We all know women who seem to have unshakable confidence. They are who they are, and they say what they need to say.
And if we’re being honest: it’s hard not to wonder how they do it (and, if we’re being really honest, it’s hard not to be a little jealous… but we’ll talk about that).While even the most confident women have their off days and aren’t totally immune to insecurities, anxiety, or heartbreak, they do seem to do things a little differently.
One of the reasons most of us don’t feel like we radiate confidence is because we’re waiting for permission from someone to tell us that it’s okay to be who we are.
But guess what? That’s not going to happen, and the good news is that we don’t need it to happen. So instead of beating yourself up because you don’t feel like you’re part of the “Confident Women Club”, let’s take a minute to learn something from them instead.
Here are 5 things confident women do differently.
1. They don’t argue for their limitations.
Recognizing our limitations is essential for our growth, but setting up a tent and camping out everywhere we find a limitation is a surefire way to chip away at your confidence.
Sometimes, we even end up defending the things in our lives and in ourselves that we don’t even want.When was the last time you said or thought something like,
“I could never start my own business-- I’m just too busy with the kids, I don’t have the money, I don’t have good ideas, and I have no idea where to start..” or
“I just can’t lose weight! I hate working out, and even if I liked it, I can’t afford a gym membership...” or “I’m terrible at eating healthy-- the healthy stuff just doesn’t taste good and it’s too expensive… and even if I could afford it, I’m not trying to spend all day in the kitchen prepping meals!” or “I’m too old to do that-- I should have done that a long time ago and it would be silly for me to start now...”
We tell ourselves stories of who we are without stopping to think if those stories are actually about who we want to be.
And guess what? That voice in your head who keeps telling you that you “can’t” isn’t even yours. We pick up the critical voices of others along the way.
Want proof? Look at children: they think (rather, they know) that they can do anything. They hardly ever argue for their limitations… until they’re old enough to start hearing it from someone else.
Confidence comes when you start arguing for why you can be who you want to be. Become your own best advocate. The world is hard enough. You’ve heard the saying that you’re your own worst critic, right? Let’s flip the script and become our own best advocates instead.
2. They aren’t afraid to invest in themselves
Confident women realize that they are their own precious commodity. Just like no one is going to walk up to you someday and grant you permission to shine, most of us are on our own to invest in ourselves, too.
That class you want to take? That gym membership you want to buy? Taking an hour each morning to exercise? Cleaning up your beauty routine to treat your body better? Those are all ways that you can invest in yourself.
Part of investing in yourself means looking at your priorities. What dreams or happiness are you holding away from yourself because you’re spending your time or money on things that don’t further those dreams or happiness?
If you want to start your own business but you keep spending your money on clothes or upgrading your car, you might get some instant gratification and some praise from the people around you, but you’re putting your purpose and potential on hold.
We have to break those patterns of feeling selfish when we splurge on ourselves. When your cup is full, you can fill up other people’s cups. It’s selfish not to invest in yourself.
3. They aren’t looking for validation
Ah, the “V word”. Validation is the number one killer of confidence. The more you seek it from others, the harder it becomes to elicit true validation from yourself.
But when people validate you, they’re not really validating you! They’re validating themselves.
Think of it this way: a lot of the time, when someone gives us their advice, they’re actually telling us what they would do. When someone approves of you, or how you look, or something you’re doing, it’s typically because they’re seeing themselves in your position and not really taking you or the full context into consideration. What we’re chasing doesn’t even exist!
4. They don’t judge other women
Confident women don’t feel the need to nitpick the appearance or sheer existence of other women.
Confidence, and beauty for that matter, aren’t finite and don’t diminish because other people have them. There’s enough confidence and beauty to go around.
When we judge others, we’re judging ourselves. It feels so much better to smile at another woman than it does to size her up and judge her as you walk by.We all go through things that no one knows anything about. Look at yourself, isn’t that true? Usually, jealousy or fear are at the root of our judgement, and that says more about us than it does about the women we’re judging. And honey, we’re better than that!
The next time you feel the urge to judge, take a minute to see if you can turn that judgment around into something positive or an opportunity to learn more about that person or yourself.
5. They don’t take life too seriously
Confident women can laugh at themselves and they can laugh at life when things don’t go as expected. They know that whatever doesn’t kill them makes them stronger (you’re welcome, now you have that song stuck in your head), and that life’s too short to get hung up on every detail.
Life isn’t perfect, you’re not perfect, and we need to stop trying to make everything perfect. It’s such a waste of time!Embracing life and ourselves as we are takes the pressure off of us and everyone around us. When we’re not trying to force things to go our way, we can calm down a little and realize that there’s only so much that we can control, and we can walk confidently knowing that the whole world does not rest solely upon our shoulders.
Make It Yours
The common thread that connects confident women is that they’ve learned to let perfectionism go. It’s easy to want someone else’s life, but true confidence comes when you can appreciate who you are and what you have right here, right now.
The key is to connect to who you are and leave everyone else out of it. Notice your accomplishments and congratulate yourself when you can, and when you fall short, love yourself like you’d love your best friend.
Like Dolly Parton says, “Find out who you are and do it on purpose.”