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If someone asked you right now if you were a confident person, what would you say? If you’d asked me 10 years ago if I was a confident young woman I would have said ‘absolutely’. 5 years later it was a different story. Our confidence increases and decreases as we move through different times in our lives, but you can focus on these ways to be more confident in yourself and you can start today.
But why do you need to be confident?
So many women get caught up in their lack of self confidence because they worry that if they appear confident, then they will appear shallow, self-involved and selfish.
Firstly, being selfish is not a bad thing and it is something we should all aim to be a little more. Being selfish means that there are times when you put yourself first, and in doing so you are taking care of your own needs, filling your own cup and allowing yourself to be happy. This is a good thing. Looking after yourself first means you can look after others.
Secondly, if being confident makes people around you uncomfortable, then they aren’t your people. Confident women build up confident women. Find people who will do that for you and let go of those who want to tear you down.
But most importantly, self confidence is not shallow, it is not a negative thing and it is not something you should be ashamed of. Self confidence is an understanding of yourself, what makes you happy, what makes you ‘tick’ and what you want in life. Self confidence leads to success and leads to a happy and fulfilled life.
True self confidence is something so many women lack. In an age of social media shares, competition for Instagram likes and all the trending hashtags, it can be easy to be convinced that all of the women out there are far more self-confident than you. But that’s not true.
You can be more confident in your life without having thousands of Instagram followers, without needing to plaster yourself all over social media (big kudos if this is your thing, but it’s not for everyone) and you can be confident in your own way, starting right now.
1 – Be Honest With Yourself
If you want to be more confident in yourself, then you need to get to know yourself. I promise it isn’t as scary as it sounds. And the only way to do this properly is to be honest.
All people have strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes. The problem arises when we try to project a certain image of who we are based on what we think other people want us to be, and we end up acting like a half version of someone else instead of being the best version of ourselves we can be.
But what does this actually mean?
It means you need to get to know your own strengths and weaknesses and play to them. If you love being in a role that involves talking to other people, but you hate paperwork, then a data entry job is probably not making the most of your skills and therefore you’re not going to be confident in the role.
Being honest with yourself allows you to be confident in who you are, own your strengths and weaknesses, and not hide from your likes and dislikes.
Which leads to…
2 – Pay Attention To All Of Your Good
How often have you stood in front of a mirror and picked out every single flaw you can possibly see (or created in your own mind)? Literally, every woman I know has been guilty of this at some stage, some more often than others.
It doesn’t stop at physical flaws either. We are the first to tell ourselves we aren’t good at something and totally dismiss what we are good at.
Rather than focusing on all negative things, instead pay attention to all of your good.
You can do this right now. Stand in front of a mirror (or flip your phone to the selfie camera), look at yourself and pick out 5 things you love about yourself. If you say something negative, you have to start with another 5 positive things.
Do this every single morning.
You don’t have to pick out just physical things, be sure to include other areas of your life that you’re good at, proud of, and love.
3 – Improve or Move On
I suck at housework. Okay, I mean, I can clean if I have to, and I don’t live in a messy and dirty house, but I seriously hate housework. I know it seems superficial but it kind of messed with my confidence a little because I felt like I wasn’t a good enough wife for my husband. I wasn’t the picture of a perfect wife waiting for my husband to walk through the door with a hot meal in the oven and a clean house. Thankfully, that’s not what he wants in a wife anyway.
But here’s the thing. Sure, this is one of my downfalls, but I had a choice. I could either improve, or move on. I could make more of an effort and get the housework done, or I could accept that my husband prefers to do the housework anyway. It was my suggestion to get a cleaner (also a valid solution) but he preferred to do it himself.
This is just one simple example.
I also realised when I was in my late twenties that I was failing in my personal finances. I chose to improve that area by learning everything I could about personal finance (and I continue to do this today). This is now an area I am super confident in.
4 – Choose To Love Yourself
You have a choice each and every day. You can love yourself, or you can treat yourself like you are less than worthy.
When you choose to love yourself, especially after a long time of troubles with self esteem and self confidence, it can be difficult to shift your way of thinking.
But self confidence isn’t something you just ‘have’. It’s like a muscle that needs to be exercised and worked on. You need to build it each and every day.
