There’s something very Carrie Bradshaw, therapeutic-like writing these little things. Although my views don’t totally align with Bradshaw’s (the Sarah Jessica Parker – Sex and the City character), I see a beauty in her. She has a confidence that a lot of women don’t. Her ability to say what she thinks doesn’t go unnoticed. I’ve been thinking a bit lately about what I wear and my body image and how that affects the way I carry myself. But it’s not just that. Our self confidence comes from our ability to be assertive and set boundaries. My confidence also is strengthened when I know what I want and don’t. I enjoy life and what it has to offer when I like who I am, once I know who that is.
Generally, when I walk into the Mall, if I’m wearing daggy clothes, aside from hoping noone I know is shopping that day, I’m also inwardly (and outwardly) pretty uncomfortable. And when I’m looking the best I can, with the best threads I have, I immediately have an air about me, a peppiness in my step. It’s weird how just a cut of clothes can make you feel a cut above the rest. It’s funny how it seems most women don’t dress to attract men to them, but rather to make sure they fit in and feel good with the women in their circle. But it’s not even just about comparison with other women, it can also be about comparison with yourself. I think that’s the case anyway.
I don’t know what comes first, being assertive or being confident, or if it is a bit of a chicken and the egg thing. But somehow confidence and assertiveness are related. Being on the other end of assertiveness can sometimes be frustrating, probably because we can’t just get what we want when we want it from that person. Yet noticing someone’s assertiveness can also lead to both empowerment and admiration for that person’s character. There is a true beauty in someone both being unapologetically themselves, as well as being able to apologise when they themself were wrong. Assertiveness is not about dominating the conversation and getting what you want all the time. Part of assertiveness is respect for others and mutual respect, treating others as you’d like to be treated. Part of assertiveness is saying what you mean and not saying things to flatter others that aren’t exactly what you believe.
I’ll keep this writing short, partly because I haven’t got much more to say (as I’m still working this out for myself) and partly because I think what I have said is enough. I hope I can practice what I preach and enjoy the freedom of being true to myself and my beliefs. I hope next time I’m walking around in public, whether it is in my finest clothes or looking daggy, that I can know who I am – more than the clothes I have bought – rather someone who is loved and who can love.
Elizabeth is a Mum to Grace, step-mum to Will, wife to Ricky. She is very changeable. Sometimes she'll identify herself as a social worker, other times as a writer or even as a Christian. She loves her town of Dubbo, New South Wales. Elizabeth studied a Bachelor of Social Work at Charles Sturt University.