How to be a Strong, Confident Woman
Don’t believe me? Well, I believe in you—and I know you kick butt!
It can be tough to get all in touch with your inner Beyoncé (or T-Swizz or whatever celeb-with-confidence floats your boat).
We’ve all heard girls “should be” humble. Women “should be” softer, quieter, less confident, less bold. Then as moms, wives and girlfriends, we’re often trying to put others’ needs before our own, juggle stuff (as we aim for rhythm, not that awful word “balance”), and do it ALL.
It’s easy to forget how much we rock.
Plus, when you think about walkin’ around as a strong, confident woman, you may worry you’ll come off as a witch with a capitol “B” or like a cold, tough Devil Wears Prada type. (You won’t.)
So, stop worrying—it’s time to put on your big girl panties (or your cutest non-nude bra) and go for it! Strong and confident are rooted in a positive attitude and a growth mindset. Embracing your confidence will only make you more dynamic, more fun to be around, and MORE butt-kicking than ever.
Confidence breeds more confidence, just like positivity breeds positivity. It can be tough to make that switch, especially if you’ve been feeling stressed, overwhelmed, etc., etc., etc.! But hey, adopt a fake-it-‘til-you-make-it attitude and girl, try on some swagger. Put on that sexy bra and wear that outfit you feel awesome in (even if it’s just to run errands). When you look good, you feel good.
Your confidence and positivity are infectious. You’ll draw others in to you. You don’t have to be faux-positive (no one wants that)—it’s just that little shift in focus to find your silver lining and realize the learning opportunity in every struggle.
Tell yourself you’re great, awesome, amazing, and one hot mama—because lady, YOU ARE!
How to be a strong, confident woman:
1. Realize you have one less rib and you’re still doing better than your counterpart
Women are pretty amazing. We’re creators. Even if you aren’t a mom, chances are you’re still a pet-mom or a cool aunt or really great at taking care of your plants. By our very nature, we’re creators and nurturers—and thus, we’re creative. We give life (to ideas, to children, to our homes). That. Is. Amazing.
Women can do it ALL. No offense to the guys out there, but ladies are amazingly versatile. One minute you’re wiping a nose, tying a shoe, cooking dinner, and letting the dog out (all simultaneously); the next you’re running a business, making decisions, and planning budgets. Guys are single-task focused and women are natural multitaskers (because let’s face it, we have to be).
The only time I’ve ever wished I was a dude was when I was faced with a very dirty public restroom (because let’s just admit, standing up to pee is very convenient). Other than that, guys can keep their bottled emotions, machismo, “tough guy” stuff. There’s a lot of pressure on men to be MEN. I’d much rather be told to woman up than to have to man up. Women don’t have to “be women,” they just are.
You know what I’m talking about. When you make a mistake, when you have baggage, you have to sort through and deal with—so girl, own it! Take accountability. So often we try to make excuses when things go wrong. We shift blame and we think it’s unfair. Well, life can be very unfair. But it’s also what you make of it, so own up to your stuff. Own your garbage and your junk. Only you can change things for yourself.
2. Diversify what makes you happy
There are only a certain number of skills one lady can learn. If your confidence is based only on the things you do well, then you’ll only feel good about yourself when you’re doing that activity. For example, workaholics: they may love their work, but maybe they only feel best about themselves when they work. So they continue to work to continue to feel good about themselves. Find MANY ways to gain satisfaction through work, your family, your hobbies, your LIFE. Remember, you don’t have to be the best at everything to enjoy it!
When your goals and your good mood are dependent on those around you, it’s an emotional roller coaster. If someone’s a jerk to you, does that make you feel bad? Even if it’s not your fault at all? Of course you should care about other people’s feelings, but you also can’t take them on. Your friends should match your values. Everyone goes through a hard time, but avoid the constant downers. If someone’s upset, listen, care, apologize (if you contributed), but don’t let someone’s bad mood or the turn out of the universe impact how YOU feel about YOU.
Sports psychologists use positive visualization to help athletes at all levels. It might sound hokey, but it’s proven to work well—like OLYMPIAN-level well. Believing you can do something psyches you up and gets you ready to do it. On the flip side, telling yourself you can’t do something or focusing on the negative aspects of it does the same thing, but in the reverse. Literally, if you say, “This is too hard. I can’t handle this”—it WILL be and you won’t be able to. So cut the negative self-talk. You’ve got this! You deserve this!
Okay, here we are talking about how YOU can do the things—but now I’m telling you to ask for help!? What gives? Here’s the deal: asking for help is actually a sign of confidence, not weakness. Confidence comes from knowing yourself, your abilities, and your challenges. Asking for help is actually a sign that you know how to reason and use good thinking. Asking for help when you need it is a sign of self-love and bravery!