Start by making the choice to love yourself. There may be things you don’t like about yourself (perhaps you’re not as fit as you want to be, or perhaps you don’t stand up for yourself as much as you’d like) – but that’s okay. All of these things start to improve and are easier to work on when you make the choice to love yourself.
You are worthy.
5 – Surround Yourself With Things That Make You Feel Confident
One of the biggest things you can do to make yourself feel more confident is to declutter. I know, I know, there’s a million people going all Marie Kondo lately and only keeping things that spark ‘joy’ but the benefits go far beyond being able to find your phone charger in less than a minute.
When you clear the the excess clutter and unused items from your home, you allow space for things that you love and make you feel good.
When you feel good, this is projected in how you act and ultimately can lead to increasing your self confidence.
Think about these two scenarios:
You’ve woken up of a morning and you roll over in bed, you realise you’ve just rolled onto at least two books, a remote control and maybe a food packet. You can hear the TV and you see it’s still on from the night before.
You get up and step out of bed, onto piles of clothes on the floor. You make your way to the bathroom, thinking about what you’re going to wear today. You have a shower, and stand in front of your clothes piles for 30 minutes trying to decide what to wear based on what is accessible, clean and relatively wrinkle-free.
You grab something to eat quickly as you rush out the door, trying to ‘hand iron’ your clothes as you go.
You’ve woken up of a morning and you roll over in bed, you stretch yourself out, taking a deep breath and being excited to embrace the day. You listen to the birds outside while slowly waking with the sunlight.
You get up out of bed, jump straight into the shower, and start your day fresh. You hop out of the shower and go to your closet that is filled with clothes you love to wear and that make you feel good. You choose your favourite outfit that is ready for you to wear, get dressed and take a look in the mirror. Girl, you look amazing.
You sit with your coffee and breakfast in your favourite comfortable chair while taking in the morning sun and enjoying the start of the day. You finish your coffee and breakfast, tidy up your dishes and slide into your beautiful shoes that make you feel a little sexy as you head out the door ready to take on your day.
Which scenario would you prefer? Sure, they might be simple scenarios – but the idea is still the same. Surround yourself with things you love and you will feel amazing about yourself and it will naturally build your self confidence.
6 – Use Your Words Wisely
Our words are powerful. I feel like I’ve written that line a hundred times over because it is so, so true and so, so important to understand.
The words we use, especially ones about ourselves, have the ability to either build us up, or break us down.
If you want to feel better about yourself and feel more confident, then start talking about yourself in a positive way and start talking in a more confident way.
For example, perhaps there’s something that you’ve convinced yourself you’re not good at, when in reality, it’s just not a priority for you. Instead of saying ‘I’m not good at xxxx‘, you could say ‘xxxx is not a priority for me right now, I’m focusing on xxxx instead’.
And if you say to anyone, even yourself, ‘I’m so fat’ or ‘I’m so ugly’ you need to cut that crap out now!! Replace it with ‘I love myself, no matter what’.
7 – Educate Yourself
I’ve spoken to a lot of women over the years trying to learn more about self confidence, what makes women confident, what makes them feel like they’ve lost their confidence and everything in between. One of the most common things that always comes up is around the topic of education.
A lot of women feel like they need to be college educated in order to call themselves ‘educated’. Or they feel lower confidence around topics they don’t fully understand.
But here’s the thing – the world is full of information. You can learn just about anything from anywhere – you just have to be determined.
There are a myriad of ways you can educate yourself about a topic that doesn’t involve formal classes. You can read books, read newspapers, read peer-reviewed studies, read blogs, read textbooks, listen to podcasts, listen to audiobooks, watch webinars, watch online tutorials, watch instructional YouTube videos…
One of my bosses once said to me ‘everyone you meet knows something you don’t know, it’s your job to find out what it is’. You can ask people to teach you skills or talk to you about topics you want to learn more about.
Your education is your responsibility and it doesn’t end when you finish school.
When talking to women, the overwhelming majority indicated that when they became more educated about a topic and felt confident in their knowledge, they felt more confident in their day to day life, more confident in themselves and had higher self esteem. That’s some seriously powerful stuff.
And you don’t have to wait to start working on any of these ways to be more confident. You can start today. Right now. Confidence isn’t just going to appear in your life. You need to make a conscious effort to build your self confidence, work on it every day and see how in doing so, your confidence grows.