There's more to life than just being pretty. Self-confidence strongly impacts women's happiness and sense of fulfillment in life. And our sense of confidence derives mostly from our beliefs and attitudes about ourselves and our life experiences.
When you look in the mirror, your inner beliefs color how you view your outer appearance. The more authentically confident you feel inside, the more favorably you see yourself outside.
The question is, what makes someone a confident woman? It's more than just knowing the ways for how to be confident; it's about what you feel inside.
Yes, part of it is socialization and life experiences. But Dr. Louanne Brizendine, a neuropsychiatrist at the University of California and author of The Female Brain, tells us that there is also a negative and self-critical part of our brain, called the Anterior Cingular Cortex, which is actually larger and more influential in women (making women more self-critical).
As a result, ladies, hormone fluctuations in your brain take both your body AND your self-confidence on a roller coaster. And yet, there are some women who, despite upbringing and brain wiring, still radiate confidence. And that confidence attracts happier, more confident people to them.
So, do they only see perfection when they look at their reflection? Actually, no. Their view of themselves is surprisingly realistic. But the difference is, they see more than their physical features reflecting back at them. A truly confident woman also see the following six things when they look in the mirror:
1. They see beauty in their imperfections
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Confident women see their physical flaws (and acknowledge their inner emotional ones). Not only are they not afraid to admit their imperfections, more importantly, they don't define themselves by them. Nor do they presume that a few imperfections here or there diminish other attributes they possess that are unquestionably beautiful. In other words, a scar on your stomach does not diminish the beauty of your eyes.
Dr. Deepak Chopra states, in the co-authored book The Shadow Effect, "To have a shadow is not to be flawed, but complete." Confident women look at themselves honestly and embrace what they see. They live the principle: When we accept our imperfections, we discover our perfection, strengths and gifts within us.
2. They see their strength and their vulnerability
They look in the mirror, honoring the things they've faced and overcome, their resilience. Yes, they may have a need to please others. They may crave love, acceptance, or approval. Yet, they've learned how to balance this, so they don't loose too much of themselves pleasing others.
3. They see that confidence is always framed in fear and doubt
When they look in the mirror, they see self-love and confidence. They know what they're good at and they admire themselves for those strengths. But they also see their fears and self-doubt. By acknowledging those, by expecting them to exist on some level, their fears and doubts feel less intimidating.
Confident women trust their intuition and their ability to push through hard things (even if they feel fear while doing so). As the motivational speaker and life coach Tony Robbins says, "The quality of your life is in direct proportion to the amount of uncertainty that you can comfortably live with."
4. They see the results of their own choices
Confident women openly and honestly own their choices and behaviors, without blaming or shaming themselves or others. Whether it's a choice that impacts their financial bottom line or their waistline, they feel it's important to take responsibility for their own health and happiness.
They've overcome the false idea that it's other people's "job" to make them happy. They know not every choice they make is ultimately the best one, but celebrate the smart choices and learn from their missteps.
5. They see the heart of their values
Confident women live with clear purpose. They carefully choose the values that drive their lives and then infuse those values into their every day with enthusiasm. As they stand before the mirror, they see their purpose reflected back to them — they live this reflection with an "I can" attitude.
6. They see their light-hearted spirit shining (despite their struggles)
Do you know why angels can fly? Because they take themselves lightly. Confident women don't diminish their struggles, but they also don't take them too seriously. They know strife visits us all from time to time.
They admit their mistakes and embarrassing moments, and smile looking in the mirror knowing they've learned and grown from hard times. Despite that, they let their silly, fun, light-hearted childlike qualities move them through stress and challenge with more grace and ease.