Alright, ladies, let’s cut to the chase: our lack of self-confidence is reaching critical levels. Studies have shown that 78% of women are “unhappy with their bodies” by the time they’re 17 years old. Over half of women consider themselves to be their own worst critic when it comes to looks. As women gain more experience in the workplace, their self-esteem levels actually get lower. Women often don’t apply for jobs unless they feel they meet all the qualifications, while men are way more likely to apply even if they feel they just meet half of the qualifications. Let’s practice empowering ourselves and each other.
Don’t be afraid of applying for that job! The worst thing that can happen is that you just won’t get hired–and that won’t be the end of the world. The more you practice applying and interviewing, the more comfortable and skilled you will become. And once you get that job, remember that you don’t have to be immediately perfect–or ever completely perfect, for that matter. Try traveling by yourself somewhere, and take the risk of talking to people you meet on the airplane, in the hotel lobby, or at the bar. Practicing taking some risks–and always remind yourself how brave you are.
Let your clothes define what success means to you
We’re told to “dress for success,” or to dress as if we already got that promotion. Usually, when people say this, they are referencing business wear, but the truth is that some people just feel awkward and out of place dressing like that. Success, though, means different things to different people. You may be a person who does, in fact, feel great in business wear, or you may feel your most confident in well-made trendy or breezy clothes. You might love dressing for your job–and your job may involve working outside or teaching, where you can wear sturdy and safe-feeling outdoors wear or pulled-together but casual clothing that makes you more approachable.
When you accomplish something you’re proud of–getting a promotion, buying a new house, raising your first successful tomato plant–have a party! Get yourself a little treat, or record the event in your journal. Grab some pals and go have a great night at a fun Coos Bay Casino-type place that offers a fun environment in addition to the games. You’re not bragging; you’re just encouraging yourself to keep going! Your friends will be happy to do this for you, as you would for them.
Every day, find another woman and lift her up. Complimenting an outfit or look is great, but also aim for encouraging statements regarding actions and career. This is especially important when you meet little girls. Instead of commenting on their pretty dresses, you might ask them what books they’re reading. Emphasize that they’re importance relies on much more than looks (and remember that the same is true for you!). Send a note to your girlfriends telling them that you believe in them and think they’re great. More than likely, they’ll tell you the same thing back–and remember that they truly mean it, as do you.