Confidence, self-care and self-love have burst on to the scene since we started scrolling the gram. You only have to type the word self-care into google to see an array of candle lit rooms, women in bubble baths and avocado facemasks but the truth is (even though we do love a bubble bath) the ongoing plight for self-acceptance, confidence and self-love is no easy feat.
According to a new report commissioned by Dove, a staggering 89 per cent of Australian women are opting to cancel plans, job interviews or other important engagements simply because of how they look.
More than 10,500 women and girls were questioned as part of The Dove Global Beauty and Confidence Report, which took answers from candidates aged between 10 and 60 and from 13 countries around the world. Their responses made up the statistics that formed the largest study the brand has ever commissioned.
For Australia, the data revealed that on a global level, we are on par with the UK in terms of body confidence ratings in the world — with just 20 per cent admitting to having high self-esteem.
Confidence is not a one size fits all approach, and while we might be confident at home, our confidence might take a hit at work when we are spoken over in a meeting or we find out our male counterpart who is doing the same role as us is getting paid more. Perhaps we might have fallen into debt, and so our confidence around money and making financial decisions slowly diminishes.
It takes an ongoing commitment to yourself that you will seek more of the things that make you feel amazing and on a more regular basis to find your groove again and in turn become the confident powerhouse you were born to be. We can already hear your mind ticking over telling you ‘But what about the kids after school activities?’, ‘I only have Tuesdays off work and that is the only day I can do the laundry, and who will get it done if I don’t?’, ‘I just don’t have the time!’…
Stop, take a deep breath, and lady listen up.
This blog is about prioritising you. Your needs. And doing more to find some inner peace and relaxation. The truth is, you’re not going to be at your best for your kids, your family, your friends or your work colleagues if you are burnt out. And why shouldn’t you make time for a little reset? We know you aren’t going through this life doing the least you can. We know you are a woman on a mission to make everyone around her happy and we know that there are times when you are exhausted and feeling blah.
We know because we feel it too. So, this is a time that you can take solace in the fact that a) You aren’t alone in this journey and b) There is zero guilt to be had in taking some time out for you.
In the lead up to writing this piece we asked confident friends, colleagues, and family members what they felt had most encouraged their self-confidence. We ended up with a list of suggestions, some were straight forward like get a spray tan, some were exciting like try a new workout routine and others were just terrifying, like skydiving for instance, um no thank you!
But where we did land (see what we did there?) was to start small and begin our gentle rebellion towards self-love and confidence while remembering confidence is not something we attain and then bank forever (it’s a bit like sleep really); we will continually have to work at it while we evolve, and change – it truly is an ongoing relationship that we will have to work at our whole lives. But it’s so damn worth it. OK, let’s do this!
There is no more space for negative self-talk.
Negative self-talk is a really toxic trait in women, and it can come in many forms (“I’m not good at this”, “I can’t do anything right!’…. Need we go on? We have all at some point had that pesky inner critic come to visit us, and usually when we are not feeling our best already. Focusing on negative thoughts may lead to decreased motivation as well as greater feelings of helplessness (which is a no-no for our mental health), plus it can lead to a lowered ability to see opportunities, as well as a decreased tendency to capitalise on these opportunities. Usually, the self-talk habit is one that has coloured our thinking for years and can affect us in many ways and influencing the experience of stress in our lives.
So, what if we could harness and use that voice to be helpful instead of harmful? This same voice can help us to stay motivated towards our goals, tell us how fab we look in our new jeans, or remind us that we are having a REALLY good hair day. It’s time to replace negative statements with positive ones.
Next time you find yourself mentally complaining about something, rethink your assumptions. Are you assuming something is a negative event when in fact it doesn’t need to be?
For example, having your plans cancelled at the last minute can be seen as a negative, but what you do with your newly-freed schedule could become the best thing you’ve done all week. So, the next time you find yourself stressing about something or deciding you’re not up to a challenge, stop and rethink, and see if you can come up with a neutral or positive replacement.
Another favourite of ours is removing self-limiting statement like “I can’t handle this!” or “This is impossible!” and changing them in to a question like “How can I handle this?” or “How is this possible?” – doesn’t this sound more hopeful straight away?
Damn, I look good!
Though only a quick fix, we loved the idea of a mini makeover to have you feeling your best. Hate your bottom teeth when you smile? Look into Invisalign. Not loving being hung over on a Sunday? Then dry February is ready if you are! Jeans too tight? Then buy the size up without feeling crappy about it. If your confidence is lacking when you look in the mirror then why not change it up a little? Treat yourself to an updated colour and cut in a salon, we promise when that cape comes off you will feel like a new woman. But if the low self-confidence goes deeper than a fresh cut can handle chatting with a professional about your lack of confidence is a great way for a longer term fix that future you will thank you for. Don’t be afraid to ask around, most of the incredible women we know all do therapy too!
Have you tried a Holistic approach?
While modern-day western medicine has brought many wonderful and life-saving advancements, one of the downfalls of western medicine is the often-siloed approach to health, which looks at the body in sections of individual symptoms and pieces rather than the whole system it really is.
This is why holistic health is so important because to truly achieve optimal wellness in the physical, mental, and spiritual sense we have to be viewing and supporting the body as the incredible system it is. Holistic health is as a form of healing that looks at the whole person and their physical, emotional, social, spiritual and mental health as a whole. This kind of holistic healing often involves multiple and ‘alternative’ health care practices to help you find wellness on a deeper level. Some alternative healthcare practices that often are found within the realm of holistic health are:
Confidence comes in many pillars and the great news is that you can build your confidence relatively quickly, however like any form of self-development timings will be different for each individual and it really does depend on whether you are ready to out the work in. You have to understand first what is holding you back, then work on that/those issues first that way you have a clean slate to strut into your new confident life.