The above title is a word-for-word query that I have just searched on google. Well actually it was “how to find confidence in your thirties” but both yield the same results of the exact same proposed solutions. Shall I list them?
- Love yourself!
- Love your body!
- Create boundaries – learn to say no!
- Do one thing every day that scares you!
- Invest in self- care
- You’re your number 1 priority!!
and my favorite: 7. Learn to stop saying ‘just’ as a qualifier (As if removing “just following up on this!” from my professional correspondence is going to suddenly fix my confidence concerns.)
It’s a perfect list, really, and I do agree with the above statements, but the problem is not that I wasn’t aware that I needed to love myself and my body and learn to say no in the name of self-care, it’s that I feel 5 steps behind being able to just do them. Perhaps a better search would have been: “how to find the resolve to love myself where I am in my thirties?”
I was at lunch yesterday with one of my dearest friends who I’ve known since we were 17. We’re in similar positions career wise and with our personal aspirations and goals and we got to talking about how it takes a lot of ego to decide you’re good enough to do something on your own, to have the resolution and conviction in your abilities to carry onward in the face of adversity. And how somewhere over the past 10 years we’ve lost that ego.
When I was 19 I thought that I could do literally anything. I was young, naive and living at home (thanks parents!), but I had this vision of greatness and I knew who I was going to become. I was fearless in the face of opposition (but really what even was opposing me?), resolute in knowing that I was growing into the thriving, creative, passionate person that I wanted to be. And then somewhere in my twenties I guess I just put that passion down. Not at any one time that I can pinpoint, but slowly and surely something changed. A natural progression of setting the bar a bit lower every year until you’re 30 (and a half) and googling how to find self-confidence in your thirties.
It’s really hard to be successful, which is not something anyone tells you when you’re young, but I think what has surprised me the most is that even harder than getting other people to believe in you, is believing in yourself. And that, I am pretty sure, is the key to unlocking your ego. And ego is the key to unlocking your confidence. Maybe?
If there’s anything that I love so far about being in my thirties, it is the forgiveness that I have for the mistakes I’ve made in my life so far. It’s a unique sense of appreciation that I have for the girl of yesteryear who was just trying to do the very best that she could in the situations she was given. Really just growing up, if you will. And instead of the shame that I used to feel, I’ve replaced it with an earnest longing to care for who she was at the time she was making those choices. I guess that nostalgia always comes dressed in a twinge of romance, but doesn’t it feel nice to be able to accept some part of yourself, even if it is in hindsight?
But anyways, I digress. I arrived at today’s google search by way of feeling stuck, obviously. I don’t really remember where I envisioned myself being at 30.5 years old when I was 19, but I am pretty sure it never involved me seeking outside guidance from Huffington Post articles that told me to just shift to an “equality mindset”. (Whatever that means, by the way, I’m certain I am not doing it correctly, if at all.)
I am fine, if not great. I have a great job, a husband I adore, a really nice apartment and I am financially afloat (way more than I could say for myself at 26), but yet there’s something that nags at me constantly. It’s the nagging inside that tells me that there’s just something I’m not doing. You know that feeling that you get when you feel like you forgot to do something but you can’t remember what it is? That’s me but everyday and that thing is whatever creative endeavor I’ve ceased to nurture. After a lot of thought, I have come to the conclusion that I’ve misplaced my confidence in believing that I am capable of doing whatever I want to do, and I’d like to get it back.
So I’ve decided to write my own list. It will be evolving, but now seems as good a time as ever to find confidence in myself again.
I’ll start with my new number 1:
- Pick up old habits that once made you feel alive, and see if they still do. If they do, carry on. If they don’t, move on.
Consider this post my first attempt at returning to that habit.
See you soon.