Self-confidence: we all want to feel and exude it, and some days even manage to do so. Other days we let it get muddled by minor or major flaws we find with ourselves, and other days it gets completely picked apart by our overly perfectionist minds. So how do we stop doing that? How do we learn to see the best and the worst parts in ourselves with an objective mind, relentlessly strive to improve ourselves but at the same time be proud of all that we already are? Well, to answer that, I will tell you I believe that our confidence in ourselves stems from multiple areas of our personas, and I want to discuss some of the major ones with you below:
Confidence in your appearance: Anybody who doesn’t want to be considered attractive, put your hands up! (well, metaphorically). No one? Yep, didn’t think so. We all want to be perceived as attractive, good looking and constantly in our prime. But do we ever stop to consider how far we are letting this desire go?
Now I am not about to judge anyone for wanting to be skinnier, fatter, fitter, for dreaming of an hourglass shape, a bigger pout or a more statuesque physique. You are entitled to want to better your exterior appearance as you see fit- all I’m saying is take a moment to appreciate what you already have. Admire that rogue mole above your lip or the smattering of freckles on your face. Don’t turn your nose up at your ample behind and stop being ashamed of your muscular calves. Because you know what? These are all part of you and whether you believe it or not, somebody out there is probably pining for what you are now criticizing. So the best thing you can do for your self-confidence is to care for your body, give it the nutrition, physical activity and rest it deserves, look at it with an objective gaze, and never let anyone tell you how much you are worth based on your appearance.
Confidence in your abilities: Next to beauty, we also want to feel good about our abilities. We want to feel and be perceived as smart, capable, able to handle ourselves and our lives. But a lot of times, we let our insecurities get the best of us, and instead of seeing our wit or our ability to think on our feet, we just think of all our failures and inconsistencies.
I’ve seen my friends, who are some of the smartest, strongest and most amazing ladies I know be consumed with self-doubt over their abilities. “What if I’m not smart enough to get this job?” “What if I’m not ready to deliver this speech?” “What if I fail miserably and disappoint everyone who loves me?” And I’m no stranger to feeling like this either, but this is what I tell them (and myself) every time these thoughts creep in: When you are consumed with self doubt over your abilities to handle a certain situation, take a moment to breathe and visualize your success. This simple action will put you in a better mindset, that will actually allow you to access your abilities and succeed, instead of burying them in fear and self-doubt.
Confidence in how interesting you are: Now this is a biggie. The desire to feel confident in how interesting we are is closely tied to our desire to be popular, to be accepted in certain social circles and even to find a potential partner. Nobody wants to be dull and drive people away with inane conversation. But it also doesn’t help if you get tongue tied simply at the idea of striking up a conversation in a social setting.
So what to do? Well, there’s a very easy way to make sure you are interesting to someone: be interested in them! Actually listen to them, instead of just waiting for your turn to reply. Offer empathetic replies and give pertinent opinions. It also doesn’t hurt to relax and tap into your funny bone- humor is a great way of winning people over. Also, if you truly feel like your daily life is too humdrum for you to have any interesting stories to tell, then take action! Pick up a new hobby, join a book club, go to an art exhibit, stay connected to world events. You will be the first to benefit from these changes! There’s never a shortage of interesting areas that you can educate yourself on, and a person that can keep up with any conversation in a polite and informed manner is nothing if not interesting.
Confidence in your inner strength: Going a step further, the next pillar of self-confidence is the one in our inner strength. We all want to know that deep down, in our core, we are resilient enough to overpass any obstacles and never fail- in our own eyes and in the eyes of those around us.
But gaining true confidence in your inner strength actually means allowing yourself to fail sometimes. It means learning that failing is not the end of the world, and it’s certainly only a stepping stone towards attempt number 2 (or 200) on the road to your success. It means gaining the certitude that you will pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start again the next day. And it means knowing in your bones that one failure shouldn’t define your confidence in your core strength, because you are still the smart, capable, gritty person you’ve always been. True inner strength comes from accepting that some days you will feel weak, depressed, vulnerable and incapable of reaching your goals, but having the certitude that you will be able to start fresh the next day.
Confidence in your style: Coming back to a more lighthearted source of self confidence, and one that is the bread and butter of this blog, I’d also like to touch on the theme of style. This can be a major source of stress and discomfort for some people, who feel that they can’t properly express their personalities and highlight their physical features like they would like to through their style.
So to gain more confidence in your style abilities, I recommend that you:
a) Read this blog (hahah, shocker, I know!)
But seriously now, if you want to master your style, I recommend you get informed- read as many fashion blogs and magazines as possible, browse fashion websites and get as much visual inspiration as possible. Then pick and choose the looks that you like (clothes, hair, makeup, accessories etc.) and start saving those pictures somewhere- which is where Pinterest comes in handy. In time, you will find common elements between all the images and will start defining your style. Also, ask a friend whose style you like to give you some tips. Join a style class, even hire a style consultant if necessary. And at the end of the day, remember: style should be fun, and an expression of yourself! Don’t adopt someone else’s idea of style, don’t copy and paste outfits, don’t drown in a sea of trends. Wear only what you feel happiest in, and you self-confidence will just radiate through.
And with that, I hope you feel more content with yourselves after reading this article, more empowered and more determined to have confidence in yourselves. So tell me, what boosts your self confidence? What makes you feel more self assured, and how do you motivate yourselves to keep your confidence levels high?