If there's one thing we can probably all agree on, it's that we could all use a little bit more confidence. Honestly, is there really such a thing as "too much," when it comes to confidence?! Regardless, we all have the power within us to boost our own self confidence. You have full permission to change, evolve, grow, & bloom into the confident woman you deserve to be — but building a more confident you is definitely not an overnight process. It requires a lot of inner work & some bold action, but in the end, it is oh-so-worth-it. The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to shed all the layers of the version of "you" you no longer want to be & start this new chapter as a fresh, sparkly new CONFIDENT version of yourself.
Whether you’re ready to make some huge leaps towards reinvention or want to ease into confidence with baby steps, here are eight ways you can begin to boost how you feel about yourself & your reality for the new year:
1. Pamper yourself.
Self love is real love, Girlfriend, & no one is capable of taking better care of you than you. Take a moment & think about the little things in life you receive the most enjoyment out of & experience the most joy from. Is it soaking in a bubble bath with a glass of wine & a great novel? Do more of that. Is it taking a "time out" from work & family & friends & all the other distractions to stretch out & get centered in a regular yoga class? Sign up right now. You deserve to do all the things that make you feel like the best version of you, unapologetically. You cannot pour from an empty cup, & you aren't giving your best to your family, your friends, your job, etc. when you don't take the time to plug into you, & love you.
2. Practice positive self talk.
Our inner voices talk incessantly. Some days we are our own biggest fan. Others, we are our own harshest critic. With as much chatter that takes place within, we need be paying attention, because what we say to ourselves has a direct impact on our success - or failure. Plenty of research indicates positive self talk creates positive results, & studies show that the specific words we use when talking to ourselves also play a role in how well we perform.
Practicing positive affirmations do so much more than boosting your level of self confidence, they also help release you from anxiety, negativity, guilt, fear & pain. Affirmations effect change due to the science of neuroplasticity, or the science of rewiring the brain for different thoughts. As we grow older it becomes tougher and tougher to change our thoughts. We become used to our thought patterns. But with conscious effort you can "rewire" your brain. One of the best ways to do this is by using positive affirmations.
So, now: where does a girl start? Check out this article via The Everygirl for 14 Mantras for Your Best Self Ever, & When to Use Them.
3. Take Stock of Your Lifestyle.
Take a good, long, honest look at your life: what are you saying YES to, that isn't serving you? & what do you love to do, that you aren't making time for? (*cough* #SelfLove *cough*) Time is a precious commodity. Once it has passed, we cannot get it back. Be selfish with your time. You have goals. You are smart. You are talented. Take advantage of the opportunities you are presented with & learn to work really, really hard. But know when something doesn't serve you & is sucking the energy out of you. & make the conscious decision to eliminate it. You don't want to get to the end of your life & find that you just lived the length of it. Take stock of your lifestyle & life the width of your life, as well. Watch your confidence levels soar.
4. Say "yes" to saying "no."
To elaborate a little bit more on that last point we bring you this powerful quote, straight out of our January's Book Club selection. Shonda Rhimes shares with us the confident power she found by learning to say "yes" to saying "no":
"One. Word. No. No is a powerful word. To me, it's the single most powerful word in the English language. Said clearly, strongly & with enough force, it can alter the course of history." - Shonda Rhimes, Year of Yes.
Listen, Girlfriend, you know before you even answer a question, agree to something, or make a commitment, when you should say "no." You feel it in your gut. Ask yourself this: what are you missing out on by saying "yes" to the things you know you should be saying "no" to, & why are you saying "yes" to the things you know you should be saying "no" to? Is it the fear of upsetting someone? Are you afraid you won't be invited the next time? Are you trying to make an impression on someone that really doesn't matter? Stand in your light, Girlfriend; take up space. & the next time you are tempted to say "yes" to something you know you need to say "no" to, recite this: "My 'NO' might make you sad, but it doesn't make me bad."
5. Spend Some Time Alone.
For a lot of people, women especially, embracing quality alone time is uncomfortable. We are hard-wired to take care of others & can become so good at this that we forget to pay attention to our own needs; we forget to take care of ourselves. In a society where we are constantly overstimulated, thanks to having the entire world in the palm of our hands, we can easily lose touch with ourselves.
A great way to boost your self confidence is to intentionally spend time alone, & get comfortable with it. Date yourself. Learn to live in that peace & get to know yourself. You may find that you really love who you see... & it will make taking stock of your lifestyle so much easier.
6. Intentionally flex your confidence muscle.
A mistake many people make when it comes to confidence, is to believe that it is something that they either have or don't have, & if they don't have it, they will never be able to get it. But that's not the case, Girlfriend. To the contrary, confidence is a skill that develops with awareness & practice.
Bet you didn't now that your confidence is like a muscle: the more your work it, the more it works for you. The goal in life is to gain confidence & chase your dreams. In order to achieve ultimate confidence, you must workout & take action towards it.
Confidence boosting tip: expose yourself to as much adversity & challenging situations as possible. You don't like to speak in front of large groups of people? Force yourself to sign up for a big presentation. The more you stretch your confidence muscle, the stronger it will get.
7. Focus on improving yourself, rather than comparing to others.
It's human nature to fall victim to comparing ourselves to others, however that doesn't make it healthy. Social media makes it *all to easy* to compare our life with the highlight reels that others share on their accounts. We all know that this is the case, yet we often catch ourselves feeling down when we see someone frolicking on the beach, while we are laying on the couch in sweatpants with holes in them.
Girlfriend. What purpose is this comparison serving? Be self aware; pay close attention to how you spend your time. Redirect that time & energy spent scrolling & succumbing to comparing ourselves to focusing on the next step you need to take to get you closer to achieving your goals. Self awareness is a discipline, but one worth employing. Focus on what you can do to improve yourself, rather than let your confidence suffer from unjust comparison.
8. Improve your posture.
Sounds silly, right? But think about it... when you close your eyes & envision what a confident person looks like, she stands tall. Shoulders back, head & chin up, back straight. Check your posture right now to see if your shoulders are rounded forward & your back curled. Chances are you’ve eased into your natural posture: slouched down, head in alignment with your spine, shoulders back, back not straight. & your brain may be paying the price.
Researchers, for instance, found that when you assume what they call “power poses” of confident stance & tall, uplifted posture, your decision-making is subconsciously affected. When you stand or sit up taller, & pull your shoulders back and outward, your brain gets a signal that it’s the confident, powerful you in charge of your thinking, &, in turn, you might make more confident choices.
So there you have it, Girlfriend. Heads up, hands up for a more confident you in 2019!