As women, we receive a lot of negative messaging about how we should be ashamed of our bodies, about all the ways we aren’t good enough. It’s enough to foster a booming self-help publishing business targeting women, with titles ranging from “Women Who Think Too Much” to “The Gifts of Imperfection.” All this is to say – we get it. Nobody’s perfect. So how do we accept that imperfection and love our true selves, rather than always fighting to be someone else?
Push past the harmful messages in the media and embrace your shine with these confidence boosting strategies. We all grow up and get older, but it takes self-love to experience a “glow up.”
Find The Right Friends
If you want to feel happier and more confident, one of the most important things you need to do is find a posse that will stick by you. Good friends don’t have to love all the same things you do, but regardless of their interests, they’re the people who will affirm you, who will lift up your achievements, and spend quality time with you, even if you’re just watching bad movies together or commiserating over a failed relationship. It can be hard to make new friends as an adult or to really commit to the ones you have when you feel like you’re too busy, but make the time – you’ll see real psychological benefits.
Restructure Your Thoughts
It may sound corny, but positive thinking really does work, just maybe not the way you think it does. Positive thinking is not all about sunshine and rainbows, but rather about restructuring negative thoughts into optimistic, fact-based ones. In other words, when you have a negative thought about your appearance or abilities, stop and consider why you’re having that thought. What backs up this belief and how can you transform your perspective into a positive one?
Find Positive Role Models
You’ve got a great pack of friends, but the reality is that they’re probably also struggling to love themselves. That’s why you need to find positive role models. The shapewear company Shapermint encourages women to speak about their journey to self-acceptance on their #ThisIsMyTruth tag. Each woman speaks from a unique set of experiences, from the numbness of being suddenly widowed to being young and pregnant, and each is a role model for women trying to find their way to greater confidence.
Set Better Boundaries
One thing that can leave women doubting themselves and feeling vulnerable and criticized are the many demands of others. As many have written about recently, women are called upon to perform a lot of emotional labor and caretaking for people in their lives, even those they’re not close to – but there’s an easy solution to that. Identify your boundaries and stick to them. This isn’t just about reducing the demands on your time, but rather about making your priorities clear and stating how you want to be treated by those in your life.
Learning to love yourself isn’t always easy and you have to be willing to feel pain and deal with your emotions. Your feelings are your responsibility and no one else’s; all you can do is focus on who you are, how you imagine your future, and the ways in which you aim to grow. And don’t forget to be gentle with yourself – for years we’ve been told that we’re not enough, and it will take time to undo that messaging.