Secrets of Elegant Self Confidence, Poise and Gracefulness
Let me start by sharing this wonderful quote by Genevieve Antoine Dariaux,
“To be elegant is first of all to know oneself, and to know oneself well requires a certain amount of reflection and intelligence.”
There are two stages of becoming elegant, starting first from the workings of inner elegance, because true elegance starts from within.
If you are looking for quick tips on to achieve an elegant look (outer elegance), click ‘The Art of Elegant Style‘.
Everyone knows somebody elegant.
She could be a celebrity. That girl who seems to have it all together. The one with all the designer clothes and bags. The soft spoken girl who speaks eloquently.
She could be who you want to be.
We express this hope in many ways. We buy the nicest things that inspire elegance, dress our best and carry designer bags. Does that mean we are elegant? Not necessarily so.
I’ve been trying to define the elegant woman for as long as I can remember. Dictionary.com defines an elegant woman is one who is pleasingly graceful and stylish in appearance and manner.
She is so much more.
For me, that woman is (but not limited to), Audrey Hepburn.
The elegance of Audrey Hepburn continues to inspire the world today in elegant fashion, how to be classy and the art of elegant living.
Two Stages Of Acquiring An Elegant Self Confidence
What are the two stages of acquiring an elegant self confidence?
They can be loosely represented by the insides (heart) and outsides (your personal grooming, your walk, posture, poise etc)
I believe we first start from the inside.
Jesus of the Bible says, “You blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.”Matthew 23:26
(The Pharisees were hypocrites, fakes)
True to what the Bible says, once we have dealt with the ‘inside’ (your heart), the rest of the workings of an elegant self confidence will become an ease.
There are many different definitions of elegance.
An elegant woman is a gracious woman.
She is gracious at all time. In her impatience, she will not resort to shoving others out of her way in a crowded train. It doesn’t matter if she looks elegant and speaks the part, she is not truly elegant if she is not considerate as well.
The way to be gracious?
Love others, value and esteem others. Treat everyone the same, regardless of social status, looks, speech, education. Do not save your best manners for certain people only. Genuinely care and put others first. Instead of telling people about yourself, listen to others and let them talk about themselves.
I remember that when Audrey Hepburn was growing up, her mother told her that ‘”You” is boring.’
When you are gracious, you move with an elegant self confidence, from knowing what to do and what to say appropriately.
.Be Yourself, Be Authentic
As cliche as it may sound, to be elegant, you have got to be authentic. Real.
I’ve seen friends try to be elegant by wearing pearl necklaces, social-climb, become food connoisseurs, show off designer bags, speak Prada amongst a hundred things.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. While all that is personal preference, one is not truly elegant that way. She may appear elegant, know all the lingo, but is far from elegant. Her facade will wear off, say in a fit of anger. Or you may see her sponging off others. Shoving others in a rude way on a crowded train. Bad-mouthing others.
To Get Self-confidence, Get To Know Yourself Better
Many of us think we know ourselves thoroughly. I realize how much I don’t know myself when I am caught buying something that is not me, investing time and money that I’m not good at, forcing myself to do something I really don’t want to do.
Other ways that’one does not know herself’ exhibits this by putting up airs, doing something only because she thinks it will make her look rich, elegant, sophisticated. She tries too hard to impress. She does something only for her image.
A root meaning of the word, “Elegant” is being authentic. That is one of the keys of self confidence. To know yourself makes you become secure within yourself.
Many women have secret struggles with self confidence and self esteem. There are many roots of this issue which are too long to discuss. While I am not a psychologist, I think its best to keep it simple.
I believe gaining elegant self confidence has a lot to do with authenticity. It’s a matter of discovering who you are, what God has given you in talents, aptitudes and aspirations, dreams and what is in your hand.
How does One be Authentic?
Start by taking an inventory of yourself.
Take some time to discover your likes and dislikes.
What are your strengths, talents, dreams? God put them there for a reason.
What do you think about all the time? It is your passion.
What is in your hand? What can you do? Assess the opportunities around you.
Summary of First Stage To Elegance
When we work on those questions thus embarking on self-discoveries, we discover our passions and weed out ‘impurities’.
We go on a journey to refine ourselves to our fullest potential. See also How to Become an Accomplished Lady.
Voila! You’ll have no time for low self confidence. You suddenly realize you know a lot about something – your passion – you speak with pride and self respect.
To be true to ourselves is to be authentic. We become comfortable in our skin. We can stop being self-conscious and focus on others. This is the root of an elegant, gracious woman. This is the beginning of elegant self confidence.