According to research done by the Body Shop, 1 in 2 women feel more self-doubt than self-love. Tragic!
But why do women doubt themselves? And what can they do to boost their self-confidence? Before answering these questions, we need to understand what confidence is and what confidence isn’t.
Most people associate confidence with personality or nature. While there is some link there, confidence is still more of a mindset than anything else! It is a belief that we have in ourselves and our abilities! Understanding the underlying causes of our self-doubt can help us cultivate self-confidence.
This has so much to do with how we are brought up, under the constant critical gaze of peers and society. The problem is that society doesn’t want us to be confident or different; it just wants us to fit in a mold that is considered ideal.
There is always a certain way to sit, to behave, to eat, to love and even to work. In the quest to fit in, we end up internalizing all the criticism and regulations which come our way. We have become habitual in analyzing ourselves, seldom celebrating our achievements, but often mourning our shortcomings. The result is that we see ourselves in a very negative light.
Women tend to put unnecessary pressure on themselves. Your standards for your mastery of any given task need to be realistic above all else. If you feel like you are good enough at your job, then that is truly enough for you to believe in yourself. Perfectionism will only hold you back.
If you are a working woman then there is going to be a trade-off with your personal life as a friend/mother/wife/partner. You need to accept this trade-off and embrace it if you want to excel in your professional life. You should not feel a sense of guilt or feel you are letting your loved ones down in any way by focusing on your work.
We all find ourselves listening to that voice inside our head telling us to not take risks and calling us out on our audacity. This is the voice of your inner critic. Show compassion towards yourself. Believe that you are doing your best and that is good enough.
At its core, self-confidence is an act of self-love that all women deserve. How you perceive yourself and your abilities manifest in all aspects of your life. Self-confidence is not inherited; it’s a gift that you can give yourself to thrive in life.
Self-confidence is how you project yourself to other people. An expert golfer may feel very confident in their ability to play golf. You can develop your confidence further through practice and accomplishments others see. Confidence is something you feel inside, something other people notice in you.
But even if you have confidence in your skills, you may not feel self-confident. People might tell you how well you are performing while you still lack confidence in your skills. Confidence shows up as skills, developed and demonstrated to the world.
Through experience and training – trial and error and repeating patterns – you gain confidence. Even when you are skilled in a given area, it is only with years of experience that you become confident in yourself and your accomplishments.
Beginning in early childhood, the support we get from our parents (or lack of it) directly affects our level of self-confidence. When a child is acknowledged and encouraged, assured and complimented, that child builds courage and learns to trust themselves.
Peer support is another important factor in gaining confidence. As we grow older, we look to our friends and colleagues for support and confirmation.
Self-confident people seem at ease with themselves and their work. They invite trust and inspire confidence in others. These are all attractive characteristics to have. But it’s not always easy to be confident in yourself, particularly if you’re naturally self-critical or if other people put you down. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to increase and maintain your self-confidence.
Are you guilty of putting yourself down all the time? Do you ever feel like you’re not good enough? Are you filled with self-doubt? Ugh, we’ve all felt these things or something similar at some point. Good news is, there are a few easy ways you can improve your self-confidence right this second.
Here are five activities to nourish your self-confidence when it’s low:
In summary, by acting and thinking more confidently, you can start training your brain to become more confident. Treat it like a skill you wish to acquire. To get good at something you need to practice. Isn’t it worth the effort?
What does self-confidence mean to you? Do you think you are confident? What does your confidence depend on? What have you done to gain self-confidence?