Ladies, listen up, confidence is in style and insecurity is so last season. In fact, it was never in vogue. While working with women on developing their true selves, I have noticed that there is a big misconception regarding confidence. We are often taught by society that women of a certain size, education or even hair color are considered “confident”, when the reality is far from it. Some of the most attractive women will come to me confused, telling me how they want to feel secure with their decisions, what they look like or what they do, but they can’t quite fully believe in themselves. Their internal dialogue, lack of security and vibe dissuade them otherwise.
Contrary to what many of us have been led to believe, self-confidence has nothing to do with your looks or talent; rather it’s an attitude and belief in yourself. Take the attractive blonde, who on the outside has a body that looks like she stepped out of a Victoria Secret magazine, walks with a purpose and by all assumptions appears pretty secure with herself. On the inside, she doubts her last text message with the guy she is into, worries about whether or not he likes her, is concerned over making rent and questions her career path. Although you and I may perceive her as “confident,” she’s really as insecure as they come, and other people eventually pick up on this energy, you can’t fake it.
Confident Women: It’s Not Who You Think
To continue with a true Victoria Secret model example, long-time runway model Cameron Russell recently came out with a video that touched on the underlying insecurities of those whom we think might be the most confident. According to Russell, “[Models] have the thinnest thighs and the shiniest hair and the coolest clothes, and they’re the most physically insecure women probably on the planet.” She goes on to discuss her own struggles with insecurity and how she continuously strives to become more self-confident. You can view her video here.
Again, looks aren’t everything; confidence comes from within. It is owning and loving your true self, flaws and all. If you believe you are not good enough or not whatever enough, other people will too. Think about some of the women who are really confident in your eyes, are they the most attractive women you have ever seen? Are they gossiping or complaining? Probably not. These are women who show others how they want to be treated and are secure enough with themselves not to fall privy to discounting others for their own sense of self-worth.
Develop True Confidence
- Get serious. Get out a pen and paper and do some analysis. Ask yourself, “What do I want and how do I want to feel?” The feeling is important; making a list of what you want from someone is one thing but how you want to feel about them and yourself takes it a step further. What do you deserve in your friendships, romantic relationships, family and work? Get clear on these attributes and start to assess if you are selling yourself short.
- Stop the judgments. Not just about yourself, but about others too. Research has found that the more we judge, gossip and talk negatively about ourselves and others, the more we project this negativity outward. People are actually turned off by this. Plus it makes you look like you need to cut down others to feel value, which is super unattractive. Get honest with yourself about when and if you do this and start to notice when these judgments take place. Gently replace the thoughts as they come. This takes practice. Look for the good instead of the bad in yourself and others.
- Own it. You have amazing qualities; use them to your advantage. If you know you have amazing curves, dress for them. If you have beautiful hair, show it off; don’t just throw it in a sloppy bun. Recognize your awesome attributes and play them up! There is no time like the present for an instant confidence boost.
- Body language. Observe someone you know with a solid level of self-confidence. They look others in the eye, they call others by their name, genuinely smile or have a nonthreatening look on their face, generally have good posture and an open stance. They appear at ease and are ready to talk to anyone. This comes across just by looking at them.
- Avoid negative sarcasm. It makes others feel disrespected, not to mention you appear insecure and defensive. Sarcasm tells others you can’t tolerate them or their conversation. While you may feel it diffuses uncomfortable feelings, in reality it makes others frustrated, often wanting to avoid future interactions with you.
- Speak with purpose. Anyone who has ever met me knows I love to talk, however, I have had to learn to balance this with listening. When you talk about yourself or whatever is on your mind without making sure the other person is engaged in the conversation, you are giving the impression that you need their attention and validation. Listen and ask questions. This lets the other person know that they are being heard, giving them the same respect you hope to receive. Validation doesn’t mean you have to agree with the person; rather, you are attempting to understand where they are coming from.
- A few more quick tips:
- Be nice to yourself. Self-care and spending time engaging in activities or thoughts that make you feel good on the inside will show on the outside; others are attracted to happy people.
- Stop second guessing. When you order at a restaurant, click “buy” online or say something you believe in, try to do so with a purpose. Second-guessing yourself shows that you don’t trust yourself and gives others the impression that you are not sure of yourself.
- Explore and love your body. Stop spending so much time in the mirror staring at that dimple on your thigh or the blackhead on your nose; all those minor little flaws we easily become fixated on. Instead, spend time admiring and exploring all the beautiful things about your body. Try making a list of the things you love about your body and think about how amazing your body is. The strength you have from doing that yoga pose, the ability to stay up and work on that deadline, thank your body for being there for you.
- Indulge in R&R. Take time to indulge in things that make you feel good, like a massage, manicure or even a hot bath. Make yourself feel good and others will feel good around you. Remember, people will come and go, but the relationship you have with yourself is the most important one you will ever have. The more authentic you become, the more confident you will feel and the more you will attract others who feel the same about you. It must come from within first.
This blog was originally posted on BlushBox
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Emily Roberts MA, LPC is The Guidance Girl. Her goal is to help YOU become the most confident person you know! Emily is an award-winning author Express Yourself: A Teen Girls Guide to Speaking Up and Becoming Who You Are, Psychotherapist, TV & Media Contributor, Educational Speaker, and parenting consultant. She travels around the country educating girls, women, and parents. Express Yourself is available at bookstores nationwide and on Amazon. To learn more about Emily click here.