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CONFIDENCE

What would you do if you had complete confidence? What would you try? Would anything change?

One of the definitions of confidence is “a feeling of self-assurance arising from one's appreciation of one's own abilities or qualities.”


When I think of confidence, I always think about my mom. Not only did she have the unique ability to look past the flaws of others, she could look past those of her own. Maybe it wasn’t looking past, but an acceptance of humanness.


I can remember a particular day when my mom and I were walking on the beach. She must’ve been about 65 and I was in my 20’s. We strolled past a group of guys drinking and playing frisbee near the water. As we walked away from them, we both heard whistles coming from behind us. Ignoring them, we kept walking. Again they whistled - even louder this time. In her most annoyed southern voice, she snapped her head towards me and then turned around and said “Who is that that keeps whistling at me?” For a moment I thought she was joking but quickly realized she was serious. Looking into her eyes, I could see that it never occurred to her they were whistling at anyone else. In that moment and every moment since, I wanted to be just like her.

When we left to walk that day she didn’t style her hair or put on any make-up. She didn’t spend 30 minutes standing in front of the mirror making sure she had on the perfect bathing suit that flattered her aging body. She didn’t ask 5 people if she looked ok. Most of all, she didn’t waste any time criticizing herself or wishing her body was different.


The confidence and self-acceptance my mother possessed wasn’t only about her appearance. It manifested in all of her business and personal affairs, too. She often spoke or lectured to large groups of people. I can remember being so struck by her ability to sleep and eat the night before facing a big audience or presiding over an important meeting. She never worried about being judged or embarrassing herself.


We often talked about these things and her solution was quite simple. “Carol Lind”, she would say, "What other people think of me is none of my business. It is my business what God thinks of me and what I think of myself.” The result of this practice for her was to exude a confidence that wasn’t arrogant at all. She didn’t come across as self obsessed or cocky. She was humble. Because she was her true self, others were so attracted to her and she lived life to the fullest. She enjoyed every moment free from fear of judgement or regret.

Unlike the infamous Dot Mooney, it hasn’t come easy for me. Maybe it wasn’t easy for her either, but she probably worked harder and squandered less time than I did. Although my confidence has gotten better with age, I still have my moments. In those times of self-doubt and self-centered negativity, I can turn my thoughts to my Higher Power and release perceived judgment of others. I ask myself if this lack of confidence (fear) is interfering in my life? Is it preventing me from doing something I want to do? If the answer is “yes” then it has to change. Life is too short to be held back by my insecurities and fragile ego. God is Good. Always.



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4 Comments


thomasnancy6
Jan 06, 2023

Loved this article...and following your Free Falling posts...Happy New Year...Nancy Newton Thomas

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Patti Palmer
Patti Palmer
Aug 08, 2022

"Life is too short to be held back by my insecurities and fragile ego." Amen, CL. Amen. 😍

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marthakate
marthakate
Jun 17, 2022

Good story about your mama. I loved your mother. She taught me many meaningful and useful things. Things I pass on today to other women. Things that saved my life in one way or another. What a great teacher and woman!

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Carol Lind
Carol Lind
Jun 25, 2022
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She was the best teacher!

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