How To Be A Confident Woman During A Crisis Of Confidence
As women, it can seem as if we’re almost required to feel confident, empowered, and strong the minute we reach adulthood. But being fully confident in ourselves doesn’t always happen immediately. There is a wide range of insecurities, issues, and anxieties we can have that will undermine our belief in ourselves. And when you’re not some slightly-more-realistic version of Wonder Woman; you’re kind of left on your own to try to figure it out.
Although no one can teach you how to be self-confident, there are tips that can help you trust in yourself, and in your abilities, which can help naturally boost your self-confidence.
We asked some experts to give tips on how to increase self-confidence and the belief that we’re all worthy of success, happiness, and love.
How To Be A Confident Woman During A Crisis Of Confidence
Understand that self-confidence is a skill:
According to the founder of BU Coaching, Declan Edwards, recognizing that self-confidence is a skill like any other is the most important step you can take towards becoming self-confident. “When people begin to recognize that self-confidence is a skill that can be developed with practice, just like with any other skill, they are far more likely to put in the work to grow their sense of self-confidence.” By seeing that being self-confident is attainable, you’re less likely to grow frustrated and give up.
Get clear on what self-confidence actually feels and looks like:
Once you know that with a small amount of effort you can boost your self-confidence, you’ll want to define exactly what having self-confidence means to you. Self-confidence doesn’t feel the same way to every person—we all have our own ideas on what it is. “The important practice here is to question, explore, and write down what confidence specifically looks like and feels like to you as an individual,” says Edwards.
This could quite possibly be my favorite tip ever! Self-empowerment teacher and creatrix of Movie-Based Counseling, Len Sone, says: “I have a really fun but profound tip—to watch movies and TV shows that really inspire you, which lift your spirits and show you what your personal preferences are, and also to pay special attention to the confident character. This is a wonderful way of using your imagination and creativity, but also [helps to] develop confidence.” See how fictional characters convey their confidence and how it affects the way they interact with others. You could try adapting some of their methods as your own.
Reciting affirmations can go a long way towards changing your mindset. Certified mental health consultant Adina Mahalli of Maple Holistics says, “Affirmations are a powerful way to instill positive beliefs about yourself to yourself.” The more you say them, the more they will sink in and become reality.
Think about how you’re perceived:
You may think that you present one way, but other people may see you in a completely different light. If you already come off as self-assured and confident would boosting that confidence makes you seem arrogant?” Instead of immediately changing the way you behave, consider how you appear to everyone around you. “People might not notice the lack of confidence, for example, even if you feel nervous,” says Dewayne Hamilton, SEO of Web Cosmo Forums. “How we are perceived holds a great deal of weight to our own perception, so relaxing and just observing the way we come across to people can be an educative experience.”
Make a list of your positive traits:
I’m a big fan of writing a list of everything that’s good about yourself. When you see it there on paper or on your computer, you realize that you have a lot to be proud of. And don’t forget that pride is an element of being self-confident. Your accomplishments prove that you’ve got this and that you can do anything you set your mind to. Be thankful for everything that you have, everything that you’ve done, and everything you have yet to accomplish.
Identify your triggers:
What are the situations where you feel the least self-confident? Is there a way to reframe the story? “Know your triggers—by doing your own inner work, you will be able to sniff out which situations are more likely to rattle your confidence and prepare for them,” says happiness mentor and mindfulness teacher Elizabeth Su. “Knowing your triggers also helps you make sense of your feelings after a confidence blow and [helps you to] not immediately blame yourself for whatever happened.”
Show yourself some self-compassion:
Chastising yourself for what you think of as personal failings isn’t going to help, instead show the same compassion to yourself that you would to a friend or family member. When we feel insecure or lack confidence, we’re extremely vulnerable and can get easily hurt. “Practice self-compassion when you are hooked by self-doubt,” says life coach and counselor Ashley Waknine. “When confidence is low, we feel disempowered. Ground yourself by taking a few deep breaths and allow space for the emotion to move through you even though it’s unwanted. Making room for your present experience is a great way to stay anchored while you decide what empowering actions are available to take.”
