Some of the most famous and beautiful female actors and performers in the world struggle with insecurity and lack of self-confidence. If you tune into pop culture, you’ll pick up on this in interviews.
- I’m not pretty enough.
- I uncomfortable with how my face looks.
- I don’t think I’m talented.
- Someone will figure it out that I’m not good.
I have to admit, I have found these passing interview moments helpful. I’ve thought, Holy smokes, if she is struggling with her confidence, why, then, shouldn’t the rest of us? It must be so much more normal than I ever imagined.
What does low self-confidence feel like?
- Being unsure of yourself.
- Being afraid that you’ll fail.
- Feeling like others will laugh at you.
- Feeling unattractive.
- Feeling overwhelmed and certain you’ll never figure it out.
- Feeling inferior to others
Since I launched my Women Who Spark platform, I have had a number of women share their insecurities with me.
- I could never do that.
- I want to do something else, but I don’t believe that I can.
- I’m afraid to say something to that person, because I’ll look stupid.
- What am I doing wrong that I’m not happy like everyone else?
- I have some dreams but could never actually make them come true.
Insecurity is all around us. For different reasons.
Our insecurities are further compounded by social media and magazine covers.
So many things can propel us into a lack of confidence. Sometimes it’s for a moment, and sometimes it’s for a lifetime.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Real life is what happens between social media posts. I’ve seen very few unhappy and unattractive posts on Facebook and Instagram. I love it when I do. The captions are along the lines of This is what our real life looks like. Thank you! Whew!
- Then, let’s not get started on magazine covers. This is where we see photos of women who have had their hair and make-up done professionally, their outfits have been provided to them, and they’ve been airbrushed to look perfect. This is not real life. This is a photo shoot.
- Women who are doing difficult things figured it out one step at a time.
What about comparison? Do you look around and notice what others are doing that you’re not doing? Or do you see what others have that you do not have? Does this trigger feelings of inferiority?
You are not alone.
So, what can you do?
5 ways to feel more confident
1. Remember your natural state of confidence.
Children are confident. In fact, girls are confident for the first several years of their lives.
Can you remember your younger self? Can you tap into a time in your life when you believed in your ability to figure things out? When you were comfortable to voice your opinion?
When did you allow people, and the world, to start chipping away at your confidence? What words do you remember? What people? Are you giving them too much power over you?
Can you hit the reset button and regain your voice? This is a choice.
2. Know what your strengths and talents are.
What are you naturally good at? What do people turn to you for?
Perhaps you have a beautiful garden in the summer, or you speak fluent Spanish, or your home is beautifully decorated, or you’re talented at solving problems at work, or you are the go-to person for your friends and family members. Or perhaps like my daughters and many of my friends, you pull together a fabulous outfit every time.
Rather than focusing on what others do that you don’t do, focus on what youdo. And if something matters to you, trust in your ability to figure it out. I’m on a mission to up my game in that ‘fabulous outfit’ area of life. I’m not good at it, but I’ve decided to work on it.
3. Think about the strokes of luck you’ve had.
I am a firm believer that the majority of our success in life will come from good old-fashioned hard work.
If you want to run a successful business or raise good kids or have a great marriage, you have to work hard. In every one of these situations, however, I’ve seen success come at the crossroads of hard work and luck.
The happiest married couples I know work hard, and almost everyone has said, “We were also lucky that we grew together and continued to want the same fundamental things.”
I have seen enough good families experience a wayward child that I feel like the positive lives our adult children are living have to do with our hard work, their hard work and a certain degree of luck.
And I’ve seen very talented business owners lose it all because of a change in the economy. I would call that unlucky.
If some things don’t go perfectly for you, do not beat yourself up.
In fairness to you, do a fair assessment of any disappointing situation you encounter. What was in your ability to control or influence, and what was not?
4. Don’t over-apologize.
This is a big one. I have some extremely talented and amazing friends who over-apologize, and I wish they wouldn’t.
Instead of “I’m sorry for being late,”how about “Thank you so much for waiting.”
Instead of “I’m so sorry I left the kitchen in such a mess,”how about, “Wow, I owe you one. I got an unexpected phone call and ran out of time to clean up the kitchen. Thank you so much for doing it.”
Instead of “I’m sorry, but I see it differently,” how about “Let me share another idea that we could consider.”
There are always appropriate places for apologies. We’re talking about over-apologizing. When you over-apologize, you diminish your value for both yourself and others.
5. Give yourself a pick-me-up
Before you head out, give yourself some attention. Pick out an outfit that makes you feel good about yourself, put on some make up, and style your hair.
I care about what you feel within your heart. Your inner confidence is the real deal.
Over the years, however, I’ve seen many women with an extra skip in their step when they feel beautiful because of a new hairstyle, a great pair of shoes, or an awesome pair of jeans.
You deserve to give yourself some extra attention.
Make no mistake about it, every single one of us has confidence in some areas but not in others.
The key is to celebrate your areas of strength, then believe in your ability to develop strengths in other areas that are important to you.
Do not get caught up in looking at what others do well if these things are not something you care to work toward, or if they fall out of your natural talent.
You are amazing. I just know it.
If you’d like to contribute your thoughts to my research on women’s fulfillment, you can find my survey at aletanorris.com/tribe.
Or join my Women Who Spark Tribe Facebook Community to become part of a supportive group of women….seeking positivity and productivity in life, just like you.