Self Confidence for Women

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Margaret Thatcher in 1975
"Margaret Thatcher, UK's only female prime minister!" courtesy of BlatantNews

We women can gain an insight into any lack of self confidence by delving into some handy scientific research. The differences between mens' and womens' brains show that women are more likely to worry than men.

How many of you ladies miss out on fun and opportunity because you are too busy worrying?

For women, lack of self confidence is built upon worry and procrastination. Women who tend to ruminate rather than act are less likely to:

  • Feel comfortable in new situations
  • Relax when things don’t go to plan
  • Seize an opportunity as it arises.

If, for women, self confidence is the ability to:

  • Face new challenges with optimism
  • Walk into a room full of people with wet hair and less-than-perfect make up
  • Still trust that a smile and a friendly manner will be what interests and engages others.

Then how can we learn to override the introspection that says “Things won’t be ok?

Women can learn self confidence

Self confidence, contrary to popular belief, isn’t always bestowed at birth; it can be learned.

Have you ever seen a child taking their first faltering steps? Despite falling down a thousand times, within a short space of time they are walking all over the place, then running, dancing and jumping. In the same way we can build a set of skills that enable us to feel better about ourselves.

So what confidence-destroyers are we women more prone to?

  • Natural nerves!
    Some nerves are natural for both sexes, a new date or an important meeting with your boss will often cause a few feelings of anxiety, the trick is not to waste time negatively predicting the outcome.
  • Catastrophising!
    When you think that you don’t look your best, maybe not had enough time to get ready or having put on a few pounds, one of those ‘honey I look a wreck!’ moments; it is easy to feel that everything else will go badly as a result. The sure thing is that if you dwell on that single thought you are not going to enjoy the event.
  • Negatively ruminating
    How often have you said “What if she really meant…?” “I know that Mary has invited us to their party, but I think she only invited us because she felt she had to?”
    Women tend to be more sensitive to others’ needs, and more aware of changes that might improve a situation or make it more comfortable for someone. Unchecked however, this ability to think things over can turn into over-analysis and make life miserable as this internal process leads to confusion, anxiety and inaction.

4 Tips To Build Confidence In Women

  1. The ability to relax
    When there is an event that naturally brings about a few butterflies, spend some time thinking about times that you have done well at something, remember what it is like to feel good, then take a few moments to imagine yourself with those feelings in the future.

    Notice how your posture, facial gestures and words feel and sound, and what a difference it makes to the enjoyment of any event. If it is a meeting or public performance, remember that preparation and a belief in a positive outcome are key, even if we can’t exactly predict the outcome we know that feeling relaxed releases the thinking part of the brain to get on with the job in hand to the best of our abilities.

  2. The shower that need not become a monsoon
    Just because one thing isn’t as we would like it, it doesn’t follow that the rest of the day or evening is going to be awful. Women who appear confident don’t let a bad hair day stop them from enjoying life.

    Make a list of the qualities that you have and next time that you tell yourself that you look awful and that the evening is ruined before it has started, remind yourself that you can’t see into the future!! And of the other things that make a good party apart from a perfect hair do. A recent survey said that people who smile a lot are rated more attractive than those who don’t.

  3. Developing an optimistic outlook
    Women are more likely to read more into facial gestures and voice intonation, a useful trait but sometimes we get it wrong. So before the miserable demons of ifs, whats and maybes get their teeth into your thought patterns, work on developing the power of optimism the tool that vanquishes negative rumination and allows the possibility of fun times.

  4. Action v rumination
    I have noticed that one of the key skills of women who appear confident is the ability to notice that even if they are feeling a little nervous inside they take their attention to the world around them.

    No longer dwelling on the internal chatter, they can enjoy the people they are with, they may also notice that they don’t have the longest legs or are not the liveliest woman in a room; but that is a fleeting thought and they carry on engaging and enjoying. Giving the people around top quality attention…. showing an interest makes them feel wonderful! They will remember it even if you spent a short time with them.

For women, contemplating our internal ruminations can be a creative process that leads to beneficial actions, fun times and rewarding relationships. Taken too far however, it becomes a road to inaction and anxiety.

Avoid paralysis by analysis

For maximum self confidence, women need to avoid paralysis-by-analysis so when opportunity strikes I am going for action! (Mind you, on the other hand…;-)

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About the author

Mark Tyrrell is a therapist, trainer and author and is the co-founder of Hypnosis Downloads, the web's busiest hypnosis site where you can get a cutting-edge hypnosis session for almost any situation.