Cloaked In Confidence
I had to go to a work convention in Las Vegas last week. That was OK by me, cause I like Vegas. Absolutely nothing there even remotely resembles my daily life. If I’m in Vegas I’m on vacation, even at a work conference. The blistering heat, the theme hotels, the food, the shopping, the overall desert lavishness. None of that finds its way onto my daily grind menu, so for me it’s fun. And I don’t even gamble.
But anyhoo … so I’m in Vegas with a work colleague and after a seminar we attended, it was time for drinks. We bellied up to the bar and placed our orders. She’s a dirty martini kinda gal; I’m drinking vodka and cranberry. Within minutes after settling ourselves on the bar stools, my work colleague starts attracting men. Granted, this is Vegas, and part of the appeal is the hook-up. What happens there stays there and all that. But the speed with which men started flocking to her was impressive. Is she pretty? Sure. But it’s not her solely her looks behind all the buzzing boys. Not at all. The biggest tool in my colleague’s arsenal is her unflinching sense of confidence. She wears it like a second skin, and men flock to her feet.
When I mentioned to her how remarkable her self-confidence is, she confessed that she exudes it only on the outside. Inside she struggles with the same insecurities and self-doubt as the rest of us. It’s just that she doesn’t let it show when she’s out and about. It’s a highly attractive feature and no surprise that it reels in the opposite sex. We gals like a confident man, so it only follows that the reverse is true. They like a confident us. Yet, like so many men vs women things, it’s a certain type of confidence that men seem to like best. It’s what dating coach Adam LoDolce calls “sexy confidence.”
LoDolce points out that it’s easy for women to think being confident means having no vulnerability. Mais non, he says. Not true at all. Confidence and vulnerability aren’t mutually exclusive and, in fact, work best together. If you portray such staggering confidence that it appears you have not a hint of vulnerability anywhere at all, it can be a turnoff, likely because it doesn’t ring true. We all have insecurities, even confident people. But it takes confidence to express your insecure side. Get it?
Another misconception is that being overly confident takes away femininity. Another falsehood, according to LoDolce. We gals can be both confident and feminine. It’s that “sexy confidence” he’s talking about, which is exactly what my colleague has in spades. She struts her stuff boldly but with a feminine edge. A sword wrapped in lace. And guys come running.
The romantic heroines we create are exactly what LoDolce is talking about. Bold, smart, secure in who they are yet struggling in other ways, just like the rest of us. So if we can write them, why can’t we always be them? Probably because it takes courage to be confident. You’re putting your whole self out there for others to see. Perhaps, to criticize. But being confident and self-assured brings with it a certain amount of armor against the slings and arrows others may try to fling at us. It’s why we love it in our heroines, and why we need to love it in ourselves.
When doubts and insecurities start stalking me, I like to take a look at fashion blogger Jessica Kane‘s wonderful photo that she posted on Facebook of herself in a bathing suit. She says putting up that photo doesn’t make her “brave,” as some have said. Maybe not, but the confidence it took to post the photo for all the world to see is pretty darn cool.
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