Confidence is a trait that we all aspire to possess, but for many mature women, it can often feel elusive. Whether it’s imposter syndrome, the results of ageism and societal pressures, or personal insecurities, it’s easy to feel like we’re not measuring up.
But what if I told you that confidence is not an innate quality that some people are blessed with and others are not? What if I told you that confidence is a habit that can be cultivated and developed over time?
In this article, we’ll be delving into the habits of confident women and exploring the lessons that we can learn from them. From setting boundaries to practising self-care, we’ll be uncovering the key habits that confident women incorporate into their daily lives.
What are the habits of confident women?
Confident women tend to have certain habits in common that help them feel more self-assured and in control. They understand that growth and progress come from stepping outside of their comfort zones, embracing imperfection. and taking chances.
“The temptation to say -I’m not good enough; I can’t do it- exists for everyone at some point, in some circumstance. We’ve all heard -My mother didn’t praise me enough- or -No one in my family is very confident-. But when we write off confidence as purely a twist of genetic or environmental fate, we’re shutting off possibilities that could change our lives“, say Claire Shipman and Katty Kay, authors of The Confidence Code. “We don’t need to be stuck in that pattern of self-doubt. It’s a matter of pushing yourself to action over inaction, even in a man’s world“.
Confident women know that no one is perfect and that making mistakes is a natural part of the learning process. Rather than beating themselves up over their flaws and shortcomings, they view them as opportunities for growth and improvement.
The benefits of confidence
Confidence has numerous benefits, both in our personal and professional lives. When we’re confident, we’re more likely to try new things and pursue our goals with determination and enthusiasm no matter what our age.
We’re also more resilient in the face of setbacks and challenges, as we believe in our ability to overcome obstacles and bounce back from failure.
Confidence also affects how others perceive us. When we project confidence, we’re more likely to be seen as credible, competent, and trustworthy. We’re also more likely to attract positive relationships and opportunities, as people are drawn to those who exude self-assurance and positivity.
The consequences of lacking confidence
On the flip side, lacking confidence can have serious consequences for our lives and well-being. When we don’t believe in ourselves, we’re less likely to pursue our dreams or speak up for ourselves. This can lead to missed opportunities, unfulfilled potential, and a sense of stagnation in our lives.
Lacking confidence can also have negative effects on our mental health. When we constantly doubt ourselves and our abilities, we may experience anxiety, depression, and self-doubt. We may also struggle with imposter syndrome, feeling like a fraud and questioning whether we deserve our accomplishments.
How to develop confidence
If you’re struggling with confidence in midlife, know that it’s never too late to do something that can be developed and strengthened over time.
“You don’t get to -choose confidence- and then stop thinking about it as your life miraculously changes around you”, continue Claire Shipman and Katty Kay. “It’s certainly not as simple as clicking a box to add self-confidence to your list of attributes. There’s no glossy or beguilingly easy confidence prescription. When we say confidence is a choice, we mean it’s a choice we can make to act, to do, or to decide. This idea of confidence as a choice opens doors in every direction. It’s a sense of self, rather than just a sense of achievement“.
Confidence is a result of trial and error, out of repeating an activity over and over again. It is something that often comes out of failure, a natural part of the learning process and an opportunity to grow and improve. Taking risks is in fact an important aspect of building confidence. When we step outside of our comfort zones and try new things, we learn new skills and gain valuable experience.
Confident women often start small and gradually work their way up to bigger tasks. They take time to consider the potential outcomes of their actions and develop a plan for how to handle different scenarios.
They also cultivate a confident mindset. Rather than dwelling on their weaknesses, they focus on their strengths and what they have to offer, imagining themselves achieving their goals and visualizing what that success looks and feels like.
Above all, they master the power of positive self-talk and reframe negative thoughts in a more positive light. They know how important is to practice gratitude as well as acknowledge their big and small accomplishments.
Rather than striving for perfection, they focus on making progress and improving over time, practising self-compassion when things don’t go as planned.
Inspirational stories of confident women
Being different, however, is also part of the story of every highly successful woman who has overcome her fears and achieved great things.
Amongst those ladies who serve as powerful examples of how confidence can be cultivated and developed over time are:
- Oprah Winfrey
Oprah overcame a difficult childhood and numerous setbacks to become one of the most successful and influential women in the world.
- Serena Williams
Despite facing discrimination and criticism throughout her career, Serena has become one of the greatest tennis players of all time.
- J.K. Rowling
The billionaire author of the iconic “Harry Potter” series struggled with finances at one time. Living in a two-bedroom house with her daughter, the newly-divorced Rowling struggled to survive on state assistance. However, through this time of great struggle, Rowling pushed through and decided she would make her dreams a reality on her own terms.
- Iris Apfel
One of the most vivacious personalities in the worlds of fashion and interior design, who led a career in textiles, including a contract with the White House that spanned nine presidencies, Iris has used her charisma to challenge prejudices and cliches about age and what mature women are supposed to be in the third act of their life.“I never thought that I couldn’t do something because I was a woman. I wanted to start a fabric business, so I just figured out how to do it. If I and thought about opening Old World Weavers too much, I probably wouldn’t have pursued my dream. Sometimes you just have to take action, even if it is a small step. In my ninety-some years of walking planet Earth, I have applied this philosophy to living — and dressing — and it has never steered me wrong.” she said.
Confidence is not an inherent trait that some people are born with and others are not. It’s a quality that can be developed and strengthened through practice and repetition.
So the next time you doubt yourself, just remember to think less and keep moving. In the end, life unfolds at its own pace, not by the timelines we have set in our minds, but being confident is certainly the best way to be on the right track to achieving our goals and reinventing our midlife.