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The most obvious form of this is attention focused on our looks or “attractiveness”. Even if we define beauty for ourselves, male attention can still impact our self-esteem.
We live in a society where (even though it’s changing) men still call a lot of the shots. Male attention, focus and praise can be a factor in how we perceive our own value, whether that’s in the office, in the work we do, or even from strangers we see on the street.
The same study I referenced earlier found that four in 10 women over 50 said they felt less confident due to missing out on male attention. If you practice separating how you feel about yourself from how men feel about you—your confidence naturally grows.
Ask yourself what your self-esteem is based on!
We’re raised to base our self-esteem and confidence on external things. How much praise we get, how much we’re paid, how much recognition we get or how we look.
Even when we don’t base our self-esteem on external praise, we’re still absorbing messages all the time that say we should.
Your opinion is the one that matters here. Try asking yourself what traits you really value—in others, and yourself. Do you value caring? Strength? Perseverance? Humor? Creativity? Kindness? Then find examples of those traits in yourself and your own life.
Make a practice of reminding yourself which intrinsic traits and values are important to you—and remember which traits you have!
Define beauty for yourself.
Everyone wants to take pleasure in their own unique beauty.
From childhood, we are bombarded with messages about what makes a woman beautiful. Almost every single one of those messages tells us that a beautiful woman is a young woman. Of course, youth has a very special beauty! But so do all the other phases of life.
For the most part, in the media, women in those other phases of life are ignored. So it’s pretty easy to unconsciously equate “beautiful” with “young.” That unconscious belief can wreak havoc on our self-esteem.
Ask yourself: do you really think only young people are beautiful? Probably not, right? I bet you can think of a ton of examples of exquisitely beautiful people in all phases of life.
Just the practice of purposely looking for examples of beauty can do wonders for your confidence. Once you define beauty for yourself, it becomes a whole lot easier to see your own uniqueness as beautiful.
What do you think of these tips? Do you already do all this? Are you inspired to try? We’d love to know in the comments.