One Word for 26: Confidence


It’s so weird to think of where my life was a year ago. It doesn’t seem that long ago. I was living in Pittsburgh, totally spinning my wheels, writing out goals I thought I should achieve as a 25 year old. I felt stuck and like this list of things would get me out of my stuck place.

I don’t want to focus on goals for 26 because I made a bunch of goals for this year. I want to focus on a word, inspired by a question Tina Muir asks in her Runners’ Connect podcasts. The word for 2015?


25 was kind of a whirlwind. As the wordsmith Drake once said, I go 0 to 100 real quick. I spent my birthday with my family in Savannah, pretty quickly after went on a surf trip to Nicaragua. I set a couple new half-marathon PRs, thought I fell in love, lost my job, got a new job, got dumped, moved across the country, made out with a boy I had a crush on for years (wait, didn’t that happen earlier in the year, too?), started dating someone across the country again, made some new friends, lost some old friends (actually, JK on that one… I think)… a lot happens in a year. A lot of things that can shake anyone’s confidence.


First day on the new job.


New friends!


Finding these notes while unpacking boxes in SF was tear city.

I suffer from self-sabotaging, debilitating doubt at times. It’s really weird because I can be the most confident person at times and others, I can’t get out of bed because I feel like I’ll never be good enough so why bother. My expectations for myself are much higher than anyone else would ever set for me and I need to realize that if I’m going to achieve all of the things I want to, I need confidence to do so. I’ve had boys people ask me why I’m trying so hard to appear be perfect because it’s exhausting. And it is.

I’ve figured out how to push myself out of my comfort zone, which I think was a big theme for 25. Now I have to figure out how to own it. Own that I’m capable of running 26.2 miles. Own that I’m talented and I have the ability to be successful. Own that a boy would actually want to be with me and likes me for me, not the idea of me (gasp!) because, I get it, I’m great on paper (great job, great apartment, athletic, pretty, decently smart) but in real life, I’m kind of all over the place and mentally a mess at times.

So here I am. Three days from 26 and starting to embrace feeling sure of myself. Because, let’s be real – confidence without arrogance is sexy.

Chat with me:
How do you embrace having confidence? What do you want to own this year? What is something you want to work on?

43 comments on “One Word for 26: Confidence

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Susie @ SuzLyfe on March 4, 2015 7:08 am

Get your Maria von Trapp on. Besides what you see I have Con—fi–dence innnn meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
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Heather @Fit n Cookies on March 4, 2015 7:14 am

I love that you chose a word for the year. You’re last year makes me exhausted just reading it! I’m with you on having the highest expectations of myself. I wish I lived up to that, but lowering my expectations would b e better so I feel like I am tackling things and doing a good job. I know you will come out this year with major confidence :)
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Erin @ The Almond Eater on March 4, 2015 7:39 am

2014 was a psycho year for you hahah I like the word confidence, though. I think most of us could all use a bit more confidence at times. Here’s to 26 lady!!

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Amanda @ .running with spoons. on March 4, 2015 7:56 am

I’m a big fan of words over goals as well, and confidence is an awesome one. That’s something that I’ve struggled with for pretty much my whole life, but I feel like it gets better as you get older and more sure of yourself.
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Davida @ The Healthy Maven on March 4, 2015 8:08 am

This was so beautiful. I love you and can’t wait to see your confidence shine! Happy almost bday my love <3
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Pragati // Simple Medicine on March 4, 2015 8:17 am

For me, confidence gets easier with age. At a certain point you realize that you are who you are – the pretty parts, the messy parts – all of it is you. You find the people who celebrate that. Confidence is a beautiful artifact of building a life that is healthy for you (in more than just the eat well and exercise way). Happy early birthday! I hope this year is twice as good as the last.
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Chris on March 4, 2015 9:44 am

You had me at quoting Drake, so you’re a keeper in my books! I definitely suffer from lack of confidence, and positive/negative comments affect me more than they should. I’ve gotten better but the DAILY struggle is still very much real.
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Lisa @ RunWiki on March 4, 2015 9:49 am

You have put into words what so many people feel. I can remember being in my twenty’s and thinking that my self doubt was part of who I was.. a permanent fixture that would never go away… and it is, but what I failed to realize back then was that I am the boss of all of my thoughts. So now when those feelings come up (which is far less then they used too) I acknowledge that they are there, have empathy for myself, and then slowly eradicate them with positive thoughts. Life is kind of like a series of waves… you can fight them, run terrified out of the ocean, or learn to become a really good surfer. You are so very wise for knowing who you are, being able to recognize that you are being too hard on yourself and healing one step at a time. Hugs to you… you’re a beautiful young lady.
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Neyssa on March 4, 2015 10:09 am

Big changes are coming with your 26. Awesome word choice. Stay confident and true to yourself, when doubt arises, recall that word. Happy birthday!
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Tori on March 4, 2015 10:24 am

I feel like we have so much in common. I turned 26 in November and I’m getting ready to move from NC to the Bay Area! It’s going to be a big change but I’m believing that good things are waiting there!
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Marisa @ Uproot from Oregon on March 4, 2015 10:32 am

Drake was in the background as I read this post. Perfect. We all need to boast that confidence train all the way to the station. Happy you’re feeling good and strong and looking forward to 26! Happy early birthday!
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Shashi at RunninSrilankan on March 4, 2015 10:33 am

“Confidence without arrogance is sexy” indeed!
Love your word for 2015 – as I’ve gotten older, I feel I am kinder to myself – and with that kindness, confidence seems to have grown!

