How To :: On Being Confident in 3 Steps

Be Feared.

Be honest. How often do you feel lacking in your body or your abilities? I (Em, here!) used to look at myself in the mirror, and catalog all of my faults: the stretch marks on my body, the gap between my teeth, the fat on my stomach and thighs. I would wrap a tape measure around my waist and tell myself three more centimeters and my life would all come together.

But it didn't. Nope. Not even a little bit.

There are extra pounds on my body I'll probably never lose, dimples that won't ever go away, and worry lines on my forehead that are a reminder of the poor way I treated my body for too long, but you know what? I don't care anymore. Not in a melodramatic, still always thinking about it kind of way, but in a real, I've made peace with my body kind of way.

I don't need validation to feel sexy, strong, or worthy. I also don't need validation to speak my mind, share my truth, or honor my education. Does that mean people fear me? Great question. It would be foolish to say speaking my mind and owning who I am doesn't intimidate some people. But I say that is 100% a sad reflection of who they are, not me. Imagine if I dulled myself down to meet their expectations and allowed them power to validate all I've become. I would be boring, this blog wouldn't be around, and I'd probably be so filled with hatred I wouldn't know what to do with myself. 

So everyday I wake up and tell myself I'm kick ass, I run this world, and how playing small would be a disservice to this world. Then I layer my eyelashes in seven coats of mascara and practice my wink in the mirror (which never seems to improve despite my daily attempts).

Here are my 3 go-to confidence tricks:

1. Look at yourself in the mirror and catalog your favorite parts.

At first it might be silly things like a piece of blond hair that hasn't turned gray yet or the curve where your neck meets your shoulder. Think of confidence as a game: the more you practice give it your all, the better and stronger you feel. Those favorite parts might not appeal to anyone else, but if they appeal to you, play them up and make everyone notice. If you love your shoulder blades, wear dresses with cutouts in the back. If you love your lips, paint them red and flash smiles to everyone you see. If you love your belly, rock crop tops and strike a pose. Amendment: everyone strike a pose.

2. Write out your successes, big and small.

Give yourself permission to celebrate the successes in your life. Large or small, own your hard work. Keeping a list of your accomplishments reminds you how many times you did the seemingly impossible, were extremely powerful and strong, and triumphed in an area that you love or worked hard in which to thrive. There's nothing wrong with being in awe of all you do. I think being cocky has a poor connotation, but if you look at any person of historical significance, they didn't get their recognition without first recognizing it for themselves. If you rocked a presentation, own it. If you lifted a heavier set of weights, celebrate it. If you woke up this morning and didn't let all of your stress wash over you like a tidal wave, throw your hands in the air, and say woohoo! Own it and make it known to yourself and to the world.  

3. Stop waiting for someone to tell you what you want to hear.

How miserable to sit around waiting for someone to read you mind. If you want to hear you are beautiful, tell yourself. Tell others you love your softness. Do what you think is right with 100% conviction, and you'll never be wrong. Stop having doubts. They'll creep in and take over your life if you don't clip them back, and throw them out. If you want someone to profess their love, be the first one to say it. If you want the job of your dreams, send them an email or call them up on the phone. Don't sit around and tell yourself you're a hopeless cause. You aren't. Have gumption and give yourself what you've been waiting for someone else to give you: love, hope, & strength.

And when all else fails, look fierce, don't take no for an answer
(unless we're talking consent here), and fake it 'til you make it.

No one said it would be easy, but it's worth it to fall in love with yourself and hold all of the power. That's what that quote is about. When you no longer depend on others to tell you how great/accomplished/attractive you are, you hold all of the power. Some people fear the fearless. Make them fear you. If you're worried about being the only person on top, I promise you won't be alone. But you will have a pretty kick-ass tribe.

+ I'm curious. What do you do for an extra confidence boost?

P.S. Use the hashtag #thegreatvibesguide for anything that makes you feel like doing the happy dance or expressing your imperfectly perfect self.

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