Who do you picture when you think of a confident person? Is she tall, strong, forceful, determined, and gets what she wants? Is it a she at all? I’ve been thinking a lot about confidence, and the hurray way of being a confident person. It’s been on my thoughts for months and months. So it’s no surprise that the topic has come up in my awareness quite often in sessions with my coaching clients, in colleague’s posts, and even in conversations with people I’ve just met. I’ve made some realizations about confidence that I want to share with you.

A special note: the images in this post were taken during my #HurrayVacay in Paris in partnership with the French lingerie brand, Simone Perele. This company is one of my favorite bra and lingerie brands and I’m super excited to show you some of my favorite looks and give you an introduction to the brand at the bottom of this post. Keep reading!

Wearing: Saga Sheer Plunge Bra Size 32D, ($110). Are you kidding me? This set is outstanding. I get swept up on how romantic and stunning it is every time I open my lingerie drawer. It’s this perfect combination of class and sass that made me feel like I was wearing glass of champagne. The appliqué gently wraps around the nipple, and the tulle is super sheer but sturdy, giving it a tattoo effect. It’s a lighter tulle so it matched well with my pale skin tone in both the bra and boyshort which I’m wearing in Medium ($65). 

Fit: To be really honest (as always) I really wanted to wear the demi cut bra from this group. It’s really killer. But it wasn’t a good match for my bust shape, so (as always) I went with what fit best. I’m so glad I did. Because this bra fits like a dream. I was unsure since it starts in a 32 band and I sometimes wear 30 in Simone Perele. I started with the 32E. However, the cup fit large, so I sized down to the 32D. Luckily, since I sized down a cup size the band also fit a bit more snug, so the 32D cup was perfection. The boyshort in a Medium was a dream to wear.

The reason I asked the questions above is because I used to think that a confident person was forceful and made demands. I thought confidence was loud. I honestly thought it was masculine, at least in its energy if not its presentation, too. In my own work with coaches and as my self awareness has increased, I have a new understanding of confidence. It may include those elements, and it’s so much more.

Confidence is simply the belief in your ability to do something. And that wasn’t what I was really searching for. I wanted something deeper. I saw people not just doing things, but also being a certain way. I wasn’t the only person who felt this way. When asked who she thought of as a confident person, one of my coaching clients suggested Kristen Bell. {If you don’t know this actress, she’s fab}. I asked her what she liked about her and she replied something along these lines: “She doesn’t care what others think, she does what she wants, she’s funny, she goes for it…” You see, she didn’t admire Kristen for knowing she was able to do something well. She admired her for so much more that came across as confidence. What we discovered, and what I’ve discovered since, is that real confidence is not just about what you know you can do. It’s about how you are. And it’s mastered from the inside, out.

I’m wearing the Simone Perele Saga Sheer Plunge bra in 32D ($110) in black and the matching Saga Boyshort in Medium ($65). See notes on this style above and more information on this brand below.

Take a look the elements I believe make up real confidence. We need all the elements but your unique recipe will depend on you and what you need to call in. Try a dash of this; add in a taste of that. The end result will look different for you than it will for anyone else. Remember that confidence doesn’t just come from being big, bold, loud, or brave. It could be soft, and sure, and quiet, and steady. Play with it. Explore. Let’s see what happens.

Ready? Let’s say hurray together.

Wearing: Delice Sheer Plunge Bra in size 32D ($95). This darling bra looks demure until you put it on. Then it kicks it up a notch. It decorates the bottom of your bust while gradually blending into a sheer top. It’s such a beautiful, subtle bra. And unlike other fuller coverage bras, it’s soft and flirty. The matching Delice bikini ($50) in a Medium (also known as size 3 in French brands) doesn’t get a lot of love in the photos here because I really wanted to show the details of the bra, so go check it out. It’s darling, too!

