Where Does Confidence Come From?

I was having lunch with a friend yesterday. She mentioned how she has always had confidence. Even as a teenager. I nearly fell off my chair! That's a THING? Confidence as a teenage girl? I had barely a shred. That tiny shred, that was stuck somewhere between my massive shyness and boatload of inadequacy, very rarely appeared. Never for long.

Today is a much different story. More often than not my confidence hangs out with me. I wear it like I wear my boots. Strong. Tall. Kick butt. The shyness and inadequacy pop up like gopher heads in a gopher bopping game once in awhile. I've gotten good at bopping them back down.

I think there's a confidence epidemic. Over and over I see amazing women raising remarkable children and accomplishing feats and tasks with panache and skill. Yet once you scrape the panachy surface, they only have those tiny shreds of confidence. Buried. Only occasionally shining through. 

Which brings me to my question. Where does confidence come from? This is not a question I'm looking to answer with research or current thought leaders. It's something I want to ponder. Wrap around my finger a few different ways and see how it curls. 

Some people talk about confidence like it was a gift that God bestowed and somehow skipped them over. "Oh, my SISTER got the confidence." You got the freckles and she got the confidence. I don't buy that DNA version of confidence 

You hear about "finding confidence." Like it's been hidden in the couch cushions and now you found it next to the dirty pacifier and two quarters. I think anyone waiting to find their confidence is going to fall asleep on that couch and wake up realizing that life has passed them by.  Life takes confidence. A sensational, fascinating, luscious life takes confidence. 

I think confidence comes from digging, forgiving and loving. (Not necessarily in that order.) Digging to figure out who YOU really are. We are all lots of things. Parents, employees, children, siblings, friends, on and on and on. Those are all valid parts and pieces of what makes us up. Yet there is a core and a center that everything else comes from. Finding what makes up that foundational center helps stop all the poisonous comparing. Helps us find the amazing, solid, sensational parts of ourselves so that all the insignificant stuff can be insignificant. We start to realize that not only is it okay to shine, but that light inside of our core yearns to shine! It wants to add its brightness to the world. The beauty and brightness of your core was put there to add to the beauty and brightness of the world. And Lord knows this world needs your beauty and brightness. 

Forgiving ourselves. Forgiving the little girl who just couldn't find her voice. Forgiving the young woman who made so many mistakes because she didn't know even a tiny fraction of her brilliance. She couldn't see it. Forgiving choices and actions and self destruction. 

Finally loving. Loving who you are in the center of you. Loving the center, and in turn loving the packaging, because it houses your amazing center and your beautiful light.  Loving the choices and actions because you are basing them on what the YOU of you really believes in and values. 

I love seeing women I work with step out in the end with their kick butt confidence. Shining their beautiful lights out in the world. THAT'S the epidemic I'd like to see.