It’s something we all struggle with at some stage, particularly as women and mothers.
We want to feel less anxious, more self-assured, and certain in our choices.
We want to appear calm, in control, like we have our act together.
We may believe that being more confident will lead to more success, happiness, and fulfilment.
But is confidence really the answer?
The dictionary definition of confidence (in oneself) is:
“The belief that you can do things well and that other people respect you”. And “Behaving calmly because you have no doubts about your ability or knowledge.”
In their book ‘The Confidence Code’, Katty Kay and Claire Shipman conclude that confidence is “the characteristic that distinguishes those who imagine from those who do.”
For me, this is an interesting shift in perspective.
It’s less about looking or feeling confident and more about doing. Less worrying about how others perceive us, trying to change our emotions, or waiting until we have no doubts, and instead focusing on how we act.
Now, I’m not about to suggest you “fake it ‘til you make it”, but rather that you consider taking action that only feels authentic to your personal values.
Through this lens, confidence looks different to the flashy traits we typically associate with the word.
Instead of it being about unshakable belief, self-assuredness, gravitas and fearlessness, it’s about being authentically you – in all your imperfection and doubt – and choosing to do what feels right for you.
For me, this feels so much more harmonious with motherhood because it can look like:
surrendering the need to be in control or to be perfect, getting comfortable with making mistakes, being honest about how you are feeling and what you need.
one of my favourite quotes in the above book is:
“Self-compassion drives confidence – allowing us to take the very risks to build it. It is a safety net that actually enables us to try for more and even harder things.”
Take a moment to let that sink in… self-compassion drives confidence.
Setting healthy boundaries:
being assertive doesn’t have to feel aggressive. Even small steps like not giving in to an unrealistic deadline, choosing to ignore unsolicited parenting advice, or honouring when you just need a few moments to yourself can make a difference.
When we lessen our desire for confidence and strive for authenticity instead, we step away from images of superwoman showing the world that she can do it all, towards that of a woman choosing to mother, live and work in a way that feels right for her – whether others agree with that, or not.
This article was written by Katrina Court, one of our partner coaches who supports women who believe that being an amazing mum doesn’t have to mean surrendering your sense of identity, wellbeing and ambition. You can get in touch via her profile page, visiting her website www.katrinacourtcoaching.com or on Instagram @katrinacourt_coach
March 15, 2023