Fit: I actually picked this number up in one of Simone Perele’s Paris boutiques in a 30F, but I had a feeling, just like the Saga Full Cup the 32D would fit best. Sure enough, it did! Though I had to go to a different shop to get the right size, it was worth it. Fit is so important! I’m wearing a medium in the panty.

Confidence Uncovered

Here is the truth about the kind of confidence I want to cultivate in myself and in the world. It’s less about proving and more about showing up as yourself. Truly, fully, and without apology. False confidence is based on a need to show others or to prove something to someone else. Real confidence starts within and works its way out. You may be radiating confidence after a while, but true confidence starts on the inside first.

You don’t have to search for confidence outside of you. It’s already there. It’s just been covered up by misunderstandings, judgement, or stories that are no longer serving you. The uncovering process includes getting to know yourself not just for your abilities, but also on a soul level.

Because one believes in oneself, one doesn’t try to convince others. Because one is content with oneself, one doesn’t need others’ approval. Because one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts him or her.

-Lao Tzu

I’m wearing the Simone Perele Delice Sheer Plunge bra in 32D ($95) in blush with a matching bottom ($50). More of my expert advice on this style above or at the bottom of this post.

Self Esteem

Self confidence means you believe that you can do something. That’s kinda it. Self esteem means you like yourself. You are comfortable in your own skin. You have gotten to know, or are getting to know, yourself and like that person. You value yourself. You know your worth. You understand that you are a lovable person and take care of yourself. When you truly like yourself it’s far easier to be confident because that means you are not dependent on others liking you. It means you can try new things without the fear of failure because of what others will think. It means you can stand confidently in who you are and share it with the world. Call it self love, if you like. Because when we truly love something or someone, we are then required to do the necessary – even if scary or hard or arduous – thing.  Self esteem is, by far, the most important key to real confidence.

Wouldn’t it be powerful if you fell in love with yourself so deeply that you would do just about anything if you knew it would make you happy? This is precisely how much life loves you and wants you to nurture yourself. The deeper you love yourself, the more the universe will affirm your worth. Then you can enjoy a lifelong love affair that brings you the richest fulfillment from inside out.

-Alan Cohen

Wearing: Amour 3D Plunge in 30F ($99). This is one of my all time favorite bras. I love the flexible 3D spacer molding because it’s smooth and easy to wear underneath anything. Plus the pretty double strap and lace on the edge of the cups is so darling. This Sapphire color is a limited edition (I’m gaga for it) and each season my jaw drops at the latest color option. The matching Amour boyshort in Medium ($60) is out of this world gorgeous. I am prone to wear these lace boyshorts on days when I need an extra boost of Hurray. They’re soft, luxurious, and down right fabulous. I can’t help but smile when I walk down the street in them.

Fit: As with most of Simone Perele’s molded bras, the 30F fit me best. I find their bands to be less rigid than some brands and I know the 30 band will fit me longer than a 32 will as it stretches. The boyshort in a Medium was great coverage throughout my hips but left the bottom of my bum cheeks out – cute!

I am learning to love (because it’s a process and a relationship, ya’ll) myself inside, outside, and underneath. That means the woman I am inside – my soul, my character, and the way I talk to myself. That means how I look on the outside, my relationships, my job, and my surroundings. And that means my body underneath. Confidence comes from learning to love all the parts of who you are.

One of my most favorite steps for building self esteem is to Forgive Yourself for misunderstanding or judgements you’re having. It helps to clear out the muck so you can create space for the truth. And the truth always leads to love.

I’m wearing the Amour 3D Plunge bra in Sapphire in size 30F ($99) with the matching Amour Boyshort in size medium ($60). More info on this set (one of my all time favorites) above or at the bottom of this post.

Authenticity

Confidence means you have the freedom to show up as you. It’s when you wear, do, and say what fits you. Confidence comes from peeling back the need to be like someone else. It means you not only like yourself but you show up as yourself in all situations, in front of all audiences – whether it’s a public audience or an audience of one. It means being daring enough to tell the truth and be yourself.

