Why is it that we are always so sure of our friends & coworkers' courage and poise but when it comes to us, we struggle to find any sense of self confidence? I find myself scrambling to find any shred of certainty when a new opportunity arises or better yet - when someone makes me feel less competent than I know I am. It's as if all of my hard work and preparation leading me to that exact moment quickly vanishes and I'm just a little girl in a big world with no direction. It's funny though, because isn't it a silly concept that we give other people so much power over our mind?
Why do we let others define our own success?
If you're like me, and you occasionally struggle with being confident in the workplace, in a relationship, or even just walking down the street - don't worry, because it happens to everyone. Yes, even that girl on Instagram who you scroll past with envy. We weren't designed to do it all, and as we get older and flourish into the strong woman we are soon to become, our dependence on God is more vital than ever. I've rounded up my top 7 tips to living a more confident life, even if you do have to fake it 'till you make it:
1. Dress the part.
Perhaps I may be a bit biased here, but there truly is nothing a good pair of shoes can't fix. If you're lacking in self-confidence, face the day head on, and do it in a major pair of shoes. And while you're at it, why not throw on that dress in the back of your closet that you've been waiting to wear, or your go-to shirt that always makes you feel like a million bucks?
In all seriousness though, playing dress-up really can do wonders for how you walk through your day. If you show up and play the part, you're bound to take yourself more seriously, come across as more professional, and feel good while doing whatever it is you need to do. Looking amazing while doing it is just an added bonus of being fabulous.
2. Work on your non-verbals.
Do you ever talk to someone and they seem totally preoccupied? You know the people - distracted on their phones, looking past you & onto their next venture, or the very best: the ones that cut you off mid sentence and mysteriously vanish from sight. The worst. Obviously these people aren't your favorite to talk to, and it's hard to take them seriously. Same goes for us! If we want to show our worth both by what we can bring to the table and with what we're saying, we need to up our non-verbal communication game. Try practicing this week by smiling at people who you walk past in the office and when someone talks to you, look them right in the eyes. Not only will you look more considerate and observant, but you'll also be more attentive and will eliminate having to shamefully follow-up with them at a later time because you missed a portion of what they were saying. Self-confidence booster and efficiency, one smile and head nod at a time.
3. Get comfortable being uncomfortable.
There's no better feeling than being faced with a new challenge and finding the determination to approach it head on. It's so important that we continue to confront new opportunities or situations on a regular basis. I'm quickly learning that there really is no greater flaw than being too comfortable.
Try and find something new to try every week- whether that's a new dish at your favorite restaurant or a more efficient way to do an everyday task at work. You'll be amazed at how accomplished you'll feel and how rewarding conquering a new challenge can be. Plus, it will make you that much more prepared when an unforeseen circumstance presents itself and you have to deal with quickly turning around a major project at work or finding out that you need a new car like, now. Always challenge yourself, and never forget that being comfortable is sooo last season.
4. Do something you love.
There's something so fulfilling about finding the greatest joy in doing the things you love. For the lucky ones, that might mean waking up and going to a job we love everyday. For others that might be working on a passion project turned side hustle that makes us excited to work on Saturday and Sunday mornings. But for the majority of us, that might just look like baking cookies on a Friday night and drinking wine with our girlfriends. Whatever it is that makes you happy, do that! Finding the time to do the things we love (& if we're lucky - with the ones we love!) is so vital to our happiness and our confidence, because we're able to look past all of the irrelevant details that would otherwise consume our minds.
If you're up for another challenge, try and find the good in all the things you're doing, whether you love it or not. Even if you totally hate your job but are trying to stick it out until the end of the year, look for the good things it has to offer and then go into each day with a happy heart. It's so much easier to be confident in ourselves when we're doing things we enjoy, so start by creating joy in the most grim of places.
5. Stop procrastinating.
We all do it. We put off a big project at work until we're forced to stay late on a Friday or delay buying that wedding shower gift until the last minute - and then find that all that's left on the desolate registry are a single pair of napkin holders. Oops.
Let's strive to be the girl who shows up to the meeting early, prepared, and ready to go. Can you imagine how much more confident you'll feel when you walk into work knowing all your projects from the day before are finished and your dinner is deliciously cooking in the crockpot? Make the effort to prepare for your day, and find the time to get what you need to get done, finished. Don't add any more stress to your plate by not finishing a task or putting something off until it's too late. Leave the memory of procrastination right where it belongs - tucked away in your carefree college days.
6. Be kind to others.
Nothing screams confidence more than a woman who isn't afraid to compliment others. You know those girls who seem so happy and sure, and then find the spirit to compliment your hair that you spent so long on this morning? Be that girl! Not only will it make others feel good about themselves, but you'll also find a sense of fulfillment knowing you have the power to change someone's day. Do a good deed in your community, give a genuine compliment to your coworker, or ask that friend you haven't seen in a while to grab dinner. Being kind will make you feel empowered, and will give you the confidence to take on anything life throws at you.
7. Practice gratitude.
A gracious woman gets honor. Proverbs 11:16
It is forever the most important thing to remember in any situation you may encounter: a gracious heart is bound to find prosperity. Whether you don't like the city you're living in or despise driving to work everyday, practice thanking God for the life you've been given. Be grateful that you have a roof over your head or a car to get you to a job that provides for you. Once we shift our mindset from being cynical about our circumstance to being grateful for our blessings, the great work that God is doing in our lives starts to become more clear.
Always remember to persevere through tough times in prayer, and then feel your blessings unfold with gratitude. Once you start to be thankful for your circumstances, your confidence in your job, your appearance, your school work, or your self as whole will significantly improve because you'll realize that it isn't our life to shame. God made us with big plans in mind, and be proud of who you are and where you're at because it's exactly where you're supposed to be.
And besides, if you're ever having a majorly weak moment where you feel like any shred of confidence is far from your reach, just remember that you're a daughter of a KING and he walks beside you every single day. If that doesn't boost your self-confidence, then I don't know what will.
Remember that this life we live isn't a sprint, it's a slow stroll. We encounter some periods that force us to change at rapid speed, but then other parts feel rather routine. If you struggle with finding confidence in yourself, don't be too hard on yourself because everyone on this earth battles with how to view their self-worth- even if it's difficult to see on the surface.
Take yourself seriously, and then others will follow suit. Be kind to those around you, and you'll find a warmth deep within your heart. Live your life with a constant sense of gratitude, because there are so many things to be thankful for. And lastly - arguably, most important - show up to wherever you're going in a killer pair of shoes, because nothing says confidence like a woman who can do it all - and does it all - in high heels.