Confidence – like your credit score – can be easily lowered and hard to raise. It’s something many people go through life without much of, or they lose it along the way. It’s a nightmare: loss of confidence causes you to spend more time worrying about other people instead of focusing on your own potential. And it isn’t your fault.
The factors that contribute to low self-confidence combine and interact differently for each individual. Your genes, cultural background, childhood experiences and other life circumstances all play a crucial role in your development. But don’t lose heart – although we cannot change these experiences, there is plenty we can do to alter out thoughts and perceptions of ourselves to gain more confidence.
You may be struggling to feel confident in a world shrouded in a pandemic and uncertain changes. You may not feel confident in yourself to adapt or overcome, but I want to share with you three simple ways to try and boost your confidence today, even just a little bit.
Learning to Love Yourself
I will tell you right now this should be treated like a journey, not a sprint. Learning to truly love and accept yourself takes time; it’s hard, it’s frustrating, and you’ll want to give up. Don’t. At the other end of that tunnel is a world of love and acceptance, and it’s absolutely amazing. I’ve been on this journey for quite some time now and, while I have learned a lot along the way, I am nowhere near close to done.
You know what helped me when I first started? Spending more time in front of the mirror – naked! It was hard, so hard at first to do this. I hated everything I saw, and my inner dialogue was so mean. If I couldn’t stand myself this much, what did others think of me? It’s a process I’m still working on, but I’ve noticed my voice has started to get kinder and gentler over time.
If you’re like most women who aren’t comfortable with their bodies, you probably avoid the mirror as much as possible- especially in the nude. But did you know that it’s actually scientifically proven, if you spend more time in front of the mirror in the nude, you get more comfortable with your body? It’s true! Try doing your hair or makeup in the nude just once a week: it will start to change your perception, and focusing on something else (like your makeup) instead of your nude body, will help you be more confident in front of the mirror, naked or not. It’s going to be a little uncomfortable at first, but keep trying at it. You’d be surprised at how easy it is to get used to!
Whether you’re working from home alone, around the general public, or spending time with your kids, make an effort to smile more.
Scientists agree that the simple act of smiling can transform you and the world around you. A smile is contagious, it can make us appear more attractive to others, it lifts our mood (as well as the moods of those around us), and it can even lengthen our lives. Smiling activates the release of neuropeptides that work toward fighting off stress. Neuropeptides are tiny molecules that allow neurons to communicate. The feel-good neurotransmitters — dopamine, endorphins and serotonin — are all released when a smile flashes across your face.
Forcing yourself to smile can trick your mind and body into thinking you feel confident and amazing, and eventually the feelings of insecurity will go away and you will feel confident and amazing.
However, not everyone feels more confident just by smiling. Many are rather self-conscious of their smiles, or avoid it because of the way their teeth look. If you’re lacking confidence as a result of your teeth, speak to your dentist about your options. Invisalign is a great way to straighten teeth and improve your smile without the look (and pain!) of braces.
Change Up Your Style
I’m one of those women who will still put on a little bit of makeup before stepping out of the house, even if I’m just running to the post office. But feeling good about yourself is so much more than just wearing nice clothes, or wearing makeup. For most of us, making the effort to look good makes us feel good internally, boosting our self esteem and our confidence.
For you, that may mean never leaving the house before putting on a cute outfit, or always doing your hair. Regardless, make an effort to take care of yourself in ways that make you feel good. Go the extra mile: paint your nails, get a massage, learn a new hairstyle. Whatever makes you feel amazing, do it!
On that note, also avoid comparing yourself to celebrities. It’s easier said than done, but it also does more harm than you realize. Celebrities have a glam squad that makes their hair, skin, and makeup look perfect. They’re photoshopped, and most of us don’t look like that in real life. Aspire to be the very best version of yourself, not some idealistic standard the media expects you to be. Start complimenting yourself instead of putting yourself down. Trust me, it’s life changing.
Many of us may be working from home or social-distancing as a result of this pandemic, but now may be the best time to experiment with new looks and change up your style to improve the way you feel about yourself.