Courage

Often confidence and courage are intertwined or mistaken for each other. Because confidence is when you know you can do something, but many times, the confident person you see does not know that they can do that thing. They may be terrified. They may think they could fail. They may be way outside their comfort zone. They may be peeing their pants. And they do it anyway. For example, I am confident that I can ride a bike down the street. I am less confident that I can ride that bike down a steep mountainside. So, if I were to try riding down the mountain, I would be accessing courage, not confidence. And the more I try something and learn that I can do it, or what it takes to do it, the more I build up my confidence in my ability to do it. Courage builds confidence. But you have to be willing to do the scary stuff first. The same goes for standing up in front of people on TV, or in my underwear around the world, or not airbrushing my photos. These things take courage, too.

Humor

Humor is how we put things into perspective. Confident people know that this is no biggie, and that humor is sacred and levity is grace in action. Constant worry and pushing forward without lightening up is a sure sign that you’re trying to control things and don’t trust that you’re in good hands. That is, my friends, the opposite of confidence. And, quite frankly, being able to laugh at situations and laugh at yourself is KEY to moving confidently through life.

Wearing: Andora 3D Plunge in 30F ($99). The most POPULAR collection from Simone Perele. This new plunge version is a slightly different shape than their most popular balcony style. I adore the plunge because it fits my bust shape even better. Plus, it’s made with that same 3D spacer molding I like so much. The biggest bonus here: convertible straps! These pretty straps can snap or unhook with ease to be worn straight back, criss-cross, or even as a halter. And the matching cotton panty in a Medium ($34) has a seamless edge! If you like the feel of cotton with a touch of class, this is perfection in a panty.

Fit: Just as with the Amour 3D plunge, the 30F was spot on. The criss-cross straps are adjustable so you can get a perfect fit. The halter strap is not fully adjustable so if you’re short waisted like me, I suggest altering the neck strap so it can fit perfectly. It’s super easy to do (or, like me, have someone else do it and buy them a drink. Cheers!) 

Support

I’m big on support over here. It’s why I use bra fittings and education as one of my favorite coaching and self love tools. Bras literally support a part of our body that is very dear and close to our hearts. And confident people know they are supported. They seek support from others and from within. They lean on support from the Divine. They know they are not alone. I pray my way through pretty much every situation. When you think I look confident, I’m really leaning on God. And when I need a confidence boost I reach out to those on my support team. I did this recently, and they sent their love so I envisioned them walking beside me as I walked into a new and nerve wracking situation. I felt 100x more confident envisioning these women with me because these are women who get met, who love me, who want the best for me, who remind me of my ability and my heart and my worth. Having them – even if figuratively – by my side reminded me that I got this!

Don’t wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.

-Mark Victor Hansen

Imperfection

I believe that there is beauty in imperfection. I also believe that imperfection is an important element of confidence. Failure, trial, and error are all part of growth and building confidence. Because if you don’t try because you’re afraid it won’t be perfect, you’ll never do anything. And confidence in knowing that you can perform something perfectly is boring, quite frankly. There’s riskiness involved in building confidence, and it begins with your willingness to let go of perfection and invite in life.

I’m wearing the Simone Perele Andora 3D Plunge bra in blush in size 30F ($99) worn here with criss-cross straps and the matching Andora Cotton Bikini in a medium ($34)Read my fit info on this set above or at the bottom of this post.

Faith

Part of being confident means having faith that it is all working out. Confident people find the silver lining. If you’re worried that things aren’t going your way, or that roadblock is going to ruin your plans it’s hard to walk tall and live confidently. When I feel that my faith is challenged, I use a mantra that one of my coaches taught me: “This is happening for me, not to me.” It reminds me that even the icky stuff was put here for the highest good of all involved, often to teach me or help me grow and stretch. It helps me move confidently through tough stuff just as much as it helps me invite in the great stuff. It gives me true confidence.

