Friday 28th January 2022

Confidence is. 19/51.#LifeThisWeek. 50/2019.

Confidence is. 19/51.#LifeThisWeek. 50/2019.

I have TOO many “C” words on my mind. I have: cancer, confidence, contentment, courage….and YES, I write a post based on confidence rather than contentment…so, given it’s optional prompts here, I shall leave as is! Who gets her own prompt incorrect? Me! More on my mind that I thought. 

There is a part of me that is ‘fake it till you make it’ in terms of my outgoingness (is that word?) because I seem to be able to join in or initiate conversations with people I do not know or those I am getting to know.

Yet, behind this, can be a very self-critical voice telling me all kinds of nonsense and back in February 2019 I wrote here about the Big C(onfidence) and Me.

By the time I finished that post, I came up with this. I have re-written it here, with comments/photos, to indicate I now think I know for me, what:

Confidence IS.

From February 2019:

I know that putting these words here has helped me see that it’s my faulty thinking that has been affecting my self-confidence.

OK! How to change that?

  • Already I have in some ways as I now recognise this inner critic voice and her role.


  • My actions, my words and my inner life help me remember MUCH more about the confidence I like to have and know I can bring more to the fore.

Having fun smiling at my husband after his daily photo-taking of me for social media

  • Each time I dress and go out for coffee, I am embedding self-confidence.


  • My daily journal keeping can continue to be a ‘write it all down’ place and then review for evidence of this confidence tracking upwards not the downwards the inner critic can believe.

Out for a coffee, reviewing my new Ambassador role and journalling….


  • My on-line interactions with people from my various communities in education, blogging and head and neck cancer are ways in which I grow my self-confidence and also give back to others where I can and it is asked for.

Stopping to take Autumn tree photos and including me now!

  • Seeing myself as others do and may. It helps to believe that I am both good and doing good. This is something I have struggled with all of my life and want it to change. I can do this. I will remind myself more.


  • Maintaining practices of:


  • being in nature,
  • time-outs with my art journal,
  • chats with my husband, meditation each night,
  • helping my physical body to relax,
  • exercising within my limitations,
  • planning to eat well and doing the same without any deprivation,
  • cancer checks and better understanding of the fact that cancer actually never leaves but might take a back seat in my life,
  • taking time to make contact with family and friends,
  • exploring the local area’s beauty,
  • browsing at the shops,
  • reading,
  • keeping to a timetable of sorts each day for balance in my life.

Already I feel better!

Now “that” for me is Confidence!

I have days when I am ‘not as confident as I like’ but they are far fewer now.

Something to note for this week and next: as you read this on Monday morning 13 May I will be sitting in the prosthodontist’s chair  at Westmead after a few months without seeing him and H O P I N G all will be well inside my mouth. Then on Friday 17 May I will remember it was 2 years ago I heard from the oral surgeon that cancer was found in my gums…onto Tuesday 21 May and I am attending a meeting at Beyond Five as part of my new Ambassador role and then, drum roll…..seeing my head and neck surgeon for my 3 month (2 years done!) cancer check. Whilst I look forward to all of these events I do not know the outcomes so a little bit of unease can form yet I am confident in myself to deal with whatever comes up and to know I am in the best care possible. 

What about you?


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  1. I will be thinking of you the next week and hope you get all the good news/vibes. The older I get, the more confident I’ve become. I think my cancer experience has also taught me to care less and live more. Life is short and I want to embrace it. I can really relate to your post and it’s lovely to see you flourishing!

    • Thanks Sammie. Don’t think of me too much – enjoy Waikiki for me too! The one place I spent a lot of time in and loved it all.

      One hurdle overcome today as the prosthodontist is happy with how I am maintaining the prosthesis and he is sending photos from today and an email to my head and neck surgeon ready for next Tuesday.

      Yes confidence does build from overcoming many things including health challenges such as cancer.

      So, onwards!

      Denyse x

  2. I read it as contentment is…where’d I get that? I’m such a kook at the moment. Good luck this morning. Funnily enough, I’ve actually written a post this week on confidence and self esteem…how strange….

