I am not by nature a particularly self-confident person. I constantly second-guess myself. I never expect people to stop and listen when I speak. I always worry I have a booger in my nose.

My friends are surprised when I tell them this. To many of them, I am an accomplished, smart, funny woman who’s done at least an okay job of living life, raising two kids and writing a few books and blogs along the way. But no matter how much I manage to get done, I never give myself much credit.

At least, not until recently. It’s occurred to me, at age 53, that confidence is key to happiness and just about everything else. Feeling good and secure about yourself not only bolsters your own mood and self-image, but it someone casts an aura about you that other people respond to in a positive way.

I’ve been making a point of giving myself little pep talks, reminding myself before leaving home that I have lots to offer the world – and I should proceed and present myself accordingly.

Oddly, having lived with multiple sclerosis for more than thirteen years has contributed to my newfound sense of confidence. Meeting MS’s many challenges and managing its meanderings to the best of my ability seems like kind of an accomplishment to me, and the confidence I’ve gained along the way helps gird me for whatever might lie ahead.

So nurturing self-confidence has become one of my major goals. Besides those pep talks, I force myself to dwell more on my successes than on my failures. To treasure my family and friends and their good regard for me rather than worry about anyone who might not hold me in such high esteem. So far, it seems to be working. I have an extra spring in my step, and I’ve noticed that people seem just that much happier to be in my company.

But I still have to check my nose now and then. Because boogers can happen to even the most self-confident people.


Jennifer LaRue Huget, Blogger

Jennifer LaRue Huget was diagnosed with MS in 2001. A freelance writer and children's book author, she lives in Connecticut with her husband, two teenage kids, and two brown dogs. Her website is