Purpose

Confidence is fueled by purpose. It’s the reason you use courage to try and try again. It’s the thing that moves you forward past fear. It’s the motivation to get out there and do it. Recently when I was doing something big and scary, I reminded myself that I was walking my “purpose path”. I could see myself walking on a path that was specifically made for me and my purpose in the world. I reminded myself that the things I was doing and my intention behind it had meaning, and that I was born for this work. That alone gave me the confidence that I can do this. I was made for this! Try it out for yourself.

I’m wearing the Simone Perele Andora 3D Plunge bra in blush in size 30F ($99) worn here as a halter and the matching Andora Cotton Bikini in a medium ($34). More expert fit advice on this set above or at the bottom of this post.

Each time we face our fear, we gain strength, courage, and confidence in the doing.

-Theodore Roosevelt

Practice

Practice and preparation are last on the list because I think sometimes we rely too much on these things to provide us with confidence. They are intertwined with ability, and I think ability is the obvious part of confidence. But it’s the whole list here that really gives us true confidence. And yet, these are still important. Putting in the work, knowing your stuff, going through it, time and time again is an important element to uncovering your confidence.

Just like before when I said that sometimes people think someone is being confident but they’re really being courageous, the opposite can be true. Sometimes we think someone is being brave or courageous, when really they’re just confident. They’ve done this a zillion times. And just because you haven’t and you would need a lot of courage doesn’t mean they do. For example, let’s say you watch an aerial acrobat perform and get butterflies in your stomach when they soar through the air because “oh my goodness that’s so scary!” But in reality, that acrobatic artist has practiced that move about 2,683 times. This week alone. They’ve got this. This is normal. This is something they can do with ease. But perhaps there’s something else they couldn’t, like speak in front of a group, or ask someone out on a date, or speak another language. Practice and preparation provide confidence.

Underneath this dress I’m wearing the Simone Perele Andora 3D Plunge bra in blush in size 30F ($99) worn here as a halter and the matching Andora Cotton Bikini in a medium ($34). More info on this set above or at the bottom of this post.

Recently I was in an on camera seminar with Patricia Stark, who knows a thing or two about confidence. She mentioned something called “earned confidence” and suggests when you’re feeling a confidence low to write out all the things you’ve done or how you’ve grown, the experience you’ve amassed, or the compliments you’ve received. Writing it all down can really put it into perspective. You can say to yourself, “I’ve invested in myself in these areas of my life. I’ve put in energy, and time, and money, and heart and I’ve earned this confidence.”

***

You Turn: Cultivate these things and you’ll be uncovering your confidence, layer by layer, bit by bit. Imagine yourself right now walking down the street fueled by the list of practices and qualities above. How would you move through the world? How would you interact with people? What would you have the confidence to do or say? How would it affect your relationship with yourself? Uncovering your confidence is worth the time, effort, and care in doing so because you are worth it.

Are you ready to say hurray for lingerie? Hurray Kimmay and supportive and seductive French lingerie brand Simone Perele are gifting 5 lucky Hurray Kimmay readers a Simone Perele set of their very own. Plus fit guidance from the Simone Perele team. Enter to win, Sept 5th through Sept 26th, 2018.

Credits: The images in this post were taken by Laura Boyd of Own Your Sexy and her team. Hair and makeup by Zuzu Acosta. NO AIRBRUSHING my body! Some of the fab fashion items were provided by Tobi or The Brooklyn Hat Company. And of course, the lingerie looks were by my partner Simone Perele. More info on this French brand below.

Sponsor Spotlight

Simone Perele is a French brand founded in 1948 that combines the elegance of classic Parisian lingerie, with modern day elements and functions. When I was bra fitting full time in a boutique I would fit customers into Simone Perele bras non stop, all day, fitting after fitting. Their gorgeous lace accents and stunning designs are just the beginning. The 3D spacer molding they use on many of their t-shirt bras is comfortable, flexible, and smooth. It’s truly one of my most favorite brands to wear and to share. I am so thankful that I was able to capture some of my favorite looks in Paris!

