Wednesday, July 8, 2015

I Don't Have Confidence, I Have Courage

I was floating in a two person inter tube with a good friend, the sun warming my skin, the laughter of my friends behind me, and my favorite drink in my hand.  I couldn't get the smile off my face.  My fourth of July weekend was going exactly as I hoped.  I opened my eyes to see my friend sheepishly jumping into the pool before anyone could get a glimpse of her "imperfect" body.

My first thought?  "I know exactly how you feel."

I'm a 39 year old woman who hangs out with people who are anywhere from 25-29.  We really don't seem that different.  Maybe it's my young heart, maybe they are old for their age, maybe age really is just a number, but these are my people and I love them.

Even if age is just a number, it is also relentless.  Everyone will get wrinkles, everyone will learn life lessons, and everyone's metabolism will slow down.  I kinda hate those blogs about moms who should learn to be proud of their mom bodies because their bodies are their proof of having a baby, accomplishing something amazing.  What if we ALL were proud of our bodies because our value isn't determined by whether we have had a baby or not, whether we work out everyday or not, whether our metabolism is 25 or 39?

I decided at the beginning of the weekend to not allow my 39 year old body to hold me back from anything.  I would dance around in my swim suit next to my 25 year old counterpart.  I would sit in my inter tube although the position made my stomach look awful.  I would get up and joust with my friends even though my legs would show my age.

Here's the thing.  I'm not a confident person.  If I was, those thoughts wouldn't even occur to me.  I don't have confidence, I have courage.  And the good news is that you can't force yourself to have confidence, but you can force yourself to have courage.  You CAN just choose to do something that feels scary and intimidating.  You can apply for that job.  You can ask that person to dinner.  You can be vulnerable.  You CAN dance around in that swimsuit.

The best part?  Your courage doesn't even have to come from you.  Have more faith in your friends.  Believe that they will still love you even if you're 10 pounds heavier than you think you should be.  Believe that they will be there to celebrate when you get that job.  Believe that they will carry your burden when that person doesn't like you back.

So here we go.  What are you scared of that you really want to do?  Don't rely on your confidence, rely on your courage and the people who love you.  Go do it.  Now.