I’ve talked about a few aspects of our lives that need evaluating, whether it be body shaming or the connotation of arrogance. I’ve even talked about my story, and I let you know when I have bad weeks.
However, I haven’t really talked about how we can increase our confidence.
Of course, stopping the body shaming and being kind to ourselves and others can help us become more confident in ourselves. However sometimes you need to just look at yourself as a whole in order to help increase your confidence.
Here’s a few body confidence tips that have helped me in the past. I still have a way to go, but all of these have helped me increase my confidence just that little bit more. If you have any more suggestions please let me know! We can all help each other out to become much more confident people.
Roll your shoulders back and stand up straight:
Even if you’re having a bad day confidence wise, there are ways to look confident to the outside world. If you’re hunched over and hiding away, then people will know you’re not confident. Which is fine, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks after all. But it’ll make you feel bad and self-conscious. If you keep your back straight and your head up you will feel more confident, as well as looking so. And even if you’re having a really bad day and this doesn’t seem to work…do it anyway. Because being able to keep your head up even at the worst times will make you feel confident in the long run. This really works with me, especially as my problem area is my stomach and keeping straight hides this away.
Give yourself compliments everyday:
It might seem silly at first. But try to not concentrate on what you don’t like, and focus on what you do. I have a few problems areas that do seem to crowd me sometimes, but I just try to think of what I like and force them to knock out the bad.
Accentuate your favourite areas:
I’m not overly keen on my stomach or the tops of my thighs, but my calves are fabulous. So I tend to wear clothes that hide these problems areas and put the focus on my legs. I know some of you will be thinking ‘oh I have no favourite areas’, but even in my darkest days I could find just one little thing to help me. Search for it, and you’ll find it. Even if it’s a facial feature you love, put your favourite make-up on on a bad day and odds are you’ll feel confident about that part of you. And that’ll be the main focus for everyone else, too.
But try not to just see it as a way to lose weight/better yourself. I fell into this trap earlier this year, going to the gym 6 days a week not just because I liked it, but because I wanted results fast. But it didn’t happen, and I was left miserable and tired.
Exercise because you want to be fit and healthy, and odds are you’ll enjoy it a bit more. If it changes your body for the better, well hey that’s great. But that’s not the point of why we’re doing this. We need to exercise to keep our energy levels up, our enodorphin’s up, and to keep healthy. It’ll make you feel so much better once you get home. I mean, yes my stomach is a bit bigger than the rest of me but I can run at least 6 miles without stopping, so I win.
Just do it:
Nike has a point. But not just when it comes to exercise.
I think the main source of fear when it comes to confidence is the dreaded ‘bikini body’. I remember seeing something online that said ‘Want a bikini body? Put on a bikini. There, you have a bikini body’, and I agree with it. We all have bikini bodies, and we all look ruddy great in them. I haven’t been seen in a bikini for 6 years, and I’m scared to. But you know what? I’m going to challenge myself when I next go on holiday. Even if I’m terrified I’m still going to take off that kaftan/towel and strut to the swimming pool like I own the place. I’m just going to do it. If you never do the things you’re afraid of you will never progress.
And this doesn’t just deal with body confidence. Are you scared to send off that job application because you don’t think you’re good enough? You think you won’t get a reply right? Just send it. They definitely won’t email you if you don’t email first. You are brilliant, and you will get far in life. But only if you just do it.
Try and stop the bad habits:
I got into a really bad habit a few months ago. Every single day, around 20 times (I’m not even exaggerating) I would spend at least 2 minutes staring at my stomach in the mirror. And it was so depressing. It didn’t do me any favours, it just knocked my confidence more and more. Recently I haven’t allowed myself to spend so much time pondering in the mirror. If I find myself walking to the mirror and lifting up my top I tell myself ‘who cares, you’re beautiful’ and force myself to walk away. If you find yourself in a similar situation that makes you feel awful, try to stop. Maybe tell someone what you’re doing and ask them to help you stop it. Or do my next step…
Tell yourself you’re beautiful:
Especially in front of the mirror. You don’t have to think of any compliments for yourself. Literally just look yourself up and down, say ‘You are beautiful’, nod at yourself, and then get on with your day. It gives me a sense of happiness when I do it, I hope it works with you too.
I hope at least one of these helps you to feel more confident. These are huge steps, I know they sound scary and I know you won’t want to do them, but they should help. I know that when you’re feeling really unconfident you think it will never get better, because I’ve been in that position too. But try one of these today, you need to make a start. Once you start it’ll get easier, I promise.