    • And you dear Lydia are correct. And not strange at all! I just added this explanation now in the post:

      I have TOO many “C” words on my mind. I have: cancer, confidence, contentment, courage….and YES, I write a post based on confidence rather than contentment…so, given it’s optional prompts here, I shall leave as is! Who gets her own prompt incorrect? Me! More on my mind that I thought. 

      Thanks for letting me know…as I am sure I would have been too distracted by my impending visit to Westmead today and Sydney next week for cancer checks.

      Denyse x

  3. All the best Denyse. I worked hard at confidence from my teens onwards. I have enjoyed being properly confident since my 30’s. It’s one of the best self-love traits you can master. X

    • How good is that! You recognised the need within and did something about it as a teen.

      That’s being a true role model and for you to be able to manage the various and ‘not nice’ challenges cancer brings confidence has stood you in good stead!

      Sending love and admiration!

      Denyse x

  4. I continue to be amazed at how you’re flourishing – and that’s exactly what it feels like – a coming out of the skin and into yourself. I finally watched the Brene Brown netflix piece on the flight down yesterday and it’s had all sorts of bells ringing for me.

    • Oh that is very kind of you to say Jo.

      I do ‘have my moments’ but they last far less time than they used to and I can self-manage rather than ask for my husband’s assessment of the situation as I did.

      Glad you got to see Brene. I have not watched it all (yet) because I have heard her tell her stories. The fact that she tells it as it is and exposes her vulnerability makes more of us keen to do so I think.

      I hope she continues to be someone for you to ‘ring those bells’.

      Denyse x

  5. My confidence was much stronger when I was living my former corporate life. I knew who I was. I knew my strengths and weaknesses. I was respected by my peers and I had good networks and enjoyed achieving great outcomes. It’s since I left that life that my confidence was shaken. I’m not as sure who I am, what I’m meant to be doing, and so on. It’s been up and and down ever since. I’ve written about self-confidence a lot over the years – a kind of therapy for myself in the process. I linked up one of my posts today – the introduction post to a series on self-confidence I did back in 2015. I’m thinking of you today Denyse. I hope it’s all good news. xo

    • Min, I can’t help but want to reach out and give you a hug and say “you are doing OK and you are putting in place actions and ideas to help yourself.” so go you.

      I think middle years can bring a negative affect or have an effect on us. No more getting the attention as we did. More ‘in the back row’ of life.

      I wonder, have you ever actually grieved for what life was for you then? It must be so hard, as you put one foot in front of the other (as you will continue to grieve for your Dad) but maybe writing it out or speaking to someone about how hard it was with your workplace issues. It took a LONG time for me, but I healed better going back into schools and teaching part-time.

      I know you will find the answers,

      Denyse x

  6. Thinking of you today, Denyse! May you be confident and may contentment give you the strength to find that confidence!

    SSG xxx

    • Thank you! I “done good” as they say in the footy circles.

      I had a confident affect and approached the session with the prosthodontist by chatting first so he know what I wanted to know. I have found this strategy helps me and gives me some of the equality of power in the patient/dentist relationship.

      Today went well and he will be sending his findings to my head and neck professor for next Tuesday so should be a good visit. But I will wait and see – confidently!

      Denyse x

  7. Confidence is so subjective isn’t it Denyse? We can appear confident to others and yet be quaking in our boots. I struggle with the inner voice thing and I’m not sure I’ll ever achieve the easy self-confidence that my children have come by so naturally. Still, I’m in a much better place now that I used to be and I’m happy to slowly keep growing in that area, so back to being a work in progress I guess!

    • I guess it is, Leanne but for me there are some commonalities in people’s behaviour if they are confident.

      These include the posture and the way they hold their bodies along with being able to talk to people from all walks of life. I think i learned a lot of these by watching my father (even though there are MANY traits I dislike of his) and then as a teacher I had to be like that for parents and of course, teachers too as I rose in the leadership role.

