I was at a party recently, feeling beautiful yet self-conscious as usual when I noticed a ripple affect slowly moving through the room. It was like a scene out of a movie, everyone is standing there, sprinkled liberally through the room, surrounding the tables laden with gorgeous food, plate in hand and then suddenly everyone slowly turns to look at the entrance. I was baffled.
No I was not at a wedding, and no Catherine Zeta-Jones didn’t deign to drop in for an unscheduled mingle session, it was just a woman I’d known all my life walking through those double doors. I started to dismiss her from my thoughts as I looked for the real reason for everyone’s stares when it hit me, something was different.
As we made our way across the crowded room to say hello to each other I took the opportunity to surreptitiously study her. Had she struck it rich and run away to Elizabeth Arden for a few weeks? Had she hired a trainer and stuck religiously stuck to the ridiculously rigorous schedules they dream up?
As we struck up a conversation, bringing each other up to date I continued to study her with fascination. What was it? Suddenly I couldn’t stand the mystery anymore and I just blurted the question out, interrupting her monologue on the amazing amount of dates she’s had recently. “What is it Mara? What did you do to yourself? I’m sure you know you look stunning, no one’s been able to take their eyes off of you since you came in.”
“I was waiting for you to ask me Belle, what took so long?” She laughingly chided me. “I’ll tell you the truth as long as you promise not to tell anyone!” she said as she leaned in, as if really telling me a secret. “I haven’t gone away to a spa, I haven’t joined a gym, gone for a professional make-over, heck I haven’t even gone on a diet. What I did was take stock of myself and decided to get some confidence! I know it sounds crazy but one night I was up late thinking about all that was wrong with myself and decided enough was enough. It was really hard to always believe in myself at first, I kept on asking myself if this outfit really looked good on me, and if that shade of lipstick really matched!”
“It was all false bravado at first, but after a while it became real. I’m not even sure when it happened but I woke up one day and realized that what they say is true ‘habit eventually becomes second nature’. Not only that but now that I’m so happy with myself everyone seems so much more attracted to me! It was hard, but I’m glad I kept up with it because it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me.”
I stood there in shock, just staring at her. It was true, she looked the same she’s always looked, maybe a few pounds lighter, pounds she probably shed because she hasn’t been depression-eating! No that wasn’t the major change; the major change was the glow of happiness, happiness that wasn’t dependant on someone else and their whims. No she was happy with herself and therefore another’s happiness would only add to hers, not become her sole barometer for joy.
As she made her way through the room I watched as both men and women seemed to vie for her attention. She was gracious with everyone, her confidence and poise seemed to impress everyone. She walked with her head held high, a twinkle in her eye, and a look one her face that said she was happy with herself, take it or leave it.
Right then and there I decided to add her to my list of role models and take her example to heart. Starting right now I’d work on my self-confidence. No I don’t look like fashions idea of beauty, but I’m a woman and I’m gorgeous, I just needed to believe in myself. Slowly, painstakingly I would develop the veneer of confidence, until like she said ‘habit eventually becomes second nature’. Believing in yourself one hundred percent is one of the hardest things to do, but once accomplished, and the entire time while on the journey you see amazing results. You become a magnet for success and happiness.
I challenge you to do it; yeah it’s hard but just try. When getting dressed for work the next day, or when you’re going to go out with your friends wear something new, something you’d normally never wear. Whenever you begin to doubt yourself think of something else, put on a false front if you must, and I think you’ll be amazed with the results. Talk to someone you’ve never spoken to before, the cute man at the grocery store or the senior partner at the firm who scares the living daylights out of you! Do it all with confidence and you’ll have the time of your life! Do it all with confidence and soon you’ll reach the second nature part and you’ll love the ‘new’ sparkly, happy you.
By Sara Korf