Are you proud of the person you are right now? Are you confident in your 40’s?
I can say I am proud and confident. It’s good to hold your head high and be proud and confident in your 40’s.
But, being confident doesn’t happen over night. At least it didn’t for me.
Achieving true confidence took me roughly 40 years. And, I didn’t even realize I had it until I went out to dinner with some friends to celebrate my 40th birthday and someone asked me “what’s the best part of turning 40?”
I thought about it for a minute and then it hit me – the short answer is confidence.
The long answer is I don’t feel the need to compete with anyone anymore. More importantly, I don’t feel the need to compete with women half my age.
Do you remember your twenties? If you were like me, you tried your best to look and act very confident. But inside, you were constantly afraid you were making the wrong choices. It was important what people thought of you. And, you wanted everyone to think you had it all together.
I also remember feeling the need to dress to impress. Now when I dress nice, it’s because it makes me feel good. Of course, I love the compliments from my husband too, but that’s secondary.
I made a lot of wrong choices in my twenties. I know that now. Maybe you did as well.
In my thirties, I was a little smarter and had a better handle on who I was and who I wanted to be.
But, when I reached 40’s, I had an epiphany. I realized it’s no longer important what people think of me. What matters most is how I feel about myself, what I’ve accomplished, and how I see myself.
My confidence doesn’t come from what I am or what I am not. My confidence comes from knowing that I’m doing the best I can right now. I’m working hard every day to be the person God wants me to be. I’m also working hard to be the wife, mother, and friend I need to be.
Is every day perfect? No. Am I great at it every day? No. But, I’m confident that my focus is where it needs to be. My focus is on doing my best.
If I make a mistake, I try to do better next time or make amends if my mistake involved another person. My self-improvement is based on personal growth, not about “fitting in with the crowd”.
When you’re confident in your 40’s you’re also better able to express yourself. As a result, I’m a better wife than I was in my 20’s. When I need to talk to my husband, I can tell him what I’m thinking without being rude, but also without dancing around the subject. We can be honest and always know where we stand with each other.
With other people, I can say “no” confidently if I don’t want to do something. (Read more about saying NO here). If I’ve over-extended myself, I ask for help. If I don’t want help, I can say that too.
I think being proud in your 40’s is less about what you’ve done or didn’t do in your life up to this point, and more about how it’s changed you as a person.
Are you kinder and smarter? Do you make better choices? Are you more patient?
You may have achieved great things up to this point and you’re proud of your accomplishments. Have you had a wonderful life and are proud of how things have turned out thus far?
If you’ve had a hard life or made some choices you regret, being proud now is not about those mistakes or experiences. Being proud is about how those experiences have changed you.
If you’re stronger, wiser, and more resilient, that’s something you can be proud of.
Has anyone ever asked you “would you go back and do it all over again”? What do you say? Usually, I say “no”. Sure, there are some things I would do over, but for the most part, I wouldn’t change anything.
There will always be things we regret and wish we would have handled differently. But, every experience, choice, and action brought you to this place where you are right now.
I hope the place you’re in now is good. I hope it’s a place you can be proud of. Maybe not for what you’ve already done, but for the wonderful things you will do in the days and years that lie ahead.