The Keys to Increased Confidence
By Lori Radun
It takes hard work to be a confident woman, but the rewards are well worth the effort it takes. Imagine being able to go through your day feeling good about who you are and the decisions you make. Picture yourself laughing at your mistakes instead of beating yourself up. When someone offers constructive feedback or "criticism" you accept it gracefully, fully able to own what belongs to you and discard the rest. A confident woman is not afraid to take risks. She is strong and knows she can handle whatever life throws her way. A confident woman speaks with self-assurance and carries herself with dignity. She respects and loves other people because she has learned to love herself.
Most of us, as women, have amazing moments of confidence followed by instances of self-doubt. Fortunately, you are not stuck with your current level of confidence. Confidence can be increased by growing in the following four ways:
- Know Your Worth
What makes you a valuable mom, wife, employee, or friend? Too often we focus on our shortcomings and we're blinded to the worth we have to offer this world. What makes you special? Are you funny, organized, reliable, honest, or intelligent? What special skills do you possess? Can you write, create, sing, crunch numbers, or fix things? Each and every one of us has unique qualities that make us valuable to other people. Know your strengths and be proud of them.
- Live in Integrity
Living your life in integrity with who you are requires you to know yourself well. What's important to you? What are your top five values? Is every part of your life aligned with those values? For instance, if you value health, living in integrity means you take care of yourself by exercising, eating right and getting adequate sleep. If you life is not aligned with what's most important to you, your confidence will diminish. You won't feel good about yourself because deep inside you know you are not honoring your authentic self.
- Acting in Courage
Confidence can be greatly increased by facing your fears and acting in courage. What are you afraid of? Do you have a fear of failure or a fear of making mistakes; a fear of disapproval or a fear of the unknown? Sometimes fear can stop us from being who we really want to be. Feel the fear and do it anyway. Keep facing your fear until the fear goes away. Confidence can replace the fear.
- Balancing Internal and External Approval
When we depend too much on external approval, our confidence can rise and fall depending on the validation we do or don't receive from other people. While it's normal to seek praise and appreciation from other people, there needs to be a healthy balance between what we give to ourselves and what we receive from others. You need to know you're a great person, or you've done your best even when other people don't notice. Learn to give yourself a humble pat on the back.
My friend recently told me she admired me for my confidence. It came as a surprise to me because I haven't always felt confident. Although more often than not, I do feel confident, I'm also very normal in that I have moments of self-doubt. Like me, you now have the keys to turn self-doubt into confidence. Look out world - here comes another confident woman!
Lori Radun, CEC is a certified life coach for moms.