Self-confidence: a matter of mind over body

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In today’s competitive world, where 24/7 media means that celebrities (and users of social media) are visible at every single minute of every day, where glossy advertisements and websites suggest that everybody can, and indeed should be, tall/beautiful/slim/clever, it can be difficult to maintain self-confidence. In fact, studies have shown that a lack of self-confidence is particularly likely to affect women and girls over the age of nine.

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But why should we care about self-confidence, what does it matter anyway? Well the basic truth is that very little of value was ever achieved without confidence. Self-confidence is needed for the best possible functioning of the body, intellect and emotions, it is an absolute necessity for mental and physical health. A lack of self-confidence depletes the self just as the proper level of self-confidence enhances it. That is why each individual should nurture his or her own self-confidence carefully: it is not self-indulgence, but positive health promoting behavior.

Self-confidence is often a visible quality; it makes for great posture, head held high and shoulders back. It is absolutely not the same as arrogance, which is a disproportionate valuation of one’s own importance and abilities. Rather, self-confidence is the rational, accepting evaluation of one’s own strengths and weaknesses, and calm belief in one’s own views and assessments.

Self confident women do not need to look outside themselves to assess their own worth, they know that, while nobody is perfect, they are as worthy of attention and admiration as anybody else. They also know that self-confidence is the key to wearing clothes well (and that weight has little to do with it, regardless of what the fashion magazines say). That is why most self confident women are happy to experiment with their look, trying out everything from evening gowns to sexy night gowns babydolls, bright make up and statement jewelry. A self-confident woman can make pretty much any outfit work, because it’s the posture and allure conveyed by that confidence that makes the difference.

So how can today’s woman nurture her own self-confidence? There are many ways, because the good news is that confidence is not innate – it is a learned and acquired skill. To gain confidence, it is helpful to shut out those elements that sap or drain it, and to take positive steps to enhance the sense of self. One such step is to identify positive role models and follow their lives and examples, rather than turning to the often vapid and trivial events surrounding celebrity. Another is to strive to live consciously, listening to one’s own inner voice and convictions rather than trusting blindly in the opinions of others. External opinions should be evaluated and assessed according to one’s own, inner, beliefs and ethics. This is the key to self-confidence, just as self-confidence is the key to healthy, mindful living that improves the life of a woman and all those who surround her.

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