You’re tired, bloated from last night’s pasta, and feel like nothing in your closet fits. You know you have no real reason to be down on yourself, but you just aren’t feeling it.
We’ve all had those days. Often, however, these days turn into weeks, weeks to months, and before you know it, you are stuck in a dangerous cycle of a negative self-talk. Continually devaluing yourself can do harm to your body both physically and emotionally. Unfortunately, women often suffer from the damaging effects of negative self-talk more than men. Self magazine highlights an interesting Hewlett-Packard study in an article on self-confidence. According to the study, “men involved asked for a promotion when they met 60 percent of the new role’s requirements, whereas the women only did so when they were pretty much a perfect fit.”
Our takeaway- we, as women, need to find value in “faking it til you make it” instead of waiting on perfection. So what do you do when you are in a rut over your self-image and don’t feel like you have reason to be confident? In this blog, we are going to offer a few practical tips to help you undo the cycle.
Most everyone has heard something along the lines of “stand up straight!” from a teacher or parent at some point. Why? Because body language is a powerful tool of communication. There is a direct correlation between our inner and our outer selves. This means that how you feel is often projected outwards in how you act.
Interestingly, the opposite can be true. Projecting confidence on the outside can often make you actually feel more confident on the inside. According to social psychologist, Amy Cuddy, certain postures assert a sense of power and ownership of oneself and one’s space. Cuddy says, “… practicing these ‘high power poses’ can eventually help you feel more confident.”
Standing straight with your shoulders back demonstrates a level of confidence and respect for yourself. If you know that you are prone to shrugging, crossing your arms, and slouching, try practicing for a few minutes each day and set a reminder to check your posture at different points throughout the day.
You can also project self-confidence through your body language by making eye contact, maintaining a level of engagement, and both using and avoiding certain language. Looking into someone’s eyes indicates engagement and shows both the person you are interacting with and yourself that you are not afraid to be seen. Also, intentionally avoiding using weak words such as “just”, “like”, and “um” in conversation can display a level of confidence and competence regardless of how you feel.
While all of our journeys are different, it can be revolutionary when you realize the humanity in everyone- even the successful ones. When you see something you admire in someone else, stop and think about how you can replicate their admirable qualities! This is especially true in successful people. Reading books on the path to success and taking time to reflect on how you, too, can realize your dreams can give a significant boost to your confidence level. When you break your goals down into smaller, more feasible steps, you can tackle the head game by making the seemingly impossible become possible.
You’ve got to talk the talk. We’ve all experienced how one compliment can change your outlook on how you feel about yourself. The good news is we don’t have to wait on someone else to tell us we are beautiful and worthy. We can tell ourselves!
As the old adage goes- talk to yourself instead of listening to yourself.
Part of this involves learning to accept compliments when they come your way. Women are notorious for minimizing and downplaying compliments. Learning to accept the good that is said of you can mentally change the way you see yourself. Also, intentionally choosing to focus on your best qualities is a great way to push the negative thoughts out of your head. Whenever a negative thought enters your head, practice consciously replacing the bad thought with a positive one. These positive thoughts will affect your level of confidence because as we mentioned above, we project what we are thinking and feeling on the inside!
Maintaining a healthy level of confidence can be hard. As in most things in life, balance is key. So if you are struggling with low self-confidence, we sincerely hope that you will take some time this month to consider how these few tips can help you live out this month’s mantra. Because having style always helps your confidence level, and confidence never goes out of style!