The Simple Sophisticate - Intelligent Living Paired with Signature Style (lifestyle)

"Comfort is the root of confidence and not the other way around." —Haley Mlotek in The New York Times Style Magazine

~The Simple Sophisticate, episode #130

Confidence is attractive. Confidence can be deceiving. Confidence is however hard to fake. But the hard truth about confidence is that it is rooted in feeling comfortable with that which you project to be confident about. Depending upon the arena, the one who exudes confidence draws the attention from the masses due to either curiosity to figure out how they too can emulate such confidence on a particular subject or way of life that they desire or out of appreciation from others who have confidence as well. Because when one projects an air of confidence there is a sense of security, self-worth, and peace of mind knowing that they are able to think and live independently. Confidence is valuable in a variety of aspects throughout our lives. But it must be understood that confidence is a dynamic entity as it depends on understanding something that is as well quite fluid: life, the world, other people, etc. Because of this reality, it requires of each of us to be always pursuing knowledge, asking questions and remaining a participant in the world in which we live. I first came across the quote above as it was pertaining to beauty and the recent trend to no longer wear makeup as inspired by Alicia Keyes who shared openly this past May in a letter (it's well worth the time to read) that she longed to just be herself and stop the constant work of being a chameleon and being what she thought she had to be, rather than be who she truly was. The article gave me pause because it is difficult to put down the masks that we present to the world as they are in many ways our armor, and it is far easier to just do what is expected, project an image or idea that is expected or easy for all to see and hear. So where do we find the comfort that is needed to have the confidence we seek? ~Take the time to get to know yourself and continue this ongoing process ~Build a healthy social network ~Stretch yourself - try things you have never done before but want to do and someday do well ~Read and learn voraciously and endlessly I can think of more than a few instances when I did not have confidence. Most recently, I have become frustrated when I attempt to converse in French at our local conversation group or with friends or instructors who know how to speak the language. I feel as though I am presenting an entirely different person, as though the person they are hearing and seeing is not the real Shannon. And as I gave this some thought, I realized why I wasn't enjoying myself: I wasn't comfortable and therefore I couldn't be confident and relax. It is a vicious cycle. So, I will admit, for a time, I stopped going to the weekly group conversations. Okay, for quite a lengthy time. I chose to study on my own, but I realized that in order to increase my comfort, I needed to stretch myself. That is the most perplexing paradox of this entire conversation. Yes, we need comfort to be and reflect confidence, but confidence can only be gained if we choose to grow, learn and step outside of our comfort zone. Below are just a few examples of arenas that require each of us to experiment, stretch ourselves and try new things in order to gain the confidence we seek:

  • our preferences in food
  • a way of life (visit a variety of cultures, learn the answer to the "why" questions)
  • our signature style with regards to our wardrobe and our homes
  • with whom we are most compatible: friends, partners, workplace environments
  • interests and hobbies

However, it requires balance. Don't put yourself entirely in uncomfortable scenarios all of the time. Stretch yourself just enough so that you are always able to be growing rather than regressing. For me, on top of trying to develop new friendships as well as learning a new language, I found that I needed to separate the two so that I could be my confident, authentic self with those who were just beginning to know me. So I struck a balance, communicated with them that I wanted dearly to build our friendship, but felt learning a language simultaneously wasn't going to work for me. And they completely understood. When we can come home to a place that allows us to feel comfort, we can then be recharged to go back out and try something new, but we must have a sanctuary of comfort always available to us to retreat to get that fix. The sanctuary of comfort may be your actual house or apartment or it may be a person, an activity or a particular place. The key begins with knowing yourself. Not only knowing what you like and dislike, what makes you feel comfortable and uncomfortable, but why you feel and prefer what you do. Knowledge is truly power, not only as an approach to life, but as well when it comes to understanding ourselves and living our best lives. ~Similar posts from the Archives you might enjoy:

~Confidence: How to Gain It & What It Is Invaluable

~Why Not . . . Read? (three part series)

~8 Reasons to Nurture What Nature Gave You

Petit Plaisir:

~Blind Date (Un peu, beaucoup, aveuglément)

~Starring Mélanie Bernier and Clovis Cornillac (2015)

~Find Blind Date on Netflix here

thesimplyluxuriouslife.com The Simply Luxurious Life

https://youtu.be/6F2gaqo3QS4  

Image: Paris Vogue, 1974

 

Download the Episode

Direct download: 130ComfortConfidence.mp3
Category:lifestyle -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Inspired by Sarah Lavoine's new book Chez Moi: Decorating Your Home and Living Like a Parisienne, discover 20 of my favorite tips and ideas for living well in your sanctuary as we talk about decor, dining, style and lifestyle ideas inspired by a Parisienne who lives and decorates with effortless style.

