Impostor Syndrome,  MidLife

OLW 2019: Confidence

I have participated in Ali Edward’s One Little Word (OLW) movement since 2013.

Previous yearly one-words included: Balance – Peace – Delight – FUN – Nourish – SP-ACE

This year’s one word chose me: CONFIDENCE

Throughout 2018 I slowly developed the courage to confront Delilah (my harsh inner-critic). Since Delilah fuels Impostor Syndrome, she hinders me from achieving my full potential. And I’m not going to take it anymore!

I used to think confidence was synonymous with being arrogant, conceited, and a braggart. My parochial school upbringing taught me these inherent evils. These qualities promote self-centeredness rather than selflessness. Humility is the desired Christian virtue.

But my knowledge of humility was equally flawed.

I thought true humility was thinking less (or nothing) of myself; self-care was a prideful waste of time. While I  believed the Lord bestows unique gifts and talents to everyone … I also believed acknowledging those gifts was the first step toward the inevitable prideful fall.

What these well-meaning religious teachers failed to explain in a way I understood was this:

Confidence is believing God has already equipped me to accomplish what He has called me to do.

While I may not feel qualified to write or teach or speak at conferences, that does not discount the fact that God is able to do exceedingly and abundantly more than I can imagine.

So ultimately… this is a question of faith. Do I really believe God is able to do what He claims?

If the answer is yes… then it is time to act like it.

Lately, I’ve observed a few confident friends I admire. Here’s what I’ve noticed:

  • Confident people are attractive. They stand taller. They smile more. They speak with boldness because they know what they have to say can be useful.
  • Confident people exude joy because they know they are doing what they are called to do. They utilize their gifts to follow their passion. They don’t shy away from risks; they boldly reach for the moon, knowing if they miss they will still land among the stars.
  • Confident people learn from others. They help others. They befriend others. But they do not compare themselves with others because they know… comparison is the thief of joy.
  • Confident people do not live in a perpetual state of fear. They do not worry what others think. They do not worry they might fail; they view failure as one more step toward success. They acknowledge and accept their limitations as graciously as they acknowledge their gifts and talents.
  • Confident people do not second (or third or fourth) guess their decisions. They are rational thinkers, but they are not afraid to act. They understand that life is all about the journey, not the destination.
  • Confident people understand what is within their control and focus on SMART goals within this sphere. They also understand that specific results are often outside their control, and they don’t let these numbers bog them down. They understand if they do the work, results will inevitably follow.

As I hinted last week… I have lots of plans for 2019, which I will reveal soon. However, I know to make this a great year, I need to develop a healthy sense of confidence. Let the makeover begin!



  • Janet Mary Cobb

    WooHoo! You go girl! I love this – every single thing you say about confidence! Didn’t the ‘good teachers’ get it so wrong? We’ve lived in a warped, oppressive environment for too long! Looking forward to what 2019 has in store for you!

    • Molly Totoro

      “Warped, oppressive environment” … I love that description, Janet. And I do feel as though I am about to break free.

      Old voices are hard to silence, but I am trying to shore up my resources by finding scriptures that support the truth. Eventually, love, grace, and mercy will win 🙂

  • Leanne

    Molly I loved those dot point descriptors for what a confident person looks like – and I want to be that person too! I love your WOTY (mine was “MORE” for similar reasons) I’m so tired of hiding my light under a bushel and I think that applies to you too. I’m looking forward to seeing how you challenge yourself and I’m hoping it will inspire me in my pursuit of being more “Me” this year xx
    Thanks for linking up with MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 🙂

    • Molly Totoro

      Yes, I am tired of hiding under the bushel, Leanne! What an appropriate image.

      I’m not sure where I adopted the idea that a timid wallflower was the ideal Christian. While I know the Bible does speak to being submissive and obedient, it also talks of being bold and confident. To my surprise, I am learning these qualities are not mutually exclusive.

      I am looking forward to learning how to be “more” as well. As I transition into my sixties, I am ready to (finally) accept me 🙂

  • Kay

    Molly, this was very encouraging and affirming. All your points explaining your ‘new’ view of confidence – wonderful! I’ll be glad to travel along with you as you journey through 2019. My WOTY is PERSEVERE – in my various journeys – I intend to not quit, remember that like a mountain range there are ups and there are downs and both are necessary to create the beauty of mountains, and also to enjoy the journey. Have a good week!