      There is a very real reason why “fake it till you make it” works because physiologically our body starts to get our mind into agreement,

      One reason I was so annoyed with myself from 2015-mid 2017 was that anxiety and fear of having IBS away from the house ‘stole’ my confidence. I knew I needed it back but I floundered for sometime until I did ‘the hard things’ and then one hard thing (challenge) built upon another.

      So pleased to see you are noticing what has changed in you and how you are making changes that fit what you want to do and be.

      Denyse x

  8. Hi Denyse, you have nailed Confidence and since I’ve know you I have seen that self-confidence grow and blossom. Some might say ‘why bother putting a daily outfit post on Instagram’ but you took the challenge and as you posted more you started feeling better about yourself and seeing what outfits you could put together or even treat yourself to new colours and new styles. With your confidence has come contentment and mindfulness and also learning to love the person you are. A wonderful motivation for Monday morning. #lifethisweek

    • Thanks Sue, that is very kind of you to have said what you notice, I know I am in a better place for putting myself ‘out there’ on social media. And, more importantly I do it for me first. Then others later.

      I have considered whether I would approach a brand about clothing but then said ‘no’ to myself because whilst I sure would LOVE some free items, I do not want to be beholden to any commercial enterprise. It’s not in me. Never can do anything like this as I found when I had a blog sponsor many moons ago and I just felt uncomfortable.

      Being true to me matters more than any other time.

      However, there is one exception to ‘seeking funds’ and that is promoting awareness of head and neck cancers (which is not know at all) so that people can be symptom aware. This will happen with my “virtual” soup for soul event for Beyond Five and will have a few blog posts closer to the time. I receive no payment for my role with them. I do it to pay back what I have been given in the ways in which I have been treated.

      Here ends my long response! I was glad to see you and your daughter running on Mother’s Day and I do know that is very close to your heart.

      Denyse x

  9. I think my c word in recent weeks would be lack of coping! I’m tired of trying. But I also have all of next week off (9 days in a row total) which will be some very much needed downtime away from time off for health reasons.
    Best of luck for all the doctors appointments upcoming!

    • Oh Vanessa, that makes me a bit sad but I can also understand ‘putting yourself out there’ very very tiring and wearing and the year (and the years before) has been HUGE.

      I am glad you are caring for you and hope it all helps.

      My prosthodontist visit went well and I am pretty sure it will be a good visit to the surgeon next week…but will keep fingers crossed.

      Take care!

      Denyse x

  10. I had to take another look at the prompt Denyse as I knew I’d seen it as contentment but I did laugh at your explanation! Yes you show confidence and contentment in your post and as it’s your link up you can do whatever you want to. Hoping all goes well today and in the days ahead. Take care and thanks again for inspiring me to write this post about finding contentment 🙂 #lifethisweek

    • I know! How on earth did I do that?

      I confess I had written quite a few posts and scheduled them and each time I returned to Contentment Is….I thought “nup, got nothing’ and left it.

      Then, as I tried to explain (after Lydia saw what I had done!) I realise that my mind worked in mysterious ways because I needed to write about confidence again….

      Anyway, I hope it’s been alright by the linkers. I did have a laugh at myself knowing my head has been thinking about this week and cancer anniversaries more!

      Good visit to the prosthodontist today and all will be well (I hope) after I see the surgeon on Tuesday week.

      Thanks for your kind words

      Denyse x

  11. Hi Denyse, So great to see you have specific activities to strengthen your confidence. The post that I linked up here starts with a C (for Croatia) so I’m off prompt 🙂 Wishing you good news for your upcoming appointments. #lifethisweek

    • Thanks Natalie. It sure does help that I collate lists and suggestions for me to do.
      Look forward to reading YOUR “C” post too.

      Denyse x

  12. You always come across as very confident to me Denyse, but I know that it can be a challenge. I love that you are doing specific things to help continue to strengthen that

    • Thank you. I always have been pretty confident but things took quite a downturn for a few years in ‘my transition to the new retirement life’. However, building on what I had and what I needed to do, along with the manner in which I have had to deal with all the cancer treatments etc have all played their part in my improved confidence.
      Denyse x
      PS Apple Watch Buddy now!!