Thursday, June 23, 2011

curious birds: raise your hand, raise your hands if you're sure

you thought this would be a post about deodorant, didn't you? you're singing that song in your head now, aren't you? what's that you say? you don't know that little ditty? ok, i admit, i am probably older than most of you. this commercial song was stuck in my head through much of the 80s...i would call that brilliant advertising! confidence, confidence dry and secure!

anyways, what i am posting about today takes a little break from our normal curious birds. now i'm not trying to get all think-y on you, but i think this is an important topic, very close to a fashion blogger's question for today is, where do you get your confidence from?

i started thinking about this because my son had a soccer practice/game on monday night. as i was driving him there, thinking we were going to be late, he said to me, "mama, it's ok if we're late for the practice part, because i'm really good at soccer." of course i confirmed this, and added a comment that even if you're good, you still need to practice. to which he replied, "no mama, i am really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really good!" this comment made me happy because he has confidence. it also made me realize that very soon, i will have to find that fine line of teaching our kids the difference between confidence and cockiness. for some reason, i think it will be harder with my daughter. i think there is a real social expectation for girls to not be too confident. i'm not saying i agree with this expectation, but i don't want her to not make friends because people think she's stuck up. right now it's cute of her to say things like, "mama, don't i look beautiful?" and "i know you think i am the prettiest four-year old you know.", but that won't always be the case. however, i truly wish that every four-, thirteen-, sixteen- and twenty-year old woman would think that about herself wouldn't that make life so much easier??

i have not always had the best confidence. it really took me until my 30s – having kids and settling into my life – to find my true confidence. and even now i have crappy days where i feel fat, frizzy and frumpy. there are days when i look at pictures of myself on the blog, compared to nora, and think...what am i doing putting side-to-side pictures of myself next to her??? 

but that's not every day. most days, i look in the mirror and think that i am beautiful. and even if i don't look beautiful that day, i still think i am beautiful. i am what i am and that's all that i am ~ah-kuh-kuh-kuh-kuh~. (that's popeye laughing) (what? too young for that, too?) while beauty does come from within, let's admit it, it doesn't hurt to look like a supermodel some days. sometimes good hair or feeling skinny can make your whole day. sometimes finishing a crossword puzzle can make your whole day. and sometimes an ice cream cone can make your whole day. (am i right?)

i hope i'm getting my point across here. i don't want to convey that looks are more important than anything else. but they do have a place in our lives, in our confidence. i don't base my self worth on my looks. i have way more going for me than just my looks. i'm smart and funny (super funny) and i can sing the kenny rogers part of 'islands in the stream' like nobody's business (nora is the dolly to my kenny). having said that, sometimes my confidence can be ruined by a pair of tight jeans. so i'm asking all of you...people who on a daily basis, post photos of yourselves in different outfits. people who share your poems, your thoughts and your fears on an open forum...where does your confidence come from?

did your parents tell you how smart and beautiful you were every day?
(this is me many, many years ago!)
does your husband or wife tell you how wonderful you are?

do your children tell you that they are so lucky to have you in their lives?

does your dog wag his tail every time you walk in the door? (even if you've only been gone for two minutes?)

did you get that promotion that you asked for?

do you just naturally have confidence, knowing how wonderful you are? or, are you faking it, hoping that no one notices? i would love to hear your thoughts.

in the meantime, raise your hands if you're sure!!!

megan bird


  1. What a fantastic post!! I also want my kids to be confident in who they are. But I think confidence is so much more than just "looks." I think you can be confident in who you are, even if you know you're not the most beautiful person in the world and that's what I hope to convey to my kids. To just be happy with themselves. Strive to do their absolute best at everything. And be happy with their appearance.

    In me, however, if something about my appearance has got me down (bad hair, a breakout, a fat day), I usually go for a run (fat days), or change into something to lift my spirits and then fake it for the rest of the day. =) My hubby definitely helps with my confidence. He always makes me feel like million bucks!

    On another note, you are beautiful!! And to be honest... when you put a post of you and your sis together, I don't even know which is which. lol You're both stunning and skinny and have absolutely amazing style!