    • Molly Totoro

      YES… please travel along with me, Kay! A girls trip sounds wonderful 🙂

      I also love your word, and I think perseverance might even tie into confidence. When the going gets tough (or when I’ve set too lofty goals) … the confident Molly would keep on keeping on. I may need to adjust the goal – or the timeline – but I do not have to quit. I am slowly learning that life is not about “all or nothing” How much joy I miss with that warped thinking.

  • Pat

    Molly, I wonder how many times I’ll need to tell myself the same messages before I truly believe them and behave that way. Do not compare myself to others (and feel the lesser by doing it). Do not live in fear of what others will think. Accept my gifts and talents. Like myself. Yeah – Keep showing me the way!!

    • Molly Totoro

      Well, I have repeated this same message for several years now and it has yet to stick 🙂 But I’m determined to persevere. Let’s encourage one another on this journey, Pat!

  • Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond

    Hi Molly another inspiring post and love your word for 2019. Confidence is something many of us lack although others have more confidence and belief in us that we do. I liked the dot points describing confidence and I believe if you surround yourself with confident, positive people you start to feel that way too. I’m looking forward to reading more about your WOTY and thank you for sharing your inspiration with us at #MLSTL. My words for 2019 are ‘Commit’ & ‘Evolve’ I somehow needed two because I felt they went hand-in-hand. Have a great week. x

    • Molly Totoro

      Actually, Sue, as I continue to work through my OLW in January, I’m realizing I will have two words this year as well. Confidence for my personal life and Consistent for my “business” life (which is very much related to your word: Commit). I do believe if I am a more confident person, I will more likely be consistent in my writing and blogging. I find that I pull away when I don’t feel anyone cares what I have to say (a confidence issue). But if I pan to grow a business, I must produce consistent content, right?

      As I re-read this comment, I feel like the year 2019 is sponsored by the letter C: confident, consistent, commit, content 🙂

  • Jennifer

    I loved that you looked at the characteristics of confident people. At first, I was put off by reading that confident people are attractive. But then I realized that I know exactly what you mean. Confident people have that certain something that draws you to them. They’re smiling and bold and draw people to themselves. We are attracted to them.

    • Molly Totoro

      Yes… attractive as in I am attracted to them by the way they carry and present themselves (as opposed to outward, cosmetic beauty only). Sorry for the confusion 🙂

  • Christie Hawkes

    Great word choice Molly, and it looks like you’ve started off with a bang, breaking it down, figuring out what contributed to your previous lack of confidence and analyzing characteristics of confident people. I especially loved “They do not worry they might fail; they view failure as one more step toward success” and “Life is about the journey, not the destination.” If you can look at everything that happens as a learning experience or a building block, you can feel confident about taking chances and putting yourself out there. I wouldn’t necessarily consider myself one of the confident people, but I’ve come a long way from the timid young adult that I once was. I’m looking forward to hearing all about your journey. Go you! #MLSTL

    • Molly Totoro

      Thank you so much, Christie!
      Of course, I know it is easier said (and written) than done (implemented in real life) … but I am looking forward to taking those necessary baby steps this year to draw me away from the shy, timid Molly and closer to the bold, confident Molly I know exists within.

  • Mary Lou

    My favorite Molly ~ ‘Confident people do not second (or third or fourth) guess their decisions. They are rational thinkers, but they are not afraid to act. They understand that life is all about the journey, not the destination.’ Like you, I went to parochial school and lacked confidence to trust my own intuition. We were taught to look outside of ourselves for the answers. Thank you for the great reflection. I’ll be sharing on FB and Twitter for #MLSTL

    • Molly Totoro

      If we were taught to look outside ourselves for the answers, then I excelled in that lesson!
      I am doing some research on the Enneagram (are you familiar, Mary Lou) … and your comments support my reading. I will be writing a blog post on the topic sometime in the near future 🙂

      • Mary Lou

        Yes! I came up with #9 Peacemaker and #6 Loyalist. In reading over all the personality descriptions, I find that I’m a little bit here and there on some of them. It’s still fun to do the test. I’ll be looking forward to your post on Enneagram.

        • Molly Totoro

          I think all of us are a part of all the different types. To me, that is the beauty of the Enneagram. It helps you discern who you are but acknowledges that we are fluid, dynamic beings who ebb and flow.

          It took me about six weeks to finally narrow down my number… but once I discovered it, there is no denying it 🙂

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