For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone. – Audrey Hepburn

When life goes the way we planned and all things are roses and rainbows, the above statement isn’t so hard to envision. But when life doesn’t go as we planned and all things feel terrible, to rise above a situation and be clothed in strength and dignity is difficult, and almost impossible.

A few weeks into 2018, I want to remember what it is I aspire to be: secure and confident, despite all that is not secure or under control. These are nine things I believe define someone who is strong and confident:

9 Facets of Confidence to Aspire to in 2018

1. Happiness

“Never tie your happiness to the tail of someone else’s kite.” – Beth Hoffman, Looking for Me

Instead of happiness coming from external things or from someone else, her joy comes from within. She hopes and believes and dares to be happy.

Baronne Prevost Rose

2. Gratitude

“True forgiveness is when you can say, “Thank you for that experience.”” – Oprah Winfrey

Being able to say Thank You frees us from the negative things which would weigh us down and frees us to be positive.

3. Yes and No

Our yes comes because we really want to, and our no is spoken with certainty. We don’t need to worry about what others think when we speak with grace from the heart. Instead, she works to keep a bigger perspective, invests her time in things she really wants to do, and works to make the world a better place.

4. Seize the day

If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward. – Martin Luther King Jr.

When there is an opportunity, whether it is to better herself with exercise, to pursue a dream, to be with friends and family, or to travel, a confident and secure woman goes for it. She just does it, because she can. There is risk, of course, but she is okay with that. The rewards are greater than the fears. And her life and those around her are infinitely richer for it.

5. Generosity

With generosity, she listens more than she speaks, gives more than she takes, seeks out ways to help those who need it, and appreciates those around her. She knows that everyone has something to offer, is a human being of high value, and gives them the benefit of the doubt.

6. Kindness

She isn’t focused on being right, and is unafraid to be wrong. She instead believes kindness is imperative in all situations. Because everyone has a burden they have to bear, too.

7. Laughter

“She is clothed in strength and dignity and can laugh at the days to come.” – Proverbs 31

A confident woman doesn’t take life too seriously. This, too, shall pass, she says when things are tough. She prays, she trusts, and she can laugh, because she knows who holds her days.

8. Connects

“Paradise has never been about places. It exists in moments. In connection. In flashes across time.” – Victoria Erickson

Friends and family are paramount in her life. She leans on them and they lean on her. She allows herself to be vulnerable, even when it is uncomfortable, because she knows that when we share our stories, when we share our lives, two and three and more are much stronger than one. She loves and is loved.

9. Boundaries

Boundaries are essential for a life well-lived. Not everyone is kind and thoughtful. Many come into her life and take more than they give. Some gain her trust, but then do things that shatter her. It is when that occurs–because those who are in pain and hurt others are plentiful–she knows that she has a choice: to become destroyed by the actions of others or to choose to forgive.

It is when she can forgive, she draws a firm boundary with those who have hurt her and and does not let them cross that line again. Then, when she picks herself up and moves on, she is enriched by experience, strengthened by new resolve, and more enlightened to who she truly is.

It is impossible to arrive, but instead success to me involves continuing to move toward the person we aspire to be one day at a time. It is a journey.

Do you have a quote or a trait you aspire to that you would add to this list? I would love to hear them! Please share in the comments below.

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