“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt.
I am very excited to be living at a time when so many women strive to be more confident, take charge, and become bosses of their lives. I have always looked up to women who, at work and in life, don’t doubt their actions or worry about what others think, and who courageously make decisions and face challenges. My road to becoming a confident woman was long and rocky. As a girl who was raised in a culture that took on a lot of ‘traditional’ ideal about gender roles, it took me a while to get where I am now. At my starting point I adamantly fought my dreams and believed that I could not be anything but average because I was not a man. While I knew about Oprah, Hillary Clinton, or Martha Stewart, I never thought I could be (or at least attempt to be) like them, as if they lived in a different dimension from mine! Luckily, my dissatisfaction of living life according to others was very persistently strong, and as the years have gone by, I have started studying successful women, trying to understand how they saw the world, how they talked and stood strong. I lived and breathed the idea of learning to be more confident to build my life the way I liked. In the end, learning to be my own boss was one of the greatest and most rewarding skills I’ve ever achieved.
There are five key attitudes women have perfected to become confident and successful (many women my age didn’t have the opportunity to grow up in an encouraging environment, and had to learn the skill!), and with a little practice, every woman can adopt and perfect this confident attitude that will help her build her best life. These five steps did wonders for me.
First and foremost,
1. Loose the Fear and Trust Yourself
We listen to people’s opinions our entire lives, yet we don’t often listen to our own. And the question to ask yourself is why should I trust others’ opinion and not my own? or why are others’ opinion more valid than my own? I asked myself this question for years, and I had no reasonable answer. Your opinion should not have less value than anyone else’s, and there is absolutely no reason why you should not voice it to yourself or to others.
2. Love Yourself
This one goes hand in hand with #1. When you love yourself, you start respecting and appreciating everything you think, do, and say. You are busy and do tons of things throughout your day; but make sure you take a moment for yourself and do something you enjoy. I mean why give all of yourself to others and none to you? Also, learn to appreciate yourself and think of all the great qualities you have! Make a list. It is amazing how we tend to overvalue others’ qualities and undervalue our own!
3. Admit Your Flaws
Loving yourself should not prevent you from admitting your flaws, maybe even sometimes applauding them. Nobody is perfect, not even the idols you look up to, and that’s okay.
I remember after I graduated law school and was going through job interviews, they would always ask what my flaws were, and I would say “perfectionism”. I did not mean it, but I thought that being perfect was not only a good thing, but also was my responsibility ~ I had to be perfect as a daughter, wife, mother, and worker. But if you really think about it, by being perfect in everything only overworks you, burns you down, and, in the end, makes you tired, unhappy, resentful, and, no longer perfect.
4. Ask for Help
It is absolutely certain that confident women don’t feel threatened or belittled by asking for help from others. Accomplishing goals alone is impossible, and asking for help is a smart thing to do. You should know where your strengths lie, where you can improve, and when let others lead. Even if you don’t always like what you hear, get that criticism as constructive. Track down a mentor and soak up his or her knowledge. And hopefully, when you are in position to be a mentor yourself, give back.
5. Dare to be Different.
Yes, think bigger than you ever did. If you got this far reading this post, that means you have dreams to do something great for yourself, so don’t stop, and don’t be afraid of success. You know that no one has things easy, and if they could do it, then you can do it. The age of invisible women is over, and no one can stop you except for you… so don’t.
So here are my top five advices for women who want to learn to be more confident. Please leave your comments, share your stories, whether they are about your successes or struggles. It takes time to perfect these skills, and as a community, we can help each other succeed, achieve our goals, and turn our lives to the better.