To celebrate International Women’s Day, I’ve thoroughly researched the best tips to build confidence in every sector, from self to work. Good Therapy publication shared statistics suggesting “80% of women in America are dissatisfied with their bodies”. A global Dove report focusing on beauty and confidence, found “only 4% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful”. Women are tremendously suffering from insecurity and at a deeper level than social media blame.
Here are some must-read tips to build confidence:
Work on being Assertive
The digital site Eco Warrior Princess, published a piece sharing tips for women to become more assertive. They say “there is a very fine line that every woman treads — between being assertive and being labelled a bitch.” This issue is something I’ve discussed numerously on The Style of Laura Jane. It’s holding women back and little seems apparent. My post: Why I love Being a Difficult Woman, speaks about society branding opinionated – not afraid to stand up for themselves women as “difficult”.
The Mayo Clinic produced an article suggesting assertiveness can boost “self-esteem and earn others’ respect.” Collins dictionary defines the term as someone who “states their needs and opinions clearly, so that people take notice.” In order for females to have their voices heard, it’s crucial to learn assertive techniques.
In addition to Eco Warrior Princess, Female First have shared a number of tips, including assertive body language techniques. For example, “Avoid doing anything that makes you take up less space.” From my experience, the mind can improve confidence simply by following good body language. It coincides with the idea “fake it till you make it”.
Don’t be afraid to ask men for advice
In recent years, publications have emphasised “The Confidence Gap”; women feeling less self-assured than men. This concept explains why men tend to receive promotions quicker and earn a higher income. However, Hanna Hart contributing for Forbes, describes the confidence gap as a myth and presents research revealing women are actually afraid of the “back-lash effect”.
This is where women feel they’ll be penalised and projected as “less nice” for standing up for themselves. To gain confidence to advance in your career, it’s helpful to ask men for advice as they’re less concerned about projection. The Financial Times shared quotes from Francesca Gino (Harvard Business School Professor) who says men are likely to recommend asking for an increase in income while women tend to advise the opposite.
Physical flaws are a huge reason for women not feeling confident. Though social media is not singlehandedly to blame for women’s confidence levels, findings sourced on the New York Post disclose that women “who spend more than an hour a day on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest are more unhappy with their bodies”.
Often, I’ve scrolled online and admired beautiful features. All the while looking at my photos and finding faults. This easily transpires to a habit. Based on research, spending less time on social media can boost confidence. Think about the accounts you follow and whether they leave you feeling insecure or positive. My most popular post of all time – How to Accept Your Physical Flaws, tells readers to give themselves permission to compliment their appearance.
Women usually feel they’ll come across as boastful for admitting they have great legs or a lovely smile etc. Writing down kind attributes and finding good traits to acknowledge, helps build confidence within.
Compliment women before you judge them
On my piece Women Hate Other Women, I explored research explaining why women compete against each other. Noam Shpancer writing for Psychology Today, mentioned numerous theories. Reasons include feeling threatened – afraid a sexually promiscuous woman will steal their partner and “social exclusion”. Additionally “beautiful woman” are threatening for representing unbalanced power.
Women are known for bitchiness and easy judgement. Men are rarely known for doing the same. To build confidence, before verbally judging another woman, try to pick out an aspect to compliment. This in turn makes you feel better and decreases the worry that other women are talking negatively about you.
Build confidence – take risks
Whatshesay.com advises women to take chances and to experience opportunities they would naturally shy away from. This I testify to, as there’s plenty of challenges I’ve overcome purely by saying yes. For example, I had a fear of public running – once leaving school, the idea of people seeing me run felt petrifying. After my sister continued to ask me, I eventually said yes and realise now how much I love the exercise. The worst outcome from taking a chance is that it doesn’t work. But even then, at least you can move forward having known.
What do you think can build confidence in more women?