My word for 2013 is confidence.
|Confidence. From here.|
It is an all-pervasive concept, really. Confidence is something that I could use when I dress in the morning; when I am offered a challenging project; when I consider huge life decisions, like a career change. It may be a bit of a surprising word for me to choose, since I generally think of myself as a confident individual. But I have my moments of doubt. They creep up on me unexpectedly, and always at the least opportune occasion.
You see, I have a bit of a history with this word. Back in high school, I must have been the only (though I hope this is not the case) teenage girl who was not concerned with her looks. I don't mean that I made a conscious decision not to care what people thought about my appearance. It's just that... it never occurred to me to worry about things like weight or bra size at that time. I have to say, this carefree attitude made for a healthy body image.
All that changed with college. Every freshman was told about the inevitable "freshman 15" (as in, the inevitability of gaining 15 pounds in the first year of college as a result of separation from mom's cooking and easy access to junk food 24/7), and suddenly, I became aware of my body. I was not overweight by any measure (I still look approximately the same as I did eleven years ago, plus a few more wrinkles and gray hair), but just the potential of gaining weight made me body-conscious.
My body did not appreciate me that year. Or rather, I did not appreciate my body. But that is a story for another day, perhaps. I have moved on since then, and I am happy with the way I look. But sometimes, I open my closet in the morning and exclaim that I have nothing to wear. What I actually mean by those words is that I have nothing to wear that I will feel confident in, like a young, 29-year-old woman should feel. There is a reason for this problem: because my body hasn't changed much since my college days, neither has my wardrobe. But I have outgrown it.
So, one of the things I am planning to tackle this year is get over my fear of department stores and my dislike for shopping, and finally revamp my wardrobe. And, you know, figure out how to dress my 29-year-old body. I bet that will do wonders for my confidence.
|She believed. From here via Pinterest.|
Confidence is not all about looks, though. There have been times in my career when I was handed a challenging project, and immediately, I would begin to doubt my abilities. Do I really have the knowledge to solve this problem? Am I smart enough to figure this out? Those questions would plague me, and my only recourse would be to push them far enough away to drown out the doubting voices. But all that doubt is crazy talk. I thrive on challenging projects. Of course I am smart enough to handle them. Otherwise I wouldn't be in a position to be offered such a project. And if I don't know something, I am going to learn it. That is how challenging problems get solved in the real world. I just have to remember that long enough to stay confident in myself and my abilities throughout my career.
And confidence is certainly something I could use in my career transition. I have been planning a change for a long time, and this year, the dots may finally begin to connect. I only have to believe that it is possible, and that I could do it.
So, here is to the word of the year: confidence.