This week's Petit Plaisir introduces the newest addition to TSLL brand: the "Live Simply, Live Well" notepads which have in full-color the newest illustration by Inslee on the layout. 

Direct download: 12720WaysParisienne_-_101916_6.51_PM.mp3
Category:lifestyle -- posted at: 1:00am PST

One of the most important skills we can learn and implement into our lives on a regular basis is understanding that in order to have healthy relationships, a content life and a sense of freedom is to learn how to set clear boundaries in order to be able to open ourselves up so that others can truly know who we are and what we can offer to the world. 

In today's episode discover the benefits of establishing boundaries, come to understand if you need to re-enforce the boundaries you have attempted and learn where in your life you may want to incorporate boundaries. 

This week's Petit Plaisir is a Francophile book that will offer inspiration for your home, your style and your everyday life.  The recently released book by Sarah Lavoine, Chez Moi: Decorating Your Home and Living like a Parisienne.

Direct download: 126BoundariesVulnerability_-_101616_4.08_PM.mp3
Category:lifestyle -- posted at: 1:00am PST

Letting go of what is no longer serving us is something we have to be consciously reminded of, and one of the most detrimental ways we don't serve ourselves well is the stories we accept as truth that limit our potential. In today's episode discover the importance of letting go of bad service and the benefits that will abound in your life when you do. 

In this week's Petit Plaisir, mini apple pies that offer the perfect balance of tart and sweet flavor.

Direct download: 125service.mp3
Category:lifestyle -- posted at: 1:00am PST

Inspired by Julia Child and her determination to publish what we all now know as a masterpiece, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, in today's episode discover a clear path to making the goal you desire come to fruition, and it all begins with having a plan. 

In this week's Petit Plaisir, a new favorite magazine for anyone who loves to beautiful decor, traveling, cooking and identifies as being either an Anglophile or a Francophile. 

Direct download: 124Plan.mp3
Category:lifestyle -- posted at: 1:00am PST

Fall is as Lauren DeStefano states, the grand finale, when the world shares the most beautiful and bountiful produce, experiences and offerings. In today's episode discover routines and items to incorporate each year into the much anticipated fall season.

This week's Petit Plaisir is a fun romantic comedy that was just released and Shannon thoroughly enjoyed: Bridget Jones's Baby. Tune in to find out why.

Direct download: 123Fall.mp3
Category:lifestyle -- posted at: 1:00am PST

Having self-compassion can have a powerfully positive effect on our overall quality of life. When we consider how we treat ourselves and recognize that the self-criticism we thought was beneficial is actually detrimental, the change is most certainly welcome. Discover 7 benefits as well as ideas for being self-compassionate in today's episode.

This week's Petit Plaisir is a favorite dessert of Shannon's: Tarte au Citron. Simple, sweet, and delicious.

Direct download: 122SelfCompassion.mp3
Category:lifestyle -- posted at: 1:00am PST

As schedules begin to change with summer fading into fall, why not maintain the tranquility we adored during the leisurely months? Discover 14 daily habits to incorporate into your life that will ensure more contentment and more peace. 

In this week's Petit Plaisir a beautiful memoir by Isabel Vincent, Dinners with Edward is discussed and highly recommended. 

Direct download: 121Calm.mp3
Category:lifestyle -- posted at: 1:00am PST

Joining me on the podcast today is author and blogger from New Zealand Fiona Ferris. Inspired by her blog How to Be Chic, her new book, which was just released this past June, Thirty Days of Chic offers detailed, simple, yet thoughtful ways to cultivate a more contented life. Inspired by the French culture, Fiona discusses not only her book, but new plans for her own life, how she came to find peace being herself, being an introvert and a wonderful story about Coco Chanel.

In this week's Petit Plaisir, Julia Child's cooking show, The French Chef is discussed and recommended. 

Direct download: 117FionaFerris.mp3
Category:lifestyle -- posted at: 1:00am PST

The key to cultivating a life we love living is to know what works best for us. Each individual person will discover rules that are unique to them. The trick is knowing how to determine which rules we should follow. In today's episode discover specific ways to help you find what rules will work for you and how your life will be elevated when you do so.

In this week's Petit Plaisir, a simple salad that is full of flavor. Serve as a side to a delicious barbecued hamburger on a brioche bun, pair with a glass of wine and dinner is served!

Direct download: 116YourRules.mp3
Category:lifestyle -- posted at: 1:00am PST