You know how some days you can feel like you can do anything, and other well, you don't? Well I have had a few of those days lately and needed a a bit of a self confidence boost. So, when deciding what to write about this week I "re-found" this post from 2010. It still holds true and gave me just what I needed. Thought I would re-share in case any of you needed a self-confidence boost too.
Self Confidence. Some of us have it, some of us don’t and wish we did. Some of us don’t even realize we are missing it. We have all seen it, whether in the boardroom, a party, the PTA or at the gym, those women who just exude confidence in whatever they do. We get the message whether it’s from their appearance, their parenting style or their professional choices. Their smiles say: I’m me and liking it.
I am not talking about the women we all know who are so frightfully insecure that they never question anything in their lives and gain confidence by pushing other women down. Or women who cover their frightful insecurity by promoting and rambling on about the perfection of their kids, husbands, homes, school and cars. I am talking about the women who are just plain confident and secure with themselves. They know what they are good at and are comfortable and accepting of what they are not. They believe in themselves and their choices. They are not afraid to fail. They feel inspired by making others feel good. While I know they must have moments of self-doubt … most of the time they are secure in their own skin. Some are women who can confidently say they are a “stay at home Mom” without the back chatter that they are not contributing to society or letting their education go to waste. Imagine! Some are women who work full time and can say, I’m also a great mom and I’m loving my work. Possible? Some are women who can walk into a room of strangers and immediately start mingling or networking without a pause and aren’t apologetic about their hair, their clothes, or their butt even on their fat girl days.
I love these women! I have always wanted to be one of them. But I am not. I have worked hard at becoming even moderately confident and need to be reminded every day to honour who I am, what I’ve done and what I’ve now chosen to do – be a mom, a wife, a volunteer and a women’s advocate.
So my question is this: Does confidence help women feel more successful too? My answer is absolutely. Since confidence is the “belief in ones own abilities” then owning confidence in yourself and your choices automatically puts your further ahead. You actually believe you have the potential to accomplish what you set out to do whatever that may be. Isn’t that the first step down the your path of success?
Alternatively and unfortunately, from the women that we talk to it is that same lack of self-confidence, that often shows up in relationships, or work, or both, and is one of the chief reasons women feel badly about themselves and don’t put value on all that they do accomplish. It’s a confidence deficiency that often leaves them feeling unsure and unsuccessful.
When thinking about self confidence, don't underestimate the "self" part. If you, like many of us, depend on others for approval all the time, then your self-esteem will always be at risk if someone doesn’t give you the praise you crave. This may mean that you tend to avoid taking risks that might lead to people being critical, seeing you as a failure, or disapproving of you. Indeed, the loss of approval can be devastating to those of us whose self-confidence depends on what other people think!
You can see how it follows that a list of strong personal qualities come from having enough self-confidence: you don't depend too much on others to feel good about yourself; you expect to be successful; you don't put yourself down; you congratulate yourself for your achievements instead of thinking you could have done it better; you accept compliments from others; you take risks; you feel you can be an individual and you don't feel compelled to conform; you trust your own abilities. In essence, you believe in yourself. Imagine that? Doesn’t that just set you up to make choices both everyday and in life that are right for you and only you?
Confidence results from learning that you can accomplish by yourself; can rely upon your own abilities; can trust your own judgment. Everyone needs the opportunity to learn these things. We certainly know to teach it to our children and are constantly reminded of that in the media, in our schools and our parenting books but we women didn’t all get that. Are we doomed to a life of self-doubt? Can it be learned now? Is it too late?
I did quite a bit of research on the different schools of thought. The market is loaded with self-help books and gurus and life coaches. However, given my pragmatic and slightly cynical nature, I liked and could identify most with Lori Radun of Lori Radun is a certified life coach, inspirational speaker and author of The Momnificent! Life ~ Healthy and Balanced Living for Busy Moms. Her website, Momnificent! is a place where mothers go for unconditional support and expert advice on issues the modern mom faces today. To receive her free e-newsletter The Chocolate Fix, or to join her community of magnificent moms at the Momnificent! Mom Club, visit http://www.momnificent.com.
Read through her suggestions, get a buddy and start practicing! Let us know how it goes. What works for you? What doesn't. Don’t we all deserve this chance?
4 Keys to Increased Confidence
Know Your Worth
What makes you a valuable mom, wife, employee, or friend? Too often we focus on our shortcomings and we’re blinded to the worth we have to offer this world. What makes you special? Are you funny, organized, reliable, honest, or intelligent? What special skills do you possess? Can you write, create, sing, crunch numbers, or fix things? Each and every one of us has unique qualities that make us valuable to other people. Know your strengths and be proud of them.
Live in Integrity
Living your life in integrity with who you are requires you to know yourself well. What’s important to you? What are your top five values? Is every part of your life aligned with those values? For instance, if you value health, living in integrity means you take care of yourself by exercising, eating right and getting adequate sleep. If you life is not aligned with what’s most important to you, your confidence will diminish. You won’t feel good about yourself because deep inside you know you are not honoring your authentic self.
Acting in Courage
Confidence can be greatly increased by facing your fears and acting in courage. What are you afraid of? Do you have a fear of failure or a fear of making mistakes; a fear of disapproval or a fear of the unknown? Sometimes fear can stop us from being who we really want to be. Feel the fear and do it anyway. Keep facing your fear until the fear goes away. Confidence can replace the fear.
Balancing Internal and External Approval
When we depend too much on external approval, our confidence can rise and fall depending on the validation we do or don’t receive from other people. While it’s normal to seek praise and appreciation from other people, there needs to be a healthy balance between what we give to ourselves and what we receive from others. You need to know you’re a great person, or you’ve done your best even when other people don’t notice. Learn to give yourself a humble pat on the back!