  2. I like to think I'm a confident person, certainly more confident than I used to be. I remember once as a teen, I was walking back from the grocery store doors to the truck, and I guess I was walking with my head tucked down because as I climbed in, my dad said to me, "You should carry your head high, don't be afraid to look people in the eye. You are just as good as everyone else and you don't need to hide your face." My father is definitely someone I have to thank for my confidence.

  3. What a great post. I actually got sort of a lump in my throat reading it (fact: I cry easily).

    I think I project an aura of confidence, even though most of the time I'm not. Honestly, I have no idea how I manage to keep posting photos of myself on the internet. For a self-critical person, you'd think it would be an exercise in torture, but it's actually helping to make me less critical of myself. Go figure.

    And to echo Tiffany, it took me a while to tell you two apart. You're both gorgeous, stylish as all get out, hilarious, and humble, and I really hope to go out for karaoke with you so I can watch you sing "Islands in the Stream".

    And for the record, I totally get all your 80s pop culture references.

  4. great sad post.... and no my parents didn't tell me nice things everyday. and although I have had the pleasure to meet someone that truly cares about me, that's the past ...

  5. Lovely & insightful post, as for confidence? It's definitley something that I have to work on. I definitley have my frumpy days, but I usually try to shake it off and ...treat myself to a yoga class, massage, or get dressed up and go out for a fab dinner with hub/friends -always cheers me up. Confidence for me comes from taking the time to feed my soul, that's what helps me feel beautiful. Have a wonderful day hun. xx veronika

  6. And this is why your blog is a daily read for me, what a great post! It's weird how much I can relate to the relationship between you and Nora. You guys are so cute and I can tell you guys are the bestest of friends! I have a twin sister and I love her more than anyone but it's also tough to always compare myself to her or have other people compare us. People even harass me asking me how come my twin got married three years ago and I'm still single! How rude! But at the end of the day, I know my sister and I are both beautiful, just like both you and Nora are equally beautiful too!
    I think my confidence comes from accepting the things that make me unique and focusing on the things I really like about myself. Of course, there are good days and there are bad days. For the bad days, a cute outfit and a little extra makeup help sometimes. And of course, the waging of my dog's tail always helps too!

    I think teaching kids that they are amazing and beautiful is great. I think it's also great to teach them that everyone else is unique and has amazing qualities as well. I think this helps prevent cockiness.

    Lidi @ Eclectic Flair

  7. That is a very good question. Sometimes I have confidence when I get all dolled up to go out, but then at some point during the night I feel silly, like I'm trying too hard. I don't think I've found that level of confidence where I feel absolutely great, I still have tons of doubts about life and myself. I try my best, and of course there are days when I feel like a blob, but I think about all the good qualities I have and pep talk myself, if that makes any sense. In the mean time, I'll be sure to remind myself, and my friends and family how great they are :-)

    Great post!!!

  8. I fall in the fake it and hope no one notices it camp! I struggle with confidence issues more often than not and even though others don't know why I struggle with being confident, I do. Sometimes I have to recite in my head, "I'm smart, I'm competent, and I am worthy."

  9. What a wonderful post! Having 2 girls (ages almost 16 and 6) I want them to grow up and be strong confident women. My 16 yr old is still working on this. It's the age, girls are mean, they are trying to fit in, always wanting to be someone else. This is one reason she started blogging with me, to build that confidence and to be able to see her beautiful self and see what lovely comments come through as a confidence booster. Now, my 6yr old is full of self confidence and I hope it stays that way. She's just a different kind of kid. Sassy and full of spunk.

    Now for myself, confidence comes and goes. We all have crappy days where you just want to crawl into a hole. But as a mother, you have to keep going. My confidence has grown since I've gotten older (into my 30s). As long as I can be a great mom, a good wife, and a good person that's all the I need to have confidence!

    And yes, I remember the Sure song, and the Kenny & Dolly song, and my husband and I were just talking about Popeye the other day!

  10. Ahhhhh this post made me think quite a bit. I used to lack confidence, at least appearance-wise, when I was younger. But I think I pulled confidence from other places, like, "Oh, I get good grades! I'm smart! I can do anything!" and that kind of cancelled out the lack of appearance-based confidence. Then, I got a little older, my face cleared up, I lost some weight, whatever, and I got a little cocky. I suppose all 16 year olds are a little cocky, right? It's such a fine line, I can't even imagine how one would teach their children the difference between being confident and being cocky (good luck! Let me know how you do it and I'll write it down for the future!).

