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Coaxing Moxie

“Somehow I can’t believe that there are any heights that can’t be scaled by one who knows the secrets of making dreams come true. This special secret, it seems to me, can be summarized in four Cs. They are curiosity, confidence, courage, and constancy and the greatest of all is CONFIDENCE. When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable.” – Walt Disney

Walt Disney was arguably a great-granddaddy of moxie. He was not afraid to put himself out there and to realize his dreams. Moxie is a big part of my life and a running theme for my blog in general. I am passionate about life, love, family and the need for moxie in our lives.

To coax is to gently persuade, softly convince, urge or encourage, and if there is anything in general, I, Connie Kerbs, Author, hopes to do, it is to ‘coax’ you to coax some moxie into your life! After all, you can never have too much capability, vitality, enthusiasm or competence to name just a few. (Even if they can be best tempered with an appropriate dose of gratitude and humility - but those are for other blogs.)


Now, self-esteem and self-confidence are what I term the “dynamic duo." You simply need both aspects to feature strongly in your life, and if you are a parent it is your task to authentically foster these qualities in your children.

Nothing determines a person’s (child’s) outcome or general satisfaction with life, as much as their deep, most basic esteem of themselves.

Self-esteem is the solid foundation that self-confidence is built upon, which in turn fortifies self-esteem. This ongoing, concentric life-process is essential to success, satisfaction and well-being.

This dynamic duo of self-esteem and self-confidence, are first acquired in early development and are heavily influenced through social and emotional life- experiences, especially attachment. As we grow, they will strengthen and develop more by our doing, learning, accomplishing, and through an all-important thing called…persistence.


Classic psychology describes self-esteem as, "A person's general sense of self-worth or personal value. Self-esteem is considered a personality trait, and while certainly NOT unchangeable, its basis is formed early in life and is typically stable and enduring."

Self-esteem involves a variety of deeply intrinsic ideas about the self, such as physical appearance, beliefs, emotions, behaviors, and how you perceive others see and feel about you, and your relationship to the main groups to which you belong. It is your general confidence in your own abilities. It is your level of personal independence. It includes your overall view of the importance of your life and your perceived value of your personal contributions.


Moxie is the term I use to represent the entire self-esteem “package:” the clusters of interconnected traits, decisions and experiences vibrating at the core of that big ball of self-esteem. It is essential to understand that all these ideas work together in a reciprocal, and incredibly exquisite tandem in your life – and the results look and feel like this in a list:

Moxie is that glow of contagious positivity that lights up a room.

Moxie is behind the on-top-of-the-world, just got that hard-won promotion feeling or the awesome, finally - got that long sought after job moment.

Moxie is the momentum behind every home run ever ran; and is what enables a cross country runner to finally beat a personal best time in a race.

Moxie is what helps a struggling fifth grader figure out how to stand up to that class bully, and in doing so, they earn as much self-respect as their new-found peer-respect.

Moxie is the victory dance after a touchdown and is the catalyst for any focused JV to make those Varsity tryouts.

Moxie is what brings out the “momma bear,” when her instincts tell of her child’s needing her strength and protection.

Moxie beckons us to our aging parent’s bedside as they convalesce, knowing they can depend upon us to be there until the end.

Moxie is what finally gives a guy courage to ask a girl out – and what he feels an adrenaline shot of when she says yes.

Moxie is the explosive joy he feels when he proposes sometime later - and the girl says yes again.

Moxie is what motivates a couple whose marriage is feeling overwhelmed (or underwhelmed, as the case may be) – to successfully set things right, and get their life, relationship, and their family back on steady ground. Moxie is what helps us steer our “ship,” through the tsunamis and hailstorms of life. Moxie makes the only real, lasting joy - a sense of deep satisfaction based on gumption, gratitude, and grace. All this and more is why I am insatiably curious about and dedicated to this thing called moxie, and its coaxing. It is indeed, what I write about, for big and little people - and what I, after all - wax poetic for... What does moxie mean to you?

Reprinted and updated from original 2015 Blog:

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