A Lesson in Self-Confidence

When I was 17 and still learning about make up and how it works, I tried to wear some vibrant eye shadows. One day my boyfriend at the time (before I met my husband) commented that the blue shadow I was wearing made me look like a clown. It scared me and threw my confidence out so much that for years I wore only neutral colours. Even my hair colour never went too far from the usual, more natural shades.
Then this year I realised I was turning 32 and I was boring.  My hair was boring. My make up was boring. Nothing about me stood out from the crowd. I had no confidence in my looks. I’d had enough. I didn’t want to look boring anymore. That was the point I started bleaching my hair blonde. From there I got the courage to colour my hair pink. From there I realised I needed to get creative with my make up if I didn’t want to look washed out. Bright pink eye shadows and lipsticks looked better with pink hair.


After my pink washed out I went blue. With blue hair came more creative make up. Suddenly standing out in the crowd wasn’t so scary. I had more confidence in myself and my looks. Blue eye shadow no longer looked clownish to me. It worked with my hair colour and I wasn’t afraid to try the more vibrant shades. Do you know what I realised at the point? The vibrant colours actually look good on me. I like it. No, I love it.
Learning self-confidence by standing out from the crowd

That one little comment by my boyfriend when I was 17 left a huge negative impact in my life. For 15 years I was too afraid to stand out. To look different. To try new things. It shattered my confidence in myself. It made me conform to society’s standards of beauty. Beauty meant looking natural. Beauty meant not looking any different to anyone else. It set me up to absorb every negative criticism of me. Each one shattered my self-esteem and confidence even more than the last and after I had Celine they hit me even more. I was too fat. I should have lost the weight already. My particular favourite and one that had a huge negative impact on me was “look at the fat whale in a bikini” by my Mother-in-Law on a photo of myself and Celine taken at the beach on New Year’s just after Celine turned one. I really lost myself with that one.

It wasn’t until this year that I actually got my self-confidence back which is pretty strange since I was pregnant with my fourth child for most of it. It wasn’t an easy pregnancy. I had a lot of people tell me I was big for my gestation and several looks of shock when I revealed I wasn’t due for months. Now that Bella is born I haven’t particularly lost any more weight or slimmed down any like I did have Blake and Dani. I’ve pretty much just fluctuated the same numbers for the last 9 weeks.

But I’ve been happier than I’ve ever been. I’ve had more compliments by random strangers in the streets since my change in style than I’ve had my entire life. And even Hubby telling me I looked like a clown when I first coloured my hair pink, while it almost had me running back into my shell to hear a repeat of that first initial criticism, didn’t do more than just jolt my returning self-confidence.

Stepping out of the box has helped me grow as a person, as a wife and as a mother. I’m learning to be myself instead of what others expect of me and while I’m learning about this, my children are too. They see me grow and are growing in confidence themselves. Because they are learning that it’s ok to be themselves and to be different and to stand out from the crowd.

Changing my hair colour gave me much needed lessons in self-confidence and self-love.

What’s holding you back in confidence?


About AMummysLife NZ

Mother of 4 children. Blogger about family life, recipes, product reviews and motherhood in general.
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