3. Move forward in spite of fear
Being confident means Believing. In. YOU. Yes, we all have fear, but we move forward in spite of the fear. You can proceed. Move forward even when you have fear. Don’t let it stop you. Mark Twain once said, “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear—not absence of fear.” We have to keep moving despite our fears. That is where we are truly brave.
When you wait until you’re confident and “ready,” it’s a slippery slope to failure. Truth be told, it’s a method of self-sabotage. There are many things we face before we’re ready. Yes, we can and should be prepared (don’t just jump into the deep end of the pool when you literally don’t know how to swim). But most of the tough stuff isn’t life or death—so don’t wait for the confidence to come. Sometimes the best way to find your confidence is to just go for it!
In most situations (aside from rock climbing, skydiving, and bungee jumping), the worst-case scenario is rarely as bad as it feels. Sometimes simply recognizing the WORST possibility can make us realize it’s a lot less scary and nebulous than we think. So what’s the worst that can happen? You could fail. You could fall. You could get hurt. But you know what? You pick yourself back up. You can always recover and the more you recover, the stronger you’ll become.
4. Love yourself unconditionally
We’re trained to conditionally love ourselves. Like, “When I lose 10 pounds, I’ll feel better about myself.” Think of your best friend. Do you love her more or less depending on her weight? Does 10 pounds make a difference in how beautiful you think she is? No, of course not! We love others unconditionally, and yet, when it comes to ourselves, we’re super critical and harsh. You are amazing. You only have one body and one shot at life, so make it count. Embrace what you’ve got!
Confidence is a trust that you have the ABILITY, determination, and the will to do “X” (whatever it is you love to do, do well, and kick butt at). Confidence is based on who you are and no one else can take that away. No one can take away your determination or your will. No one else can take away your ability to live your dreams. This is within you and something you create for yourself.
5. Recognize confidence comes from within
It’s time to do some soul searching. Look within yourself and give yourself credit for all the things you do—AND even all the things you attempt to do. Allow yourself to fail, grow, and learn from each experience. Be exactly who you are at this moment. Not who you could be or who you think you should be, but who you are RIGHT NOW. You are unique—embrace it!
Emotions make us genuine, authentic, REAL. Whether you’re speaking, writing, or dancing, expressing your emotions adds beauty, depth, and realness. Learn to get comfortable with your emotions. It doesn’t mean you need to go for the Academy Award with all-out crying, screaming, or rage (although sometimes that might be the case and it’s okay, too). Emotions release energy. Working with a coach for the first time last year, I was in full-out ugly cry sobbing within 7 minutes of our first conversation! I didn’t even know it was in me!! After, I felt transformed. I got it out and it was cathartic. I was a different person because I accepted what was happening inside, took ownership, expressed it, and actively worked to move forward.
I’m a huge believer in meditation and mindfulness. In fact, meditation totally changed my life. It allowed me to connect with myself on a higher level and in a new way. I can review my activities from a semi-objective viewpoint. I can process my activities and my lack of activities in certain areas, as well as my reasons WHY. I can examine my beliefs and the ways I believe in myself. It gives me a chance to forgive myself for my shortcomings on a regular basis. Find what works for you and what keeps you connected on a deeper level.
As I said before, negative energy breeds negative energy. Is this where you want to spend your time? At what cost? It’s time to believe that the world is working FOR you, not against you. Shift your thinking and take the sign as a sign. The world is reaching out to you to work in harmony. Put forth positive and positive things will find you. Yes, sometimes you have an investment in feeling bad—it protects you or it’s for good reason. But sometimes, feeling bad and negative simply has been the story, so it’s time to let it go. Can’t stand your sister-in-law because “she’s the worst person EVER”? Until you decide she isn’t, she will be. Shift your thinking and bring in the positive.
6. Take action
We can become paralyzed by fear. We might drag our feet and put it off. We might procrastinate and ignore deadlines. Taking action is the biggest and best thing you can do to improve your confidence. Say yes! Try new things! Live actively! If you go ice skating and fall all over the place, at least you did it (and I’ll bet you even had some fun)! And next time you know how far away from the wall you can get!
Did you thought talk of “commitment” was only for people on the dating scene? Well, guess what? We commit to all kinds of things all throughout our lives. Girl, own it! Be strong. Be committed. If you’re doing YOU, commit to who you are and what you want to be. Don’t waiver from your dreams and goals. Don’t flake out on yourself—hold strong. When you find something commitment-worthy, really embrace it. Strongly commit to the things you do and give it your all.
Remember: You are capable. You have integrity. You have power. With all that awesomeness comes strength and confidence. Girl, I am serious: You frickin’ rock! You kick butt! You’re a superhero and a wonder woman! Believe it because it’s true. You’ve totally got this!