Being confident is the key to success in all areas of your life.
It’s not enough to tell people, “Be confident.” Like OK, we know that. You need to know what confidence means and how to build it. We live in a very image-obsessed world so it’s easy to think that looking good on the outside is all you need to feel good on the inside.
Hint: it doesn’t come from how many followers you have on social media or even how you look.
It’s time to get clear on what confidence truly is and what it looks like and I’m going to share it all for you so keep reading.
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First, I want to tell you a little about my journey.
Growing up, I was never the hot girl and it’s all I wanted to be. Like it dominated every fiber of my being. And my group of friends happened to be the hot girl group, I was the token not hot one. And I can’t tell you how devastating it was anytime I had a crush on a guy and would learn he was into one of my friends (equally devastating when they would inevitably start dating.)
It was firmly ingrained into my being that worth came from male attention. The more attention you got, the more worthy you were.
When I got older, something magical happened. I actually became the hot girl. And the attention was addictive but destructive.
I didn’t just like male attention, I needed it. And I had zero feelings of worth to fall back on and this led me to really act in degrading ways.
I didn’t have any sense of myself, I just wanted to be desired. It was until my 20s that I really started embarking on that journey and learning who I was and what I had to offer, like actually offer. And the work never ends. There is no finish line here. Being a confident person is something you need to work on every day, the same as being a fit, in-shape person.
So let’s talk about some tips to help you get there.
1. Tap into your strengths
Notice I said your strengths, not someone else’s.
I always wanted to be a quiet, soft-spoken person, like Kate Middleton. But that’s just not me at all, it’s not my nature. I am not that!
I am loud and bold and strong, and while those traits can spiral into something not so great when left unchecked, I channeled them in the right direction and they helped me cultivate my career as a content creator.
So first, stop wishing you were some other way and embrace your nature. You can refine your traits, but you will never be able to turn yourself into something you’re not. This is who you are and how you were designed and you have to learn to love and appreciate that.
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2. Get out of your comfort zone
There is no growth in your comfort zone and no comfort in your growth zone. When you challenge yourself, you grow and you feel good about yourself. Just think back on any challenge you’ve faced and overcome.
These don’t need to be serious things, even just getting up a little early to workout is a challenge to overcome. When you just play it safe, you will feel bored and uninspired with your life.
So do something unexpected. Try a new hobby. Do something every day for your physical or mental health. These things aren’t always easy, being lazy is easy. So when you overcome those hurdles you will fill your confidence tank!
3. Look the Best You Can Look
I said look the best you can look- do not try to copy how other people look. Don’t dress like Kendall Jenner unless that style flatters you (and for most of us, it won’t!).
Focus on colors that flatter you, hairstyles that work with your face shape, makeup tricks that enhance your features.
Beauty standards are always going to change so don’t try to just keep up with trends, focus on looking the best you can look and being authentic to who you are.
And if you don’t know where to start, start with skincare! When you’re skin looks good, you look good and you barely even need makeup. My makeup routine for YouTube literally takes less than five minutes because I take good care of my skin so there isn’t much else that needs to be done.
In terms of fashion, wear what flatters your body type. And consider investing in a few high-end items that really help you feel pulled together. You can find amazing discounts on designer pieces on sites like The Real Real or Poshmark so it doesn’t have to break the bank. For me, coats, shoes, and bags are worthy splurges.
I know I said confidence doesn’t come from how you look, but there is a relationship between outer and inner. When you are pulled together on the outside, it affects how you feel on the inside. The same thing happens in your home. When your home is organized, you just feel more together and calm.
4. Don’t compare
I came across a quote on Pinterest recently that I loved: “No one is you and that is your power.”
Believe me, I know it’s so hard not to compare yourself to others but it literally is the enemy of happiness and self-confidence.
It’s tough because we just have so much access to the lives of strangers. And it’s not even their real lives, it’s their filtered version lives! But our brain doesn’t process that. We process what we see as being what is, so we think everyone out there is just thriving with their perfect bodies, perfect relationships, perfectly behaved children, perfect careers, and we’re the only ones struggling.
It’s not enough to just tell yourself what you see isn’t real, because your brain won’t connect the dots. You have to choose what you allow into your consciousness. If a particular account makes you feel bad about yourself, stop looking at that person’s content! Try to only follow accounts that inspire and uplift you.
Also, trust that you were given all the tools you need to be the person you’re meant to be and have the impact you’re meant to have. Maybe you’re not as artistic as this other person or as good of a dancer as this other one, but that’s because you don’t need to be, that’s not your path.
We all have what we have, work with that, and don’t despair that you don’t have what someone else does.
5. Have boundaries
The one thing all confident women have in common is that they have strong boundaries. People with weak self-esteem have weak boundaries because they don’t value themselves and don’t trust themselves. They also tend to be people-pleasers so they will sacrifice their needs in order to please someone else.
Even if you don’t yet truly love yourself, set boundaries and stick with them. When you do this, you’re treating yourself with love and this will increase your feelings of worth.
In the moment it may be hard to let go of a guy who isn’t treating you right (maybe because you’re afraid you won’t find anyone else or whatever other sad story about yourself you’ve wired into your psyche… ), but that is how self-worth is built. And in the end, you will clearly see that being alone is so much better than being in a bad relationship.
Letting go is empowering. Be it of a toxic boyfriend or friend. It feels good to have standards and stick to them. It may feel weird at first if you’re not used to it, but you’ll see what I mean when you get there!
6. Treat yourself with respect
I’ll admit I always used to fall back into self-destructive patterns anytime things didn’t go how I wanted them to: drinking too much, starving myself, partying hard, treating myself terribly. But after one particularly damaging relationship, I made the resolute decision that I will no longer go down that road. I said no more. I will not punish myself for someone else’s mistake.
And so I went down a new and different road. One where I nourished myself, treated myself kindly and prioritized my health and wellbeing. And this is what put me on a strong and solid path that ultimately led me to my husband.
When you treat yourself with respect, that penetrates and you ultimately come to respect yourself. You need to plant the seeds and then they will grow.
I don’t need to make a case for this one. You know exercise is important, so make the time. Any time you have to spare, use it to move your body. It makes a difference. It’s not just about changing how you look, although this can be a result, it’s changing how you feel.
8. Get to know yourself
How can you ever love yourself when you don’t even know yourself? When you don’t have a sense of who you are, you will always be defining yourself through others. Everyone you meet will be an extension of yourself- you will gather data about yourself based on how other people react to you. If they seem to like you, you’re likable. If they aren’t nice to you, it’s because you’re an unworthy loser.
You can’t plow through life like this. This is how women end up trapped in toxic relationships and they can’t leave because so much of their identity is tied to the relationship.
Journal, go to therapy, try new things- push yourself past your comfort zone, this is how you find who you are and what you’re made of.