone saying about me? Irish women collectively need to support each other. It's not to support a women because she is solely a women but not to undermine her because she is.

Creating the building blocks for long-term confidence

As the mother of a daughter I know how hard it can be to be a young women in today's world. If there is one thing I would like young Irish women to know it is this - It's not how you look that gives you true confidence, the type that will hopefully stay with you all your life, it is what you do and what you achieve that creates the building blocks for life long confidence.

And if it's true for the younger women it is also true for us Second Springers too! Let's celebrate getting this far and remember the good not just the negative.


Read more on confidence:

Newsflash: even the most accomplished women can have crises of confidence especially as they get older. Here, some words of comfort from our favourites.

Please come along to our next Confidence Masterclass

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