“You’re so confident. There is something magnetic about you when you walk into a room,” a friend said to me at a dinner party. I was baffled because on the drive there, my social anxiety showed up and I was feeling like my 15-year-old self again. When I walked in, it felt like a blur of faces because I hate being late and having everyone stare at me as I come in. So, my friend saying this to me made me wonder if I was just a really good actress or if it just meant the love I had for myself, despite my anxiety and nervous nature, showed through. I was happy to learn it was the latter.
It took me decades to learn being confident and loving yourself doesn’t mean you always have it together and have nothing but good days. Valuing yourself doesn’t translate to never having feelings of doubt or insecurity. Knowing your worth just means there are certain things you will never succumb to, no matter how you feel in that moment. Truly loving who you are means you accept all parts of you, even the difficult aspects, with grace and adoration.
I definitely would not have been called someone confident years ago. My lack of self-love showed through in my demeanor and my decisions. Through many life experiences that shaped me and mindful self-healing work that helped me become better, I now get comments like my friend gave me that night all the time. I remember studying and observing women who I admired that exuded elegance and poise and never seeing certain reactions or actions taken by them.
I now find I also never do certain things that misalign me from my highest self that are stemmed from true confidence and self-empowered love. Such as:
1. Speak Negatively
Whether it’s about myself or others. I truly believe in the power of the words you think and speak, so I always try to speak positively or not at all. For example, if I have put on a few pounds, I joke about it or call it happy weight. I no longer put myself or others down. I don’t care to gossip or insult anyone. It’s not natural to me and feels wrong when I’m around others who do. I either want to lift people up or just let them be.
2. Pretend To Have it All Together
Going off of how we speak, I believe confident women are also raw and authentic. Just because you don’t speak negatively or complain doesn’t mean you have no struggles, insecurities, or disappointments. I will openly and lovingly tell my story and share my chaos. I just make sure I do it without oversharing details, because a woman who values herself also values her privacy. She holds her relationships sacred. I just share my past pain but I never let it define me.
As Theodore Roosevelt said, comparison is the thief of joy. With the age of social media, this thief has taken over on a whole other level, especially for women. The standard for beauty, success and how to live your life is molded into something unrealistic and unattainable. We’ve all fallen victim to it. I had to learn to practice being mindful about what I allowed myself to see and feel. The more I did this, and most importantly, the more I focused on being my best self, the less I cared what anyone else was doing. When you truly love yourself, you have tunnel vision for your own life and goals, unbothered by how others choose to live their lives.
4. Do What Everyone Else is Doing
The most powerful women are the ones who pave their own paths. They can understand everyone on a deeper level, but most cannot really relate to them because they do things differently. I quit my 9-5 corporate job to pursue my passion and purpose by becoming a writer and spiritual mentor and creating my own self-development lifestyle brand. If I am in a social gathering that is draining me of my energy, I will leave with no apology. If someone does something petty or shady towards me, I will either call them out or cut them off with no explanation. While all my peers were listening to modern rap/trap music, I was listening to Otis Redding. I always marched to the beat of my own drum, and that radiates confidence.
5. Stay Where They are Not Appreciated
Can you imagine a woman who knows her power staying in relationships or friendships that undermine her or put her down? Would she stay in a job that doesn’t appreciate her creativity and input? No, because that is a woman who doesn’t yet know her true power. The most self-assured people never do things that do not match their values and morals. They never stay where there is disloyalty, hierarchy, unjust, or abusive behavior.
6. Not Take Care Of Themselves
I used to hold back from getting my nails done or buying the dress I liked. I used to eat junk food every day and didn’t move my body. I didn’t pray, meditate, or have faith in anything, especially myself. I began living a healthy lifestyle while letting myself indulge here and there without guilt. I found exercise I actually looked forward to like yoga, dance, and kickboxing. I took bubble baths, did my morning and evening skincare, and always had my nails done. I indulged my divine feminine with new dresses and massages. Aside from physical self-care, I also took care of my individual needs. As an introvert, I allowed for plenty of alone time to recharge and be creative. I set boundaries with the people around me to protect my energy. The more I took care of my body and mind, the more my vibration of self-love increased.
7. Dim Their Light
This is one thing I used to feel guilty for. Sometimes, when I would walk into that room feeling like my light was bright because of how much I had been nourishing my soul, regardless of my inner anxiety, I felt I had to dim it. I thought maybe I was being too kind, too funny, too bold, too in touch with my inner compass—just too much. I’d see dirty looks or feel like I was triggering someone’s low self-worth, so I’d go down to their level. The more my self-love grew, however, the less I did that. I let myself shine, share my light, and glow from inner peace.