This isn’t going to be a long, involved blog post. Actually I am writing it on a whim after a nice light dinner with my husband recently. I don’t know if its because I’m a writer, I used to host a radio talk show or I’m just blessed with the gift of gab. I can–and I will!–talk about anything and everything as long as I have someone to lend an ear. If someone asks me for advice? Oh that’s even better. It’s like a Rachel Zoe meets Dr. Phil combo. And if you need fashion, makeup or glamour advice? Holy smokes, turn on your video cameras because you are about to get a personalized version of Project Runway for the next hour+. I love the business and for someone to ask my help with it is such an honor.
With that being said, I told my husband over dinner about a woman who needed help finding something at the mall yesterday. She was hoping I worked for the store so she could get her question answered. I told her that I didn’t but if she wanted to ask me anyways, I’d see what I could do to help. With a heavy foreign accent, I managed to figure out she was looking for “special” female clothing. “Lingerie” to be exact. Bless her heart–you go girl! I made the explanation of where she had to go as simple as possible, and she was so happy. She walked away thanking me then thanking me some more with a smile on her face bigger than the sun. All I could do was smile back. I took the time to make her feel important and that, in turn, made her feel like royalty. How awesome is that?
My 18 year-old daughter, who was shopping with me, didn’t get it. She didn’t understand why. Why she would ask ME for help, why I WOULD go out of my way to offer my help, why I would ask the customer later on when I saw her in the mall if she found what she was looking for, and why did it make me so happy to help her out? I thought about that for a while. After a long time processing it all, only one word kept coming to mind:
Most of my life, because of the turbulent relationship I was in then, I didn’t talk to hardly anyone. I didn’t want to be noticed let alone STAND OUT. I wanted to blend in. I didn’t want to be heard or seen. You see, then that would mean I was drawing attention to myself. And that was a no-no with my then significant other. His goal was to make me “ordinary”, “plain” and “mediocre” and because of his intimidating ways, I became just that. He won. But not for long.
It took a LONG time after leaving that relationship for me to “find myself”. I know it sounds so cliche, but it really was true. I had to learn not to stare at the floor when I was around other people. I had to train myself to talk to strangers. I had to find confidence to wear something that wasn’t on the Brady Bunch first. I had to realized that I deserved everything I wanted, got and had….and more. It isn’t easy. This doesn’t happen in a one semester night class either. It takes time. It takes patience. It takes determination. It takes change. It takes courage. Which means stepping out of your comfort zone. Which means starting to make eye contact with people. Which means taking a compliment by simply smiling and saying “thank you” instead of excusing it with some ridiculous answer. It means telling yourself you mean something in this world and believing it. It means having self confidence. On flashionista.com, it says the following:
“Confidence is sexier Than a Push-up Bra! Clothes, jewels, cars, and cash are lovely, but self-confidence is the ultimate accessory. It can’t be bought, but it can be had.”
After you reach a milestone of assurance (and it is constantly changing) not only do you feel it, but it starts to show. Not through possessing material things or associating yourself with people who are within 6-degrees of Kevin Bacon. It is in the way you walk, in how you talk, how you carry yourself. It’s the aura that surrounds you, the invisible glow of “I. Am. Awesome.” That’s not you being conceited, that you being self-confident. And being self-confident makes you an open, inviting, personable person. It makes you approachable. And girl?……that is awesome!!
I challenge all of you to step outside of your comfort zone today. Wear something that’s so not you. Paint those lips pretty. Go to a movie…alone…and enjoy having the popcorn all to yourself. Give out five sincere compliments–smile when you say them and mean it! Wear heels and walk tall. Flash a smile at a stranger but don’t hang your head or walk away. See if you get a smile back! You are smiling at them, acknowledging you appreciate their presence. You are not asking for a hook up! And if they think otherwise, remember, YOU are in control! Get in the car, turn up YOUR music! Sing along and dance if your want. Who cares? It’s YOU who matters!
This won’t happen overnight. TRUST ME ON THAT ONE! Fifteen years later and sometimes it’s still not easy. But it’s a step in the right direction. A big step. And before you know it… those steps will be taking you in a direction that’s new, but one you’ll soon be comfortable in!!