We women are well known for being hard on ourselves. Many of us feel we don’t measure up to some arbitrary standard we set in our minds. And though we do our best, we can’t succeed – ever – because that standard is almost impossible to meet.
Where does that standard come from?
We get it from
- the thousands of images of beautiful women we see in the media every day (even though we are well aware these women are covered in makeup and airbrushed to within and inch of their lives)
- our families. Even if our family was not particularly dysfunctional, we often get the idea from our parents that they expect great things from us (more than they do from themselves!), that we “could do better”, that they were somehow disappointed in us.
- our own perfectionism (we just want to be look the best and be the best so we need never need feel inferior to anyone every again – and especially not to the girl that got the guy we wanted or the one who taunted us at school)
But ironically, this lack of confidence in our own worth makes it less likely we’ll succeed – it has the opposite effect from the one we want, in so many ways.
In terms of feeling good about how we look, it makes us less attractive to the world at large including the man of the moment (or the ones we would like to meet in the future).
Guys love girls who know their own self worth and have a high level of confidence. Feeling good about yourself has a type of magnetism that draws people to you. They want to be part of the positive vibes you send out. The opposite to feeling good is that you are in constant need of reassurance and compliments – and neediness is never attractive.
So how can you get to be the confident woman you’d like to be (without that becoming yet another impossible standard you set yourself)?
There are a whole host of tips and tricks for becoming more confident, but here are three ways that can have an immediate effect:
Stop Giving Yourself A Hard Time
I could have said “stop having negative thoughts about yourself” but that’s easier said than done. Negative thoughts will arrive in your head and there’s not much you can do about that. What you can do is dismiss them, rather than paying them any attention.
Sometimes we take a negative thought on board and run with it, giving it legs and feet when it would have just drifted away. You know the kind of conversation in your head that you need to stop, don’t you? Phrases like “How stupid can you be? Why didn’t you do this/say this” and “You look so fat. Why do you eat so much? What’s wrong with you?” are the type of things that keep you feeling low.
When your best friend starts being down on herself, you never join in the party and start saying “And another thing why can’t you ever…” So start speaking to yourself like someone you care about who needs a boost. Pretend you’re your own best friend or favorite child.
Be Good To You
Show your subconscious how much you value yourself by taking care of your health and looks.
This doesn’t mean going mad at the gym, following a starvation diet or not setting a foot outside the door without spending hours doing your hair and makeup. It simply means caring what you put into your body, taking moderate exercise, and making sure you look presentable.
A few pampering sessions wouldn’t go amiss either.
It’s all about doing what makes you feel good and cared for, rather than about following a tough regime so that you pass some standard you believe you have to meet.
Flirt With The World
If your thoughts are all wrapped up in yourself and how you might not be measuring up, you become very inward looking and isolated.
It’s time to get out of your shell and engage with the world.
Start by people watching, not to criticize and compare but to wonder about what it’s like to be them. What is making that woman so happy? Why does that guy look stressed? If you have empathy with people in general, you’ll feel more generous in spirit to yourself over time.
Also, have a smile and a few words for everyone you come across from now on, from the old lady at the bus stop to the security guard at work.
Get out of your own head and start directing your thoughts to the big world out there. Being friendly and open can make you feel connected, positive and ultimately much more confident than anything you do to make yourself look good.
Over to you: What do you do to make yourself feel confident? Please share your tips in the comments below.