WELSH women have the highest levels of self-confidence in the UK, but more than two thirds remain dissatisfied.
A national survey of 2,000 women, commissioned by Tena Lady, asked women of all ages to share their views on confidence and ageing.
Of 12 regions across the UK, Welsh women were the most likely to say they were self-confident.
Astonishingly, that still left 70 per cent who didn’t feel confident enough, which doesn’t bode well for our readers in Cheshire.
The Leader asked Mold, Wrexham and Chester residents, of any age and gender, whether they felt more confident now than when they were younger, and if they had any burning ambitions they would fulfil – that is, if they had the guts.
Of those who responded, the majority, who represented a range of ages between 18 and 65-plus, said they had grown in confidence over the years.
Out of the 85 people who responded to our survey, 77 per cent said they were more confident now than when they were younger.
Only 16 per cent said they were less confident.
It seems age brings some advantages.
Anthony Cahill, 57, or Wrexham, said: “Age brings a freedom to say what’s on your mind.
“At 57 I’m well on the way to achieving grumpy old man status.”
Dean Chadwick, 27, is hardly an old duffer, but he believes life experience counts.
He said: “Although I think I’ve always been perceived as a confident person, I would say it was all a front I put up until I became a dad at 26.
“Then a true sense of confidence in who I am and what I’m about came.
“Despite life slapping you back you got to get through because there’s a little mouth that needs feeding and a little heart that needs loving.
“I expect to get more confident but I’ve still got a long journey left. As a good friend regularly reminds me, you don’t know what you don’t know.”
Louise Evans, 38, of Wrexham, likewise credited her growth in confidence to living life.
She said: “I was confident as a teenager, then from age about 19 to 27-ish I lost it.
“Then I got a job working with teenagers and presenting to groups and it came back. I also feel more secure in myself as person which helps.”
Julie Vickers, 42, of Ruabon, had a few caveats.
She said: “I was afraid of nothing at 19. Young and carefree. Now I see the danger so am less likely to take chances. Saying that, I am much more confident in my own skin now I’m older.”
A common theme seemed to be that residents became more certain of themselves the more things they experienced.
Going back to the Tena survey, 35 per cent of Welsh women asked plan to write, or already have a “bucket list” of things they want to do in their lives, with 77 per cent planning to go on a trip of a lifetime.
More than half said a lack of confidence has prevented them from achieving something in their lives.
So what would you do, if money and circumstances were no object?
Sarah Hamner, 44, from Wrexham, said: “I’ve got lots on my bucket list, but my two main ones are to see great white sharks up close and to climb Kilimanjaro.”
Carol Large, 41, of Wrexham, was dreaming of a big American trip.
She said: “I’d like to motorbike Route 66, always wanted to swim with sharks and one day I did, but not with great whites as I didn’t have a death wish.”
Susan Price, 43, of Wrexham, wanted to “win the lottery” and relax in the sun without worrying about the cost of things.
Ian Rowley, of Wrexham, quipped: “A chicken pecked a hole in my bucket. Need to buy a new one.”
Delwyn Ellis, 49, of Hope, messaged us online to say “commenting on a local paper’s Facebook status” was on his bucket list – so we helped him go one better by having his joke printed in the paper. Kevin Price, 48, of Caerwys, has crossed quite a few things off his list.
“I saw the space shuttle take off in the flesh,” he said.
“I’ve also been surrounded by penguins and swam with dolphins.”
Natalie Jayne Jones, 25, said: “I haven’t got a bucket list as such but I would love to go to every theme park in the UK and every animal collection in the UK before I die.
“I also want to go to Disneyland Paris or Florida and go on an African safari.”
Dorne Price, from Broughton, said: “I’d like to become a competent skier, ride the north wales zip-wire, watch a sunrise over the sea and do a tandem sky dive.”
Debbie Bellis, 49, of Mold, has already signed up for one bucket list item and has her fingers crossed.
She said: “I want to run London Marathon. I hope to get in this year, have to wait until October to find out if I have.”
Harriet Clayton, 24, of Garden Village, Wrexham, has only just started building her bucket list.
She said: “I haven’t got a bucket list and would like to start one. My first entry would be to visit Japan as it’s something I’ve always wanted to do.”
Leader features editor Jo Shone described her life as “one big bucket list”.
She said: “I started crossing out my bucket list at 40. In the decade up to 50. I had flown a plane, albeit one jittery lesson over Winter Hill, abseiled 100ft off a tall building for Macmillan Nurses, kayaked down the Symond’s Yat on the River Wye, flown in a hot air balloon, taken part in a pantomime and invested in a course of guitar lessons.
“Since then I have become a grandmother, been to the Arctic, seen a polar bear in the wild and several species of whale, and have started writing a book.”
She added she still had to see the Northern Lights and learn to play piano, but seeing her sons and family happy, healthy and secure meant more than anything on her list.
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