If you didn't already know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and iconic bag brand, Fiorelli have teamed up with Breast Cancer Care to raise money through their campaign #carryourconfidence. The bold pinstripe collection donates £10 per bag with the aim of raising £75,000 across the year to support the charity. Face of the campaign, Katie - a survivor of breast cancer talks of how she wants to promote a positive battle, creating more confident stories for others to turn to.
I am incredibly lucky to say that my life and those closest to me have not been touched by the disease directly but it goes without saying that the impact on those diagnosed and their loved ones is huge. I am also well aware of the fragility of that fact and how quickly it could change. For those reasons, I wanted to contribute to a message I feel strongly about.
The narrative of the campaign is to #carryyourconfidence in the same way that you carry your favourite handbag. I picked the Anouk backpack as I love the minimal, chic design. The backpack style gives a youthful vibe which I contrasted with a tailored longline blazer. I love the proportions of the different jackets and dress paired with the knee high boots.
The campaign topic really resonated as confidence has been and still is an on going battle for me. The issue I have is that I often feel passionately about something but will regularly second guess myself and let the little voice in my head convince myself that I'm not good enough or that I'm wrong in my opinion. Something I'm sure a lot of of people can empathise with. It makes me anxious and can stop me voicing what I believe or proceeding with something I am passionate about, (this blog and writing being a prime example).
However, on certain days I feel full of determination and will act the part until it becomes something that I know I will be able to do. Public speaking is probably the best illustration of this. I still get nervous before talking to a crowd but over the years, from high school and uni to my job now, I forced myself to do it when it was asked of me. This has made me realise that I am capable, and although the butterflies still make their rounds in my stomach beforehand, I will get through it and be proud that I did.
Another aspect that determines how confident I feel is how others view me, and this varies depending on who it is and what environment I'm in. I'm sure my Dad will find it somewhat amusing that I don't voice my opinion in certain circumstances as I have no trouble at all having a back and forth with him at the dinner table until he concedes (or at least pretends to). When I was in school I was always told by teachers to have more self belief as I constantly sought reassurance; words I have heard repeatedly and still do. There have also been friends/boyfriends over the years who were loud characters that dominated the relationship, making me believe that I was the weaker one. I have never been loud and unfortunately, loud is often misinterpreted as confident and quietness as shyness. In my opinion that is completely false. So depending on whether I am around close friends and family, at work or in a group of people I don't know very well then I can go from a exuberant debater to quietly confident to a reserved introvert in a flash.
Confidence comes in different ways, some are humble, some are arrogant, some are both depending on what day it is. However, I think the reserved shouldn't be underestimated as not being confident, they just might not be as forthcoming with it as others. If you are like me, surround yourself with those that build you up, support you and help you achieve your goals. If you believe in what you have to say but you don't necessarily believe in yourself, stepping outside your comfort zone is imperative for self growth. Otherwise, you'll later regret not taking the chance and seeing where it might lead. So, if you were to ask me how I carry my confidence I'd say, quietly, modestly, and with occasional pride (absolute pride is a work in progress).
To support Breast Cancer Care, and Katie in her fight for confident stories pick up your bag from Fiorelli.com now.