Living The Life You Deserve: My Secrets to Feeling Confident
Being a woman is tough. (Can I get a Hollaaaaaa?!) It seems like everywhere you turn, society has expectations for you to live up to some idealistic standards about what it means to be a “real woman.” Be soft but not weak, strong but still feminine, be good but not too good. With these daily stresses, exacerbated by our own inner critics, it’s no wonder that we women never quite feel like we’re doing a good enough job living up to these standards. How are we supposed to feel confident?
There is no magical potion to help relieve the pressure and internal struggle. But there are some sure fire ways of taking small baby steps towards changing the way you see the world and yourself. Mel Robbins says of confidence…
“Confidence is not the assuredness that it turns out, it’s the willingness to try.” — Mel Robbins
You may be thinking to yourself that the blog equivalent of singing kumbaya around the campfire is all fine and dandy, but you have zero clue where to actually start on this journey to self-love. Don’t worry; I’m not about to set you on the road without a decent map to guide the way.
So let’s just start somewhere, let’s try…
1. Learn to Love Yourself First
For us mere mortals with jobs, families, and daily commitments that keep us from two hour hair and makeup routines, it can be difficult to feel confident and sexy! Much less project it to the rest of the world. This lack of confidence can affect our daily lives in so many ways. From our interactions with friends, motivation for intimacy and even how we engage with our children. So just what do we do then, to reclaim our own inner sense of self and help us feel confident on a daily basis?
Now I’m not going to talk to you about abandoning your spouse or your family or your job in a bohemian “screw the world” kind of way. Loving yourself means being able to love and appreciate yourself exactly the way you are now, despite the changes you wish to see in yourself. This is so important to get, because you cannot exact change if you continue the same patterns of negativity. Negativity perpetuates negativity and the opposite is also true.
“Loving yourself means being able to love and appreciate yourself exactly the way you are now, despite the changes you wish to see in yourself.”
It’s an ongoing commitment to self
I would like to think that I am a perfect example of this. As a child, I liked candy and I was, let’s say, rounded on the edges. I was hardly overweight, but at age 10 my mother took me to Weight Watchers along with her. I had to get weighed every week and take Slim Slabs to school in my lunchbox . And thus, what my dear but ignorant mother did, was mold the foundations of a lifelong battle with my self image. One, that at the ripe old age of 37, I still struggle with daily. You might look at me and think ‘Oh bollocks, she’s a slim pretty blonde girl’—But let me tell you, self-confidence and body image has nothing to do with how you actually look, and everything to do with what’s going on inside.
Being kind to yourself is the biggest and most important foundation for building your self-esteem and feeling confident.
Please tell me you’ve come across Dr Masaru Emoto’s Rice Experiment on Social Media? If you haven’t, go watch it right now! It’s less than 90 seconds of PURE, unadulterated conviction when it comes to the power of affirmations. Affirmations are free and don’t cost you time either!
My therapist, Dr. Crane (read more about him in my eye-opening article about Therapy here), tells me that affirmations are like hitting a body of water from the outside: at first you think you’re just hitting the surface (conscious mind) with the information. (You’ll probably think you sound like a real tool bumbling on about ‘I am beautiful; I love my body’ when you’re thinking ‘Oh hell no, I don’t!’). But Dr. Crane says eventually the thoughts hitting the surface do penetrate beneath the surface (sub-conscious).
“Self-confidence and body image has nothing to do with how you actually look, but everything to do with what’s going on inside.”
Trust the process
One of the purest souls I know, my very beautiful and insanely talented cousin, Lara Thomas (who happens to be a trained Psychologist and Psychic Medium), explains affirmations like this. Affirmations are psychologically proven to change the neurons in the subconscious mind (stick with me here… there is a potential ‘a-ha’ moment!) Even if you are aware of faking it till you make it, it will work. Since we are not consciously aware of our subconscious mind, we won’t actually see it working. We won’t see the progress. Human nature is to look for progress, to look for physical proof that your efforts are working. With this work, it is all about trust! Every time you face the fight with your logical mind, it will get easier. Love yourself through the process and keep going. You will be amazed at the changes that start to happen.
On the topic of affirmations, I would be remiss to not mention the grandmother, the founder of this movement—Louise Hay . She is known as one of the founders of the self-help movement— although I hate that term, it sounds so naf! I much prefer referring to the concept of self-actualization or self-discovery. Louise Hay’s healing techniques and positivity focus has helped millions learn how to attract more of what they do want into their lives. Including more wellness in their bodies, minds, and spirits.
She transformed the way every day people related to the concept of sub-conscious re-programming (or NLP). In her signature audio-download, “You Can Heal Your Life”, she guides you to identify your own limiting beliefs and how to change those habits step by step to transform your life. I have personally been changed by her work and highly recommend giving it a go. If you want to get a sense of her and if you enjoy her audio books, she has a wonderful FREE audio-book that you can download here.
Use this as inspiration to come up with affirmations that resonate with your truth.
3. Do Something Just for You
This is not actually a tough thing to master. In fact, it’s a thing that us women are used to doing day in and day out, except just for everybody else and not ourselves. Self-care isn’t just important, it’s crucial for feeling more confident.
“Self-care isn’t just important, it’s crucial.”
If someone you care about is feeling down and you know they love flowers, you may go out and buy them flowers. Your child had a bad day at school, you take them out for some frozen yogurt. Husband or partner down in the dumps? I’m willing to bet you’ll whip up their favorite meal that will cheer up their spirits in no time. We’re so used to doing these things for other people in our lives, it seems almost silly simplistic to address our own happiness in the same way.
Do something for yourself that will make you happy. Just because. You will be amazed by what good that can do for you. When it comes to treating yourself, it doesn’t have to be some elaborate undertaking to kick things off. Booking a cruise to Tahiti isn’t necessary (although by all means, go for it!). Instead, try to start small with treats or experiences that are meaningful to you and that you feel empowered, attractive and happy. Some of my favorite treats that are a great starting point…
My fav treats…
A stuuuning new Bra from Undies.com might be just the thing to give you that little boost of sexy confidence.
Treat yourself to a new perfume! My absolutely all-time fav for day is Carolina Herrera 212 – it is very chic, subtle and feminine without being flowery (which I hate!). If you’re looking for a nice sexy evening scent, I loooooove, looooooove, Serpentine by Robert Cavalli— it is captivating, mysterious and sexy! (P.S. Perfume.com always have great deals and coupons— you won’t find perfume cheaper anywhere else.)
Self-care is not being selfish; don’t confuse the two.
4. Stop Trying to Please Everyone
To summarize from this article I love from Tiny Buddha, “5 Tips to Help You Stop Being a People Pleaser”
- Not everybody is going to like you and that’s OK!
- Learn to Say No.
- Accept the guilt of saying No.
- Set Boundaries
- Let Go of People Who Buck this New You
This is certainly something that I have been very guilty of in my life—identifying myself as having to be ‘nice’ to everyone. Otherwise known as low self esteem! I’m pleased to report that as I’ve gotten older, this is becoming much less of an issue for me. It’s quite liberating to set boundaries. To set expectations of relationships (despite how high some people might think they are!). To not allow the opinions of others (or the surmised opinion of others) to affect me.
There are a lot of ideas in this article that may have you feeling overwhelmed at first. If that’s the case, take one idea and try to make that your focus for each week. If you feel you’ve mastered the art of feeling confident, skip to my series on Getting Your Sexy Back.
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