Witnessing Zozibini Tunz from South Africa become Miss Universe a few days ago and watching the clips from the pageant since her accomplishment has sparked a conversation in my family on a topic that many parents have with their children. 

My daughter marveled at the way Ms. Universe carried herself and articulated her answers. She whispered to me while being glued to the screen “Mommy, She knows she is going to win this!”

Whether she actually did or not, Zozibini Tunz exuded inner beauty and belief in herself on that stage that night.

I was always amazed at how much confidence my mother had in herself when she chased her dreams and goals while I was growing up. She always told me to be a leader, not a follower. She taught me that it is more courageous to have enough confidence to go for something when everyone else thinks it is impossible and lead by example when there is no support.

Believing in myself wasn’t always so easy for me at first. I was initially worried about disappointing everyone if I didn’t get the top grade in school, or make the ballet company or won my figure skating competition. I was also afraid of letting myself down and I didn’t want thoughts about not being good enough taking over.

I was reluctant at times to take that leap of faith when pursuing a new idea or adventure because of fear of failure.  My mother always reminded me that if I didn’t at least exude confidence and believe that  I could achieve what I desired, then no one else would believe in me either. 

Her words eventually sunk into my mind and soul and at some point, I turned a corner.  I started recognizing my self-worth without being arrogant and knew that I had qualities that made ME unique that I could share with the world. 

I’ll be honest, it isn’t always easy staying confident and it’s a process because life happens and I’ve gotten knocked down.  I try and remember that I CAN eventually achieve what I desire by working hard, staying positive and humble, displaying perseverance and celebrating my gifts.
So I tell my daughter to hold her head up high and smile, know she can handle what life throws at her, be a leader and to put her best foot forward!

What do you do to make yourself feel confident?