It’s a New Year, let your confidence shine!

By Renée Macisco, Southport Neighbors, January 2019

The holidays have passed, it’s 2019, and our New Year’s resolutions are front and center. What are your goals for the new year? I am sure many of you have a list of things you hope to accomplish in 2019.

Perhaps it’s starting a fitness program, enrolling in a class, or starting a new business. Before you start, take a minute and ask yourself these two questions, “Why am I doing this, and what is my ultimate goal?”

Many of us tend to have a “greatest hits” album on repeat: diet and exercise, read more, spend less time on social media. Resolving to make sweeping external changes is a daunting task, and the outward, public accountability can intimidate us into giving up before we even get started. The idea is not to abandon ship, but to change your perspective. Sure, we all like to hear ‘Have you lost weight?’ or ‘You look great!’, but those are fleeting insta-gratifications.

Superficialities are one thing, but they will never offer you the enduring satisfaction and personal growth of introspection. The greatest changes come from within! One of the most important things a person can work on is self-confidence. Is that on your list? The aforementioned are important, don’t get me wrong, but why not add “self-care/improve self-confidence” to the list? Did you know that self-confidence is linked to your happiness and almost every aspect of your life?

It’s true. Think about it.

The more confident you become, the less you tend to worry about whether you can or cannot do something. Think back to when you were in school. Whether it is setting a school record, failing a test, or closing a deal for your company, confidence is born through perseverance, failure and success.

Failure and success allow us to grow, and with each you will find that you have more confidence, drive and passion, to pursue other things in life. Things that you might not have otherwise tried. The more you fail, the more you actually succeed and build your confidence along the way.

It’s not just kids that struggle with self-confidence, adults do too. As adults, we’re expected to have it all figured out and not to care anymore. Truth is, many adults didn’t figure it out as kids, and still struggle. Selfconfidence is not something that happens overnight, but rather over a lifetime spent navigating those same successes and failures.

Keep that in mind as you consider your 2019 goals. Push yourself, try new things. By no means do I have this all figured out. I have learned that self-confidence and believing in one’s self leads us down paths we may have never otherwise ventured.

“It is confidence in our bodies, minds, and spirits that allows us to keep looking for new adventures.” – Oprah Winfrey

The Marks Family (Melanie was 18th Style Inspirational Woman, May 2017
Written by Me 🙂

Inspirational Woman: October 2018, Andrea

Every month on the 18th, I celebrate women.

This month I sat down with Andrea, my dear friend from Emerson College.

She is a full-time working mom and as genuine as they get. She has great sense of humor and one of the kindest people I know.

I hope you enjoy our interview.

Meet Andrea

18th Style: Where are you originally from and where do you live now?

Andrea: I was born in Wareham, Massachusetts, but spent my teenage years in Spring Hill, Florida. Portland, Oregon has been home for more than twenty years now.

18th Style: What do love most about living on the West Coast?

Andrea: While I joke that I’m proud to maintain my east coast “pace,” I’ve always appreciated the spirit of progress that exists out west.

Whether it’s in the arts, food or politics, there’s a tangible feeling of being able to make an impact on the world around you. There’s also a strong connection to the wilderness that is incredibly inspiring.

18th Style: What’s your day job?

Andrea: I’m Manager of Training and Support at a small database development company. I’ve worked here for 18 years, so I tend to wear many hats.

18th Style: Being a single mom is not easy. How do you balance work, life, kids and finding time for yourself? 

Andrea: Finding that balance is a process that continually evolves for me. All parents struggle with the guilt of not being there for every event or providing everything our kids want, and I feel that’s compounded for me as a single parent–especially with multiple kids dividing my attention.

I’ve tried to make peace with the reality of the structure of our life, and to appreciate the things we do accomplish every day. Because my children always come first, I’ve set boundaries with the demands of work so when I walk out the door, I’m on my time—period.

Making time for myself can be a struggle, but I’ve learned to embrace the times my kids are with their father and spend it with in the comforts of my incredibly supportive boyfriend and my inspiring group of friends.

I’ve learned to find joy in the quiet of everyday things like laundry and errands, as sometime that’s the only alone time that can be found! As a routine-oriented, structured person, learning to roll with the extremes it is something I strive to do.

18th Style: If you could have one superpower, what would it be?

Andrea: Duplication! If I could give each of my kids quality, one-on-one attention at the same time, that would solve so many of our daily hiccups!

18th Style: What’s the last great book you read that left an impact?

Andrea: My daughter has dyslexia, and I spend evenings reading with her. We recently reread “The Wind in the Willows.” It was my daughter’s choice, because we first read it when she was old enough to sit still on my lap. It’s a timeless classic filled with adventure, but has so many lessons about friendship, responsibility and appreciating what we have.

Whenever I read classic children’s books, it makes me feel like it should be required reading for adults for refresher material!

18th Style: What’s your go to podcast? Do you have one?

Andrea: I love Hidden Brain (NPR) and Stuff You Missed in History Class. I load up episodes to listen on airplanes, at work and in the car.

18th Style: Best thing you bought on Amazon within the last 3 months?

Andrea: I “treated myself” to a new phone charger and bought an obnoxious hot pink with gold trim super fast charger that was a “Deal of the Day” at $7.99. I don’t think of myself as a hot pink with gold trim person, but I was desperate to replace my charger and I didn’t feel guilty buying one at that price. Now I’m totally owning that hot pink awesomeness.

18th Style: What are your favorite three apps OR what are your favorite top three Instagram accounts?

Andrea: It’s so not exciting! It really highlights what dork I am.

1) I’m all about the Reminders app for everything from appointments and phone calls to kid stuff. I’m not sure I’d get it all done if it reminders weren’t constantly popping up for me throughout the day.

2) I frequently consult Dark Sky for weather.

3) Being a Disneyland nerd, I have an app called “Lines” with wait times, crowd levels, news and updates. It provides me with a little escape every time I use it.

18th Style: Who would you want to narrate your life?

Andrea: Kate Winslet! She’d use the proper inflection, and do it with a British accent.

18th Style: If you could be a cartoon character, who would it be? 

Andrea: The RoadRunner! He’s always on the go, outsmarting that coyote around every turn!

18th Style: What’s your favorite quote?

Edmund Spenser, “For there is nothing lost, that may be found, if sought.”


Past Women of Inspiration

I am blessed to know many women who truly inspire.  Take a look at some of our past Inspirational Women.


January 2018: Megan

February 2018: Melissa

March 2018: Susan

April 2018: Shannon

May 2018: Patti 

June 2018: Johanna

July 2018: Charlotte


January 2017

February 2017

March 2017

April 2017

May 2017

June 2017

July 2017

August 2017: Tracey

September 2017: Robin

October 2017 – Shannon P.

November 2017 (traveling no post)

December 2017: Lisa


January 2016

February 2016

March 2016

April 2016

May 2016

June 2016

July 2016

August 2016

September 2016

October 2016

November 2016

December 2016



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