Confidence is one of those characteristics that almost every woman desires for herself. We understand that in many ways, confidence is key to happiness, assertiveness, and success. But how exactly do we acquire it? Here are 5 actionable items to boost your confidence:
1) Recognize the Context
Sometimes, we as women believe that struggling with confidence is a weakness we alone experience. But the truth is that many of us feel insecure and inadequate at times. Remember that although women have come a long way in the rights and opportunities available to us, we still need to continue to advocate for our equality. Feeling self-conscious or unconfident is part of the result of a bigger systemic picture. If you struggle with these feelings, know that you are not alone!
2) Don’t Over-think Decisions
In my therapy practice, I’ve worked with clients who sometimes seem paralyzed by choices. While some decisions require a great deal of thought, research, and energy, the truth is that most decisions we make on a day-to-day basis are not moral issues and do not need to be gut-wrenching actions. We shouldn’t be so afraid of making mistakes. Also, we can trust that we are competent enough to course-correct in the inevitable event of failure.
3) Remember Failure Can Be Your Friend
Going along with the previous point, it’s important to consider failure as one of our greatest opportunities for growth. When we make choices that do not yield the results that we had hoped, we do not need to be emotionally crushed but can instead use the experience as valuable lessons learned. In this way, we can be confident not in spite of our mistakes, but because of our mistakes.
4) Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone
This phrase seems somewhat cliche, but it is really is an excellent way to increase confidence. I think of my niece Lucy as a great example of a young woman who constantly gets out of her comfort zone. She suffers from Spina bifida and anxiety and very often has to do things that challenge her. One significant example of this is when she applied to be part of the “Canine Companions” program. Although she was initially scared and disliked dogs, she was able to overcome her fear, and now her dog Wilona is one of her best friends. We, too can self-start, face the uncomfortable moments, and find greater joy and success as we increase our confidence.
5) Ask For What You Want
Women are often very good at caring for others’ needs and concerns. This is wonderful, but don’t forget about what you want. Perhaps you want a raise at your job, you want to take a weekend off, you want to start a business, begin a new hobby, etc. You are as deserving as good things as anyone else! It’s okay to want good things for your own life and to advocate for yourself.