Nobody enjoys anyone talking smack about them and that goes double for the negative voice in your head. “Watch your negative self-talk,” says Elisa Robyn, Ph.D. “Stop saying that you have low self-esteem. The brain believes what we tell it, so stop any negative language regarding self-worth, self-respect, or self-esteem. Stop defining yourself as a coward or less than in any way.”
Think of all the ways that being self-confident will improve your life. When someone is confident, it relaxes other people and assures them that person knows what they’re doing, has the resources to do it well, and isn’t embarrassed to seek assistance if need be. Being self-confident can help you get a better job, find a partner, and enhances your overall feelings of well-being.
Make a point to go outside your comfort zone:
It’s surprising how much testing yourself and doing things that normally you’d avoid can empower you, manifest your desires, and help build your confidence. Every time you surprise yourself and do something that makes you uncomfortable or uneasy, you strengthen the core of who you are. “One way to do this [go outside your comfort zone] is by regularly speaking to others in everyday situations that are slightly uncomfortable,” says Stacy Caprio, founder of Her.CEO. “Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable by speaking first to strangers is one way to push yourself until you start to feel more comfortable and confident in all areas of life that are outside your comfort zone.”
Go for small wins:
The problem with taking giant steps rather than baby steps is not only can it be overwhelming; you can fail and give the whole thing up. Dennis Timpanaro, founder of GOtivation says, “Little achievements build up real confidence. Your brain doesn’t seem to care about the magnitude of your achievement, just that you accomplished what you set out to do.”
Work on the message that your body is expressing:
Think about how confident people express their self-confidence in how they walk with their shoulders back, head held high and making eye-contact. Dr. Catherine Jackson, a licensed clinical psychologist and board-certified neurotherapist says, “Sitting up straight naturally makes you feel better and more confident. A slumped posture does the opposite.” You want your body language to say that you are confident and competent, not sluggish and a slacker.
Live in the now:
It won’t do you any good to dwell on things that happened in the past or could happen in the future. All any of us have is the present. “Focus on 24 hours,” says transitional life strategist, Randi Levin. “You may be spending a lot of time thinking about how you could change the past, or conversely how you can achieve the goals or bucket list items you have in the future. Your power is TODAY. What CAN you do NOW, in the 24 hours you have?”
Fake it until you are it:
If you act as if you’re a confident person consistently, then over time you’ll become a confident person. It may seem simple, but it works. Our thoughts become our reality and the more you believe that you’re a person with a ton of self-confidence the quicker it will happen. Ashley Waknine says, “If a miracle could happen so that you automatically had the full self-confidence you desire, what sort of things would you do with your life, and what kind of person would you decide to be? Self-confidence is built on personally meaningful behaviors repeated over time. Unlike our emotions, our actions are within our full control and therefore have the power to change the way we feel about ourselves.”
Don’t compare yourself:
Comparing yourself to others whether it’s via social media or real-time is a sure way to make you feel bad about yourself. No one’s life is perfect—even if it appears as if it is, all of us are on our own journeys and on our own timetables. “When you quit comparing yourself to those around you and start focusing on your own growth rather than how it compares to others, you immediately boost your self-confidence,” says Adina Mahalli. “The more envy that you experience, whether it’s financial, looks, or anything else under the sun, the worse you feel about yourself. As much as we’re led to believe that life is one long contest, it’s not a competition and you should focus on yourself before looking at others.”
Surround yourself with people who support you:
It won’t be easy but do yourself a favor and get rid of the negative people in your life—you know the ones who for whatever reason want you to fail. You don’t need that kind of energy in your life. You don’t need to waste any more time with people who put you down, criticize you, and generally make you feel terrible about yourself. Tina Yeager, LMHC advises, “Build a network of healthy, supportive people who seek success through collaboration instead of competition.”
Take good care of yourself:
The better you feel physically, the more confident you’ll become so be sure to get enough sleep, exercise daily, eat right, and drink enough water. “Nourish your body, mind, and soul,” says Yeager. “Appropriate self-care builds the framework for esteem and productivity.”
Being confident and believing in yourself doesn’t mean that you’ll never have another problem or that everything you want will be handed to you. What it does mean is that you’ll have the tools that you need to deal with the challenges of life. And, that you’ll be able to go after the things you want with the knowledge that you are worthy and that you deserve health, happiness, and success.