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Ang @ Nutty for Life on March 4, 2015 10:34 am

Yes! I love this and you! You are one of the [ok let’s just be real here, THE] coolest person I know and it sometimes blows my mind how you can’t see just how amazing you are! Have confidence, Cass, because you are truly one in a million. Wait am I flirting with you? Sorry.
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Marvelyne on March 4, 2015 10:39 am

Truth! Confidence is indeed attractive! I love the theme concept – we do this for each New Year – but I haven’t considered it for a birthday! Great idea!

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Amy on March 4, 2015 11:02 am

happy almost birthday! I turn 25 this year. I’m working on a list I want to accomplish by 30. Mine are a bit different with a kid. I love your confidence! Your doing. Great! Thanks for sharing.
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aimee fauci on March 4, 2015 11:08 am

Confidence can be hard to have but if you sit back and look around and think about what you’ve achieved, it helps for confidence to shine through.

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Jasmine Maria on March 4, 2015 11:10 am

I can honestly agree with this post. I suffer not only from depression but also from anxiety. So sometimes having self confidence can be hard. What I’ve learned throughout the years is that be you, stop worrying about what others think. Be happy with yourself. Love yourself. That’s what has gotten me through things.
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Dietitian Jess on March 4, 2015 11:18 am

Happy almost birthday! I think 25 to 26 was the year I learned the most about myself and figuring out what I wanted to do and who I wanted to be and etc. so this totally resonates with me. Great post and thanks for keeping it real :)

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Rebekah on March 4, 2015 11:22 am

32 and still working on trying to be confident! This year I am just working on general self improvement… Health (weight loss) is the big one, and I think the rest will just come with it.
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Amanda F on March 4, 2015 11:37 am

This is probably something that I need to hear. I recently switched jobs, but now am faced with a tremendous learning curve (as often comes with engineering)… Sometimes I just need to remember that I wanted this job because it has so much room for me to grow. And remember that HECK YEAH I am smart. I can do this. I will learn and be awesome.

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Kay @ Kay Bueno on March 4, 2015 12:02 pm

Dude, you’re killing it this year, and I’m not sure you know it. :) Moving, and traveling, and adjusting to a totally new job, life, apartment, city, culture, etc, is incredibly hard. And I don’t think people realize it a lot of the time.

Good luck with 26. But I’m sure it will be great. Have fun celebrating. :)

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Erin @ Her Heartland Soul on March 4, 2015 12:06 pm

Confidence is sexy!! Here’s to an amazing 26th year of life!
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Sarah @pickyrunner on March 4, 2015 12:21 pm

LOVE this. A lot can change in a year. A lot of good things can happen and a lot of not-so-good things that try to bring us down. But what matters is that you pushed through it and came out on top. Confidence is so important and it’s something I’m constantly trying to work on. Happy almost bday :)
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Lauren on March 4, 2015 12:50 pm

Gah we need to be friends. I have the same awful, self-destructive doubt. I set the bar so high that I always feel like I’m never doing enough! The past year or so I’ve been really working on seeking out opportunities that push me out of my comfort zone and require confidence-even as simple as reaching out to someone about an opportunity gets me a gold a star in my book. Congrats on 26 and here’s to a great year for you!
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Deanna Segrave-Daly on March 4, 2015 1:04 pm

My birthday is the day after yours and dang I’m feeling old (let’s just say I’m almost two decades older) but I definitely felt that confidence is something that came over the years to me (as well as perspective.) I’ve always found that having a strong group of friends and family support can get you through most anything. Plus I’m envious of what you’ve have done already at 25 – impressive! That’s got to give you confidence, just looking back at your last year. So happy birthday from a fellow Pisces!

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EA-The Spicy RD on March 4, 2015 1:23 pm

Happy Birthday! Ditto to everything Deanna said, although I’ve got 2 years on her :-) Well in to my 40s I feel pretty confident MOST of the time, but, like everyone, I definitely have my self-doubt as times. I think that’s pretty normal :-) Something I want to work on this year, is Focus. Juggling my own business with being a mom, a wife, and a daughter to 2 aging parents pretty much puts me all over the place. Most days exhausting, but, honestly, I’m very happy with my life, and wouldn’t trade any of it. Although, a full time housekeeper would be nice :-) Have a wonderful year!!!
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Alanna on March 4, 2015 1:38 pm

Over the past year I have taken some huge steps to becoming more confident – maybe it’s also because I turned 26? I’ve learned to just be myself and not pretend to be someone else when around different people – hate that! I have a don’t care and I will do what makes ME happy attitude now and am SO much happier :) Happy early bday!
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Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine on March 4, 2015 2:00 pm