    Now, I'm not sure where I'm at. I like to think I'm not cocky...but I am confident, on most days. I do have those days where it's like, "Wow...I can't do anything right," but not too often. I guess part of it is who you surround yourself with. In high school, there's so much pressure, I think you're almost forced to either A) Block it all out and be cocky as all hell, or B) Feel absolutely horrible about yourself (or both at the same time!) because you're surrounded by other cocky and awkward teenagers. High school was definitely NOT my best time...and I'm so glad to be out of that environment. I'm much healthier on my own!

  11. Nice post! My husband tells me I'm beautiful : ) My confidence comes from within and knowing who I am. I can say I don't have a lot of it either so it has to be practiced for sure. Build on confidence on positive experiences and positive thoughts!

  12. Ya know..that's a question worth pondering over! Alot of us have an unspoken confidence that can't be defined with words. Is there something tangible that gives us confidence or is it more of something within? I gain confidence by knowing that I am a good daughter, sister, aunt, friend, and confidant. By knowing that I'm doing right by others and doing things that bring me the most joy! Does this make sense?

  13. I thought that this was going to be about Deodorant, for sure. Your babies are pretty, and you and your husband look really happy.

  14. From a man's point of view, a very interesting post. My opinion is that a girl does not have to be drop dead gorgeous to look beautiful. Confidence plays a huge role, and using what the Good Lord gave you in the right way, does the rest. It is such a pity that some girls does just the opposite with what they have and spoil a potential good look.

    You are beautiful, and had I been your hubby, I would have told you so, just like I tell my wife that every day. Point is, both of you use your best assets to your advantage.

    Great post, and a stunning blog. I have become your latest loyal follower.
    Have a super day. :)

  15. You know, I'm struggling mightily with self-confidence to this day. The truest advice I've gotten on the topic is "be your biggest fan". Love yourself first! Honestly, the most confident self-loving people I know are also the kindest and most well-accepted. Now me and myself have a lot of pep talks and my 3 yo gets fawned over openly. Hey- he's wonderful until he's not and he goes in time out. And hey hey hey, that's all right. ;)

    I'm glad to hear you've hit the awesome spot of self acceptance. Ah, bliss.

  16. That is a lovely, thought provoking post. Glad you have good self confidence now, it's so important to make peace with the stupid voice in your head that is so critical.
    I am in my thirties too and I do think it is a combination of *ahem* maturity/ life experience and being surrounded by people who love you.
    I don't know that particular deodorant jingle but the UK/Irish one was "hands up if you use right guard, hands down if you don't" and that is on repeat in my head now!!

  17. I have always been very confident, to the point where people at my high school used to say I was up myself! oops! yes, my parents boosted my confidence every day and still do whenever I see them. this is the greatest thing you can do for your kids! I would say though that it's important to emphasise their individual qualities and avoid saying that they are the 'best' at anything or the prettiest, cleverest, etc. they're good, but they should want to get better. as soon as they think they're the best, cockiness kicks in!

    also speaking of old songs, when I was a kid I was OBSESSED with the Sound of Music and I think that's where I first learned the word confidence! I used to leap around the garden singing 'I have confidence in sunshine! I have confidence in rain!' haha.

  18. i had this conversation with Bird last month. he was wondering why i like getting attractively dressed up and going to pubs one night out of every week with my friends, who just happen to be single. aussies don't usually settle down until their 30's and i'm 23 and married.
    i guess he was a bit jealous of it all so i gave him the embarrassing honest answer. i now honestly get a thrill of out of going out "to see and be seen." i told him i've never been so confident in myself as i am now, as a wife, so i don't have to play the 'look at that cute guy over there, will he come over and talk to me?' and the accomplishment i feel that we moved to the other side of the world without jobs and now have created a successful and satisfying life for ourselves in sydney. he completely understood and was thrilled that i feel this way about being with him.

    love this post! thank you for your honesty.