Linked to almost every element in a happy and fulfilling life, self-confidence is the key to achieving all your dreams, goals, and aspirations. And while most of us don’t enter the world with it, no one even has it all the time, there are particular ways you can attain it. Being confident means having a sense of belief in one’s self and capabilities. It means trusting your abilities, actions, thoughts, and judgments and believing in everything you do. Unfortunately, women who show unabashed self-confidence are negatively labelled as rebellious, rude, prideful, arrogant, oppressive or even an extreme feminist.
Growing up, girls are often pushed to be passive and not daring, and headstrong. Social constructs are introduced early on by stereotyping what toys boys and girls are designated to play with. Little girls are encouraged to be mellow, social, and caring for others by playing with barbie dolls, houses, and mock crockery sets while the boys are given trucks and cars and building blocks to be assertive, powerful, and combative, encouraged to go after what they want. This sends out the message that masculinity is good and femininity is something less.
How does this affect self confidence in women?
For years, women have kept their heads down and played by the rules. We, women, have made undeniable progress in the world which is nothing short of admirable, and yet when asked how they feel about the success that they’ve achieved, most women downplay their contribution by subconsciously believing that they were just ‘lucky’ to be in the right place at the right time or being unsure whether they’re the right fit for the promotion or not? This proves that women lack the confidence in their ability to compete in fields that men are more stereotypically believed to perform strongly in, for example science, math, and technology. The limiting beliefs that most women grow up with shape important life decisions, like what colleges to apply to, which career paths to choose, as well as their willingness to contribute their ideas in the workplace or compete with a male counterpart for a promotion. Such a bleak self-image can set most women back personally and professionally. But these conditional teachings can be unlearned using a few magical ingredients listed below.
1. Take responsibility for yourself
The first and foremost ingredient in the self-confidence formula is responsibility. Women are often taught to be the caregivers, the homemakers, and the maternal figures and yet we always care for others while ignoring our own needs. It is crucial to understand that the life that you want can only be created by you and nobody else. The path towards self-confidence is traveled alone, no one else can do it for you. Once you realize that you are ready to journey down this road, you need to take responsibility for your actions and decisions going forward as that will teach you how to be assertive and confident in your abilities.
2. Experiment with life
There’s always an unsaid pressure to have everything figured out. If you don’t, you don’t know what you’re doing with your life. However, life is about exploration. Only by experimenting and trying out new things will you realize what you like and what you don’t like. Try going out for dinner alone or going for a movie alone. Take a class or a course in an unfamiliar subject, something that you always wanted to learn. Teach yourself how to change a tyre, test your abilities in new endeavors to trust your capabilities and learn to rely on yourself.
3. Plan your actions & implement them
Growth begins in small steps. The world can’t be changed overnight and neither can you. To become a self-confident and fierce woman, you will consciously have to take a good, hard look at your personal and professional development plan. Select an area that you’d like to work on and determine action steps that can be taken to make progress. Have a timeline set for these actions and implement each step according to your plan. If focusing on a larger end goal is intimidating to you, break your plan into small, attainable goals that serve as milestones pushing you towards your final quest.
4. Don’t give up
The first three steps are easy to implement when you’re charged up but the real test begins when you have to stick to the plan. It’s completely understandable if you question your capabilities or don’t trust yourself enough to follow through but when such thoughts come to mind, remember why you started in the first place. Self-confidence isn’t proportional to success, if it was, every failure would bring you back to ground zero. Self-confidence is relying on yourself to stick with the plan and follow through, no matter the result.
5. Practice until you perfect it
If you wait for confidence to come to you, you’ll never be able to achieve anything. You’ll never do the things that you want, take the actions that are required. To bolster your confidence, you need to constantly shut down your inner critic, over and over again. Internal confidence comes by crafting a confident, outward image, even if you don’t believe in it completely.
Changing your behaviour can lead to changing your feelings. The more you tell yourself something, the more your brain believes it to be true. Constantly telling yourself that you’re good enough and you have what it takes to make it, you won’t be afraid to face challenges or go up against anyone. Your brain will digest the thoughts you’re feeding it, believe them to be the truth, and help you perform better to match your thoughts to your actions.
To be more confident, you need to get uncomfortable. You need to step out of your comfort zone to invite growth and prosperity into your life. The action comes before the courage to act. Action begets courage, not the other way round. The action also comes before the confidence to act. So, act, act, act!
How do you develop self-confidence in day-to-day life? Share with us in the comments below.
Unleash the power of affirmations with these wonderful one’s below.