Joy Burnford is the co-founder of My Confidence Matters, a business seeking to elevate all women to being the most confident they can be in their professional and private lives. Here she shares with Eloquently Her, a perspective on holding on to that childhood confidence, and nurturing it in our children.
It’s so true that children can educate us as adults, just as we can pass teachings to them.
I see that particularly with my daughter on a daily basis, and she’s a constant reminder of why I’m so passionate about ensuring that the world of both work and relationships is one in which women can learn to feel far more confident about who and what they are.
My daughter has always struck me as incredibly fearless.
Whether it’s a result of learned behaviour, or youthful naivety, I’m not sure I care…. but I do wish I could bottle it for her.
She’s always been keen, right from a very young age, to lace on her football boots, take to the park or pitch, and give as good as she gets.
She never lacks in confidence at the thought of spectators watching her every move.
She doesn’t back away from the ‘arena’ of football in some misguided view that it is meant more for boys than for girls.
She doesn’t doubt (or fixate over) her ability. She simply always wants to give the game her absolute best.
If there’s a model of approach to life and to business I could wish to pass on to her for ever more, or to any women we teach through our workshops, it’s very much that same approach of having the courage and conviction.
Or, perhaps, even to ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’.
Confidence, to my mind, really is one of those weapons in our armoury which we have to keep using or risk losing.
We have to keep exercising the muscle, making it part of our every day, ensuring it is always something we reach for in our busy daily lives.
Naturally, life brings up its hurdles and hiccups.
It also introduces us to some characters and circumstances which may well cause us to slip in confidence, or lose it altogether.
The trick, therefore, is just to make sure that as quickly as we feel it being chipped away, we get straight back to honing that muscle and reminding ourselves what we have to ‘be confident’ about.
Sadly, it’s simply not possible for me to bottle up confidence and keep it stored for every stage of my daughter’s life. I can’t force-feed it to her anytime she has a wobble.
What I can do though, is ensure that she sees me continually maintaining my own confidence and self-validation, while giving her the tools to be every bit a confident adult woman as she is now, in these early days of carefree muddy football playing.