This post is inspired by the copy of The Confidence Code by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman that was sent to me by their publisher’s PR department. It was released today and you can get it on Amazon or wherever. I haven’t finished it.
But! I had an experience recently in which my own usually dismal self-esteem got a major boost. I did it in a series of steps that I am thrilled to share with my readers, all two of you, EXCLUSIVELY! Do as I do and be prepared to be the most self-assured person in the room.
First of all, get a column for a newspaper or magazine. Spend several years building a relationship with your audience. Discuss feminism, death, marriage, Madonna, food–all the really important stuff. Then hit ‘em with a confession that they weren’t expecting:
I have to know: Am I appealing to you? Do you think I’m doing the right thing? Do you think I’m good enough?
Do you like me?
Continue with stories from childhood, careful not to blame lack of self-esteem on either parents or kindly old kindergarten teachers. Be sure to consult your thesaurus so you sound more like a professor than a cowering wimp when you write things like:
Without your approval, I am bereft. When I have it, I am momentarily delighted, yet always aware of how deeply in its thrall I remain – and how much it is my master.
I know what you’re thinking: the idea of writing these words for public consumption is mortifying. It’s embarrassing enough to FEEL this way, but to confess it?! Trust me. I know what I’m doing here.
You, dear reader, wield extraordinary power, though most of you don’t know it. Hell, most of you reading this don’t even know me.(Would you like to? Please say yes.)
Send the piece to your editor, with a joking tagline of “hope you like it!” Lol, rofl, lmfao, etc.
When the essay appears in print and online, read it, then cringe. What is worse: displaying your underpants or your emotional vulnerability in public? You think you know the answer until the messages start popping up in your inbox.
I totally relate!
Thank you for writing this. I’m a big fan.
Imagine all of that stuff happening to you. It feels pretty great, doesn’t it? The feeling will last until you are pitched a book about why women have no self-confidence, it occurs to you to write a blog about it, and then you find yourself wasting hours taking and deleting selfies with the book because your frizzy hair looks like crap today.
It takes Kay and Shipman until page 141 to get to the meat of their book, which is the advice: “when in doubt, act.”
So I’m publishing this blog and the least awful picture of me, the book, and my hair.
I’m going to quote from my column again:
….give me a little feedback on this [piece]. Did it delight you? Excite you? Flatter you?
I’m not going anywhere. I’ll wait to hear from you.