How To Build Confidence In Women
We women deserve to feel confident in our own skin. Women’s minds and bodies make up their identity so they should never be afraid to show their true selves. But why do so many women lack confidence? Possible explanations include:
– The comparison with unrealistic ideas of the “perfect women” in the media
– People’s critiques and negative comments that lower self-esteem
– Women holding negative opinions about themselves and constantly worrying about what other people think of them
– Not feeling accepted or loved
– Focusing on a single issue which leads to negative thinking
– Inability to distinguish the difference between bragging and loving yourself
When a woman’s self-esteem is low, it can negatively affect the mind and body which inadvertently leads to illnesses. These physical and mental health illnesses can include:
– Eating disorders
– Anxiety/ Panic attacks
– Avoidant personality disorder
– Body dysmorphism
– Emotional shutdown
But not all is lost! It is possible to feel like the perfect woman! Women need to get rid of people in their environment who constantly bring them down. Even though we constantly seek the approval of others, nobody needs it. Self-satisfaction should come from within in order to bring about self-compassion.
Build your confidence by loving yourself!
Here are some tips for how women can build confidence and self-esteem:
Pretend to be confident, until you are!
– As proven by experiments such as the Stanford Prison Experiment, when someone acts like they are confident, they can assume that role. By playing the role of a confident woman, you are more likely to increase your chances of feeling like a confident woman.
– Some ways to play the part is correcting body posture and standing tall. While looking in the mirror, performing strong poses can help trick your mind into believing you are confident. Try dressing up and looking nice for yourself. What you look like on the outside can greatly affect the you feel internally. Smiling and laughing are also other great ways to feel confident about yourself (it also provides a dopamine boost- the happy hormone). Laughing or smiling when you make a mistake or receive negative criticism will help change your mood for the better.
Fire your negative confidence critic!
– Since we have a heightened awareness of ourselves, we are more likely to see the flaws within ourselves than the people around us. We are our own worst critics. Not many people notice the small details we dislike about ourselves. But we don’t have to listen to our own negative thoughts. By not giving into those negative thoughts you increase your confidence. When your critic says something negative, think the opposite!
Write to help build more confidence
– Keep a journal. When you catch yourself saying something negative, think the opposite and write it down. Throughout your day, write positive thoughts about yourself as well as your accomplishments.
– Even “failures” are accomplishments. Since you learned one way not to do something, you are one step closer to figuring it out.
– Every morning and every night before you go to bed, read the positive statements written in your journal out loud… yes, out loud! The more you hear yourself say positives things about yourself, the more likely you will believe it.
Make plans with positive people to build confidence
– Eliminate people in your life who have nothing nice to think or say to you. If you surround yourself with positive people in a nourishing environment, you will begin to focus on positive ideas. We are always looking for acceptance and love from others, and if you find people who accept you for who you are, you will become happier with yourself.
– Sometimes we cannot get away from negative people because they may be family members or coworkers. One method could be to “rewrite the script.” Write in your journal the opposite of those negatives.
Be confident in your self worth!
– You owe it to yourself to stick up for the person you are. If someone is criticising you, then stand up and tell them that you love who you are. If they don’t like who you are then they don’t need to be with you.
– Treat yourself! You need to do things for yourself that will make you feel good about yourself. Maybe go out and have some fun with your friends or buy yourself flowers. There is nothing wrong with indulging in things that will make you happy. Taking care of yourself is just as important as other things in your life. There is only one of you. So take time out of your day to appreciate yourself.
Change your routines for a confidence booster
– Maintaining health can greatly increase one’s confidence. Exercising daily and stretching throughout the day can relax your mind and body. A good night’s sleep can help you feel better in the morning as well as make your mind sharper when performing tasks. Eat healthy food, especially those that increase dopamine production, such as nuts and seeds. Not only will your body start feeling good, but so will your mind. This can lead to feeling better about yourself which will cause your self-esteem to grow.
Try something new, and gain confidence in it!
– This could mean learning a new activity or going on a fun adventure to boost your spirits because a happy mind is a confident mind.
– Maybe pick up an activity you have wanted to try or pick something you would never see yourself doing.
– Another technique is to do something extremely adventurous to take away your fear. For instance, place yourself in a situation that is outside of your comfort zone (ensure it is safe). For example, go sit or lay down in the middle of a crowd and don’t move for 30 minutes. You will soon get comfortable and find that people really don’t mind. They will just walk around you.
– Find your true self. Take a vacation to solely focus on you. You may be surprised about what you find out about yourself when you try new things.
Stop comparing yourself to others
– Everyone is unique and different. This doesn’t mean you should be less confident in yourself! Your differences are what makes you special and stand out in a crowd.
– What you see on social media is a false depiction of reality. People only share the best part of their lives on social media and exclude anything that doesn’t garner “likes.”
– There is nothing wrong with sharing your accomplishments with others and there is nothing wrong with you voicing them. It’s good to celebrate the positive things in life. You can inspire and encourage others by sharing your accomplishments. The people who care about you should be happy to see you succeed and share the joy you feel.
– You must create your own story and know that your story is the best story. Be grateful to yourself and the world for the way you are, because you are the best you.
Trying these few methods can greatly increase your confidence. By reading this article you have already taken the first step toward a more confident lifestyle. Remember that imperfections make up the unique parts of who you are. We are all human; flaws and mistakes are a part of life. Embrace your imperfections because it’s what makes you, you! Even the word “imperfect” spells “I’m perfect” if you choose to see it that way. So know that you can be confident if you choose to believe in yourself!
UCSD Cognitive Science Department