by Kristi Faulkner
For women consumers, the worst marketing ideas attempt to persuade women that a product will give you confidence. According to our panel of wise women, confidence is not something you pick up at Walgreens; it comes from within.
Here are 10 ways wise women tell us they increase their confidence. Notice that no one mentioned deodorant or lipstick.
1. Don’t judge yourself. Women say that when they judge themselves, they’re looking at who they are through someone else’s eye. The trick is to allow yourself to be who you are and let go of who you think you need to be.
2. Assess your true skills. Wise women know that it’s not enough to just think you’re confident. Real confidence comes from competence. Take an inventory of your skillset, and base your confidence on the knowledge you’ve acquired. Reread your resume if that helps remind you of your accomplishments.
3. It helps to project confidence. Studies have shown that your posture can influence your mood while projecting confidence and poise. Check out this famous Ted talk by Harvard Psychologist Amy Cuddy, who says your body language is a valuable source of personal power.
4. Channel a stellar experience. Remember that presentation you gave that impressed a room full of sourpuss executives? Remember that negotiation where you successfully closed a new client contract? Keep these experiences mentally handy when you’re questioning your ability. Wise women know success breeds success.
7. Be aware of your thoughts. Don’t let your mind wander to another time and place. Wise women stay focused on the task at hand. When you’re concentrating in the moment, your mind has no room for negative thoughts that compromise your confidence.
8. Be in the present. Let the past go. As the saying goes, you don’t live there anymore. And wise women know you can’t change it anyway. Focusing on where you are at this moment is always a shortcut to confidence. Because you’re doing great!
9. Discomfort is a key component of confidence. When you’re uncomfortable, you know you’re taking risks. Risks and confidence go hand and hand. Wise women embrace the discomfort and move through it.
10. There is no confidence without compassion. Wise women know that respect and compassion are how you demonstrate self-love. Confidence is a sign you love yourself, too. You know when you deserve to be treated better – by others, and by yourself.
Most women we spoke with say they struggle with confidence from time to time. But the wise ones have a plan. Be aware the moment you are at your most confident and make a note of the circumstances. When you are feeling low, reflect on that same personal description of confidence and reassure yourself that you always have confidence within you.