Their prices may be higher than some of the other brands I share on here, and I encourage you not to let that deter you. These undergarments are well made, well designed, and well worth the investment. Plus they combine pretty and practical elements so you can wear gorgeous lingerie on any day. Ooh la la!

Here’s a reminder of the styles you saw in this post. 

Saga Sheer Plunge Bra: Are you kidding me? This set is outstanding. I get swept up on how romantic and stunning it is every time I open my lingerie drawer. It’s this perfect combination of class and sass that made me feel like I was wearing glass of champagne. The appliqué gently wraps around the nipple, and the tulle is super sheer but sturdy, giving it a tattoo effect. It’s a lighter tulle so it matched well with my pale skin tone in both the bra and boyshort. Bra $110, Boyshort $65

Fit: To be really honest (as always) I really wanted to wear the demi cut bra from this group. It’s really killer. But it wasn’t a good match for my bust shape, so (as always) I went with what fit best. I’m so glad I did. Because this bra fits like a dream. I was unsure since it starts in a 32 band and I sometimes wear 30 in Simone Perele. I started with the 32E. However, the cup fit large, so I sized down to the 32D. Luckily, since I sized down a cup size the band also fit a bit more snug, so the 32D cup was perfection. The boyshort in a Medium was a dream to wear.

Delice Sheer Plunge Bra: This darling bra looks demure until you put it on. Then it kicks it up a notch. It decorates the bottom of your bust while gradually blending into a sheer top. It’s such a beautiful, subtle bra. And unlike other fuller coverage bras, it’s soft and flirty. The matching Delice bikini doesn’t get a lot of love in the photos here because I really wanted to show the details of the bra, so go check it out. It’s darling, too! Bra $95, Bikini $50

Fit: I actually picked this number up in one of Simone Perele’s Paris boutiques in a 30F, but I had a feeling, just like the Saga Full Cup the 32D would fit best. Sure enough, it did! Though I had to go to a different shop to get the right size, it was worth it. Fit is so important! I’m wearing a medium in the panty.

Amour 3D Plunge: This is one of my all time favorite bras. I love the flexible 3D spacer molding because it’s smooth and easy to wear underneath anything. Plus the pretty double strap and lace on the edge of the cups is so darling. This Sapphire color is a limited edition (I’m gaga for it) and each season my jaw drops at the latest color option. The matching Amour boyshort is out of this world gorgeous. I am prone to wear these lace boyshorts on days when I need an extra boost of Hurray. They’re soft, luxurious, and down right fabulous. I can’t help but smile when I walk down the street in them. Bra $99, Boyshort $60

Fit: As with most of Simone Perele’s molded bras, the 30F fit me best. I find their bands to be less rigid than some brands and I know the 30 band will fit me longer than a 32 will as it stretches. The boyshort in a Medium was great coverage throughout my hips but left the bottom of my bum cheeks out – cute!

Andora 3D Plunge: The most POPULAR collection from Simone Perele. This new plunge version is a slightly different shape than their most popular balcony style. I adore the plunge because it fits my bust shape even better. Plus, it’s made with that same 3D spacer molding I like so much. The biggest bonus here: convertible straps! These pretty straps can snap or unhook with ease to be worn straight back, criss-cross, or even as a halter. And the matching cotton panty has a seamless edge! If you like the feel of cotton with a touch of class, this is perfection in a panty. Bra $99, Bikini $34

Fit: Just as with the Amour 3D plunge, the 30F was spot on. The criss-cross straps are adjustable so you can get a perfect fit. The halter strap is not fully adjustable so if you’re short waisted like me, I suggest altering the neck strap so it can fit perfectly. It’s super easy to do (or, like me, have someone else do it and buy them a drink. Cheers!)

Connect with Simone Perele on their website, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.