She talks well.
She walks tall.
She always looks put together.
She seems to do everything well.
She comes off as a power house.
She exudes confidence.
And… you can’t stand her.
Let’s be honest. We’ve all had those moments when we’ve seen a confident woman and tried to nit pick her flaws. Most of us have had those moments that when we were feeling on our game, in the groove, and good about how we were doing and where we were going – that we’ve felt the judgment and nit picking of others.
Women can be catty and judgmental, especially of other women. There is something about a confident woman that brings out the judge and jury of her peers thirsty to convict and condemn her for the crime of confidence. Instead of recognizing confidence, the gallery condemns her “aggressiveness”, her “cockiness”, and her “bitchiness. ” Although confidence is what nearly every woman is striving for, it is so hard to praise it and celebrate it in others. It is true that not every one of her peers will hold her in contempt of gal pal mores for being sure in her footing. But there are many that will. Are you one of them?
As women, we encourage each other to step out confidently into the world. This is what we struggle and strive to do, almost daily. In this time in history, women are encouraged to be bold, be assertive, be vocal, and be their true selves. It has become an expectation that every woman represents all women in what she says, does, or chooses in life. When she takes a stand, makes some noise, and is the catalyst for change, she is collectively cheered. But – in individual, and closer peer circles, often she is judged. She is being judged for being too straight forward, too able, too perfect, and too well spoken. What we are all striving to be, she is being judged for being.
Her confidence becomes her condemnation.
Before you pass judgement on a confident woman, there 7 realities about the confident woman that you need to remember.
1. She speaks well because she chooses her words wisely. She has received harsh words and she has used them. She has received kind words and she has used them. She has heard poorly worded messages and spoken them. She has heard and used effective messages. In the process, she has been observant to the effect that those words have had. She has a willingness and a desire to use her voice in a way that is effective and uplifting – not cutting and hurtful.
2. She walks tall so she can see over the crowd on her journey, not simply follow others, head down, to a destination. The thought of simply following along, though it may be an easy path, doesn’t feed her soul. She has been in the spot where she could not see among the masses, and she did something to change it. She longs to know the how and why of her journey, and knows that standing tall to have a vision of it trumps worrying about where the crowd is going.
3. She has the presence of being put together because although she is an emotional being, she knows how to temper the knee jerk responses of emotion in her daily life. She feels those moments like everyone else. She has felt the sting of hurtful things said to her by others, in their emotional moments – and strives to not do the same to others. She has learned that even in heightened emotional states, she is absolutely accountable for her actions and responses. She chooses how she responds and reacts.
4. She feels the judgement that is being cast upon her because she seems put together, but knows she can not live her journey and purpose based on another’s opinion. For too long, she let what others felt and thought dictate how she acted and presented herself to the world, and she made a choice to break free of that bondage.
5. She does the things she does well because she has invested time and effort, fearlessly, into doing them well. She will most likely never claim mastery over them, but she will claim and accept her competence in them. She is ALWAYS open to learning new things and figuring out a way to get things done.
6. She knows the difference between confidence and cockiness. She steps in confidence because she holds true to her value, not in cockiness assuming that her value is above that of anyone else. She remains humble and in gratitude for the opportunity and choice she’s been given, but knows that because she has been given opportunity and choice, she must steward them well – in confidence. She doubts like everyone else, but she knows that a failure or a misstep does not mean she has less value as a person.
7. She has not lived a charmed life. The confident woman has struggled, fought, failed, and succeeded in many of the same ways you have – and probably many you have not. She has made choices in what power she will give to the happenings of life. She also knows she has choice in how she shows up to life. She chooses not to live as a victim of what life has brought her way, but as a victor over them. She steps accordingly through life, owning what she has been through, and not letting it own her.
The next time you feel tempted to condemn the confidence of another, remember these realities. Many of them probably resonate and describe you. Confidence is what you are striving for to help you through your transitions, your life changes, and your new journeys. Be careful that when you see it in another person, you don’t call it something it is not, but praise what it is – the journey that is walked with boldness, strength, courage, gratitude. and character.