Last weekend I was reading Oprah’s interview with Michelle Obama in O Magazine and just loved the candor of the piece. Of course my eyes got larger as I read her answer to Oprah’s question “When did you get to be this much of yourself?”.
In a phrase near and dear to my heart, Michelle Obama answered:
“I think in my 40s, I started feeling very comfortable in my own skin.”
Besides my obvious excitement at how perfectly this ties into my philosophy, I got to thinking about the words used to describe the First Lady. In this article, Oprah calls it “a confidence that comes from such an authentic place.” I couldn’t have said it better myself. Here is a woman who is strong, confident, accomplished, and now inhabiting the White House. Yet above it all she is REAL. She is grounded, genuine, and authentic. She is a professional woman who is also a devoted mother. She speaks her mind with class and honesty. She has the courage to face what IS straight on.
Another reality of being comfortable in your own skin and being in your power with confidence is that there will be some people who do not like you. It is just a fact. So if you are a people pleaser this will be a painful realization and important shift to embrace. While the criticisms and scrutiny are always magnified for public figures, the case in point is that Michelle Obama’s critics have been many and outspoken. The media crucified her for her playful comments about her husband during the campaign. The big ole “B” word has been bantered about in most unkind ways most recently by a controversial Townhall writer. After all if you are a woman with confidence you will most definitely be called a bitch by someone who’s insecurity can’t deal with you. The fashion and body-image police have been all over Michelle’s wardrobe and exceptional biceps. I could go on…
What is important to take away from this is that what other people think of you is none of your business. If you are not comfortable in your own skin you’d let these sort of criticisms and verbal barbs wound you. However, as we’ve witnessed very publicly Michelle offers no apologies for who she is. Amen to that! Dr. Cara Barker has a great article on “What Makes Michelle Obama Shine” which really emphasizes the huge amount of compassion, heart, and careful reflection that makes Michelle so very different than so many others.
The next few years will offer us a wonderful opportunity to watch Michelle Obama mirror these qualities back to us and empower women everywhere just by who she is being. I invite you to pay attention and know that you too can become comfortable in your own skin.
Want to start tapping into the power of being comfortable in your own skin? Get the free eCourse “The 5 Steps to Turn Your Fear Into Freedom”.