How many of us have stared into the mirror and tried to find a confident, radiant person staring back? Do you ever look into the reflection and wish you could feel more confident in your skin? *Raises both hands*
We know that when we feel confident in ourselves, we are an unstoppable force to be reckoned with. And on the days we feel less than confident, well those days can be draining and they can hold us back from achieving our goals.
Our level of self-confidence can vary from day to day and even from moment to moment, so how do we create consistent self-confidence from the inside out? There are plenty of techniques like writing down positive affirmations, reading self-help books, or engaging in self-care practices, but there is another way to get to the root of insecurities and unleash the power of radical self-confidence.
It starts by getting curious, reflecting, and asking ourselves questions.
*This might be a good time to get a pen and paper out or even write your thoughts in your phone notes. *
How to Feel Confident Activity #1: Ask yourself, “Who am I?”
Really take some time to reflect on this question. WHO ARE YOU? Are you a friend, a daughter, a son, a mother, a wife, a husband, a student? What are your values? Are you; kind, ambitious, passionate, quiet, loyal…
It is important for us to know who we are in order to know who we want to be. In order for us to show up in the world confident in our skin, as no one but our most authentic selves, we must first spend time getting to intimately know who we are.
It is also important to remember that, who we are will change and evolve as time passes. Just like the current “beauty trend” will change and evolve with time.
So write down a list. Of your values, the roles you play in the movie of your life, the places, people, activities, and things that bring you joy.
Now, look back at that list. Of what you wrote, how much of how you define who you are relates to your body image? More than 50%? None of it?
You see, we are so much more than what we look like on the outside. Of course, you can love the way you look and take pride in your body image, but that is not what defines you.
So often we hear “I’m trying to love my body” and “I’m not perfect but...” What if instead of repeating this destructive pretense of humility, we actually took pride in our bodies. We aren’t perfect and we aren’t flawed- we simply just are.
We can’t wait for permission to “accept ourselves.” We need to first, have compassion for ourselves, and second, we need to do the work. We need to ask ourselves those critical questions. Who am I? What role does my physical body play in the impact I am making on this world? And who decided that I shouldn’t feel peace and joy in my body?
The greatest rebellion to society’s perverse ideas of what we should be and look like is not just “accepting ourselves,” but owning and simply being ourselves. Telling the world that we do not accept the discourse of impossible ‘perfection’ and ‘beauty.’
Because when we know who we are, we will discover the power we have always contained.
How to Feel Confident Activity #2: Check your inner circle.
Take note of who you are spending your time and energy with. We reflect the 5 closest people we associate with, so take a good look at your inner circle. Are the people in your life contributing to your well-being? Are they cheering for your success? Are they confident in themselves? Notice how you feel about yourself when you are in their presence. After being around these people are you feeling more confident in yourself or are you starting to think more negatively about yourself?
If the relationships in your life start leaving you with negative energy, it might be time to reevaluate them.
This doesn’t mean you have to end the relationship, but it is definitely a good time to evaluate your boundaries and to decide how much time and energy you want to place into those relationships. As hard as it might be (especially with family and those we love the most), you must protect your energy at all cost. This is crucial for feeling more confident from the inside out. Protecting your energy can look like having a conversation with your mom that you don’t appreciate it when she makes comments about how you gained weight or that your muscles are getting too big from lifting weights. Protecting your energy can also be choosing to not hang out with a friend who is always talking negatively about themselves.
While no one has the power to make you feel bad about yourself, you can choose to surround yourself with people who contribute to the creation of your self-confidence.
How to Feel Confident Activity #3: Move your body.
When we are feeling less than confident, it is easy to let our negative thoughts take over our perception of ourselves. But that’s just it, our thoughts aren’t a reflection of our true self and values.
When our thoughts become intrusive, we need to reconnect with our entire being, mind and body. And what better way to connect back to ourselves, than through movement. It doesn’t have to be an intense workout, it can be a walk around the block or some gentle stretching, dancing, anything to get your body moving. Besides those lovely endorphins (our body’s natural supply of happiness juice) released through physical movement, feeling connected to our body is grounding and can help fight off the negative thoughts that might consume us.
Now ask yourself, “What sort of movement makes me happy?” Everyone has different body abilities, so this will be different for each individual. But as best you can, write down what sort of movement makes you feel good. What movement makes you feel strong? When we move our bodies and feel joy, strength, and power we are reminding ourselves that we are more than the negative stories in our heads. That even when we are feeling insecure or sad, or self-conscious of how we look on the outside, our bodies are capable of creating beautiful feelings of strength and joy.
You might look in the mirror and not always like what you see, but you know that your body is capable of creating a physical strength that will translate into an immense inner strength.
And that inner strength will last longer than any beauty trend or toxic beauty standard. Slowly but surely, you will start feeling more confident and the image in the mirror will radiate true confidence that encompasses ALL that you are.
How to Feel Confident Final Note
Finally, remember that we will not always feel confident, and that’s ok. Confidence isn’t the lack of insecurities, confidence is working through our insecurities. Confidence is the ability to face those insecurities, learn from them, and to let them go.
Having insecurities doesn't make you an insecure person. Letting insecurities run freely in our minds and allowing them to control our actions without question is what creates insecure people. This creates fearful people.
Confidence is not just shouting to the world, “ I am not afraid! I am not ashamed!” While there is power in that, it is not the only way to show confidence.
Confidence is also whispering, “I don’t always feel confident in my skin. I do feel ashamed sometimes… but why?”
Confidence is staying curious and saying, “ Today, I am not ok. But, I know I will be.”