Confidence is one of my favorite words, my motto! It is a beautiful thing and we all have, we just need to embrace, manifest, and fully believe it!
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Ashley @ A Lady Goes West on March 4, 2015 2:04 pm

Own it! You sure have made a lot of big changes in your life, and that takes major courage. I bet you don’t realize how many people are in awe of all you have done. You should be so proud! Keep on living life and rocking at it! :)
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Kristine on March 4, 2015 2:43 pm

LOVE THIS POST. I find (as cliche as this sounds) that the older we get, the the more confidence (in all aspects of life) we develop. I just turned 30 and I’ve honestly never been in a better place. Not sure if you’ve read the cover story in Vogue this month, but it’s definitely worth a read :) (Yes, it’s the T-Swift/Karlie Kloss one but there’s quite a bit of depth to it I swear!) Can’t wait to get together soon!
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Nancy on March 4, 2015 3:23 pm

I HATED turning 25 and 26. Then I turned 30 – I think I almost had a meltdown (jokingly). But now this year I’m turning 35 and I feel amazing. I’m not scared any more, and I don’t know why. I think I’m finally getting to the age where I don’t care about the number. I just care about the person who I am, and who I’ve become. Happy almost birthday!!!!!!! :) :) :)
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Iris on March 4, 2015 4:55 pm

I like the word inspiration twist in place of goals. Mine for this year has been “Be Intentional”. Ok that’s more of a phrase but same concept. It’s funny because I am nearing my 30’s and still feel some of the same things you described. These past couple of years however have been amazing as I journey through a wonderful relationship with God. I love your honesty in your post, you sound like a wonderful person. Just stay away from that pesky perfectionism. It gets the best of us in trouble. ;-)
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Julie on March 4, 2015 6:07 pm

Love the word confidence! This is one I need to work on as well. Thank you for an inspiring post!
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lindsay on March 4, 2015 6:25 pm

26 is a good year. I’m almost 32 and I wish i had discovered that confidence is HUGE for the 20’s, and you should so go for it! you are amazing lady!
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alyssa on March 4, 2015 6:40 pm

Great word choice, love! Have a happy birthday! :)

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Diana @sosmallsostrong on March 4, 2015 6:51 pm

This is beautiful Cass!! You rock that confidence. I think it’s a great idea to focus on just a word because you can truly encompass any goal with it. Confidence is always something I’m working on, I’m with ya lady! :)
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Rebecca @BeTrulyNourished on March 4, 2015 7:53 pm

This is great! Without actually writing it down, I’ve made this is my goal for 26 too & it’s been so empowering so far (kinda hard, but empowering & exciting)!
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Nicole @ Foodie Loves Fitness on March 5, 2015 12:13 am

I love your word for this year! In a way, I think that we all can be totally all over the place or completely have our shit together, just depending on the day. I’m always trying to work on mindfulness – just enjoying the moment and really living in the present. The thing that I’ve owned as an adult is believing in my ability to trust my gut and make the right decisions for me based on what my heart tells me, not what other people tell me to do. Everyone’s going to have an opinion on how to do any and everything, but at the end of the day, you’re the one that has to live with your choices and hopefully be happy with them. :)
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GiGi Eats on March 5, 2015 12:13 am

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to come this weekend Cassie!!! :) Confidence is quite possibly the BEST TRAIT anyone could ever embody and I am thrilled you want to embrace it this year and the years to come! I have to say, I have luckily had confidence my entire life – even when things were MEH (yes I had a few years there). I always knew I had a purpose on this earth, which helps me smile every day! You need to make sure you know exactly why you’re on this earth… Sounds really cheesy but it’s true!
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Arman @ thebigmansworld on March 5, 2015 3:42 am

love this! I have a similar post on this coming up but I echo all your thoughts- You’re doing good, buddy.Scrap that, you’re doing great!
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Jo @ Living Mint Green on March 5, 2015 1:49 pm

Happy belated birthday!
I know you might think I’m full of shit with what I’m about to say, but, your 20s are going to be filled with self-doubt, irrational fears and moments of constant questioning if you’re “actually” on track or “doing life right”. You’re not supposed to have it all figured out, and that’s where the stress comes into play – because when you ask yourself those important questions, you’re generally not going to know.

Even at 30, I can’t even decide what I want for dinner, let alone knowing how I want to spend the rest of my life.

Once you accept that, life gets a lot less complicated… and FUNNER! You’re always going to get what you need, so relax a bit and trust that the Universe has your back. One more thing: don’t confuse the idea of not having a clear vision or plan with laziness or indifference.

YOU’RE AWESOME! Here’s to an amazing year ahead of you! :)
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Lexi on March 8, 2015 10:22 am

Cassie, you are gorgeous! Reading this post made me realize how much I am like this too. There are some days when I look and the mirror and know how awesome I am and there are some days were I just pick myself apart. I’m 22, almost 23, years old. I didn’t finish school, I got a “big girl” job at 20, and had to force myself to grow up. I just have to keep myself positive and remind myself that the world is tough and it’s all about how I make it. Good luck with everything this year. You can do it!
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[…] off, I want to thank everyone for their kind words about my post on Wednesday and for all the birthday wishes. Each one made me feel so […]

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