While most people who see me online consider me a very confident person, you must know that for almost a decade of my adult life, I was very insecure in most areas of my life. I cared what people thought of me way too much.
I would stay up worrying about certain friendships, and I gossiped with my girlfriends to try and fit in. I was obsessed with eating clean and working out – I mean, God forbid that I would be bigger than a size 4. I was critical about my appearance and felt the need to say yes to everything so people knew how helpful I was. The problem is that I’m only one person who can handle so much, so eventually I had an emotional and physical breakdown in 2009. I remember crying my eyes out and journaling for hours until my hand hurt. I needed to get all of those insecurities out of my head and onto paper.
I eventually got healthy and learned what I needed to do to become a confident woman. I mean, isn’t that what all of us want? To be confident and love who we are?
If you’re in your head yelling “Yes! That’s me!!” then, this next part is for you… so grab a journal or paper and be ready to take notes. Here are 8 habits that are easier said than done, but that lay the groundwork for the confidence you’ve been longing for:
1. She takes time to process what she’s feeling.
Have you ever been triggered by something you read online or felt anxious when you hang around a certain family member? Well, confident women get curious about why they’re feeling the way they do and where it’s coming from. Getting in a healthy habit of processing your feelings will bring more awareness to your life and also help you work through your emotions.
ACTION STEP: Purchase a journal and a new pen and carve out one hour a week to journal to start with. Could be a few minutes a day or one whole hour all at one time.
2. She lives with purpose.
If you’re going through life on autopilot, you’re missing out. This world needs your talents and gifts, and when you purposefully use those talents and gifts, you’ll start to feel more confident.
ACTION STEP: Start figuring out your purpose by asking these questions: What are you good at? What do you like to do? What does this world need from you? Now…go do it!
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3. She enjoys her alone time.
Reveling in a few moments to yourself during the day to relax and feel free of other obligations is a must for your emotional, mental, and spiritual health.
ACTION STEP: Make room for yourself to be alone! Try going to dinner or a movie theater alone, or maybe schedule a time when the kids are in bed to take a nice hot bubble bath.
4. She knows when to say no.
A confident woman knows what she can and cannot tolerate and doesn’t make apologies. She communicates in love, but also with honesty, that she cannot do certain things. For example, “I would love to help you on Saturday but it’s my one day off of work and I need some down time.”
ACTION STEP: Say “NO” to even just ONE thing this week that you don’t have room on your plate for and challenge yourself to be at peace with that!
5. She surrounds herself with safe people.
When I think of the word “safe,” I think of someone who will accept me when I’m happy and when I’m at my worst. That no matter what, they see my value and will push me to be a better person. Confident women surround themselves with positive, encouraging, safe, loving and empathetic women who do not gossip or try to compete.
ACTION STEP: Evaluate your friendships in your life and get really honest about who is safe and healthy for you to hang out with and who is toxic and unhealthy. Create boundaries where necessary, and then, tell your safe friends how much you appreciate them!
6. She values self-care.
There are hundreds, maybe even thousands of self-care tips, and a confident woman understands the importance of making herself a priority. I love the quote, “You can’t pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself first.” Confidence comes from knowing your worth and making time for your emotional, physical and spiritual health is essential.
ACTION STEP: Reflect on how full or empty your cup is and think of some practical ways for you, personally, to keep your cup full so you can keep pouring out! My women’s course has tons of self-care tips and suggestions too.
7. She doesn’t try and please others.
There is no need to get approval from others for confident women. They do not compromise their own ideas to please others.
ACTION STEP: The next time you catch yourself doing or saying something to get approval from others, STOP ✋, take a deep breath, and internally resolve to let go of that desire. Instead, choose to be confident in who you are. Journal through the insecurities you have and work it out on paper.
8. She doesn’t live with regret.
A confident woman thinks wisely about her decisions. She chooses courage, meaning that she does what is RIGHT over what is EASY. So when you encounter a situation, good or bad, learn from it and be grateful that you had that experience to shape you into an even better person.
ACTION STEP: Stop and pause before you make choices. Think through the real and very possible consequences or outcomes. Look at a 360° view, if you can. Make wise choices to the best of your ability, and give yourself grace for the rest. No one is perfect, after all!
Written by Meygan Caston
Meygan Caston is the co-founder of Marriage365 and lives in Orange County California with her husband Casey and their two children. She loves the beach, dance parties, writing, spa days, and helping couples connect in their marriage. Her life-long dream is to walk the Camino, have lunch with Brené Brown, and get on The Price is Right.