Girl Code author, master life coach, and founder of the Champagne Diet blog, Cara Alwill Leyba, believes that within all of us lies the keys to confidence. That no matter how insecure we may feel, we all have the power to transform ourselves from shrinking violets into bright, commanding sunflowers — all by turning inward and making simple changes to the way we think. By reframing our thoughts, we can start small and work our way up to significant life changes, all while building a strong foundation of confidence.
In her latest book, Like She Owns the Place, Cara outlines strategies to transform our thinking about a variety of topics, including beauty, vulnerability, success, self-love, and self-sabotage. She details how she altered her own thinking to change her life for the better, and it’s nothing short of inspiring.
Below are seven small ways you can learn to tweak your thinking and start feeling more confident and comfortable in your own skin.
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1. Stop Apologizing All the Time
Many women recognize that they throw a “sorry” at everything — even stuff that isn’t their fault. If this is a familiar habit, begin by listing the things you’re done apologizing for. Then the next time one of those situations arises, practice leaving out the “I’m sorry” when asking for what you want or stating how you feel. In other situations, try changing your phrasing. Say “pardon me” when you accidentally bump into someone or say “thank you for your patience” after making someone wait.
2. Be Your Own Permission Slip
Do you feel guilty about everything? It’s time to check guilt at the door and give yourself permission to make and own decisions that are in your best interest. By owning your choices and stepping “wholeheartedly into [your] power” you learn how to do what’s best for you without the attached guilt. Over time, you’ll start feeling effortlessly confident when making decisions — and recognize that no has to give you permission except you.
3. “Believe It Then Be It,” Don’t “Fake It Till You Make It”
“Faking something implies you don’t have what you need, in this exact moment, to be your best self. That’s untrue,” Cara explains. Instead, you must tap into the feeling of who you want to be and believe it with every ounce of your being. Truly believing that you can achieve your dreams redirects your energy towards hitting your goals, rather than wasting it on worry, self-doubt, and insecurity.
4. Swap Your To-Do List with a Celebration List
If an incomplete to-do list consistently leaves you in a negative headspace at day’s end, it’s time to reframe your thinking. Instead, make a celebration list of all the things you accomplished — including eating a healthy breakfast or making time for exercise. Reviewing accomplishments helps build momentum which breeds confidence, and this simple trick helps retrain your brain to frame things in a positive light instead of a negative one.
5. A Plot Twist Isn’t a Reason to Close the Book on Your Dreams
We’ve all been there — chugging along confidently in the direction of our dreams when suddenly, the Universe throws a wrench in the works. But instead of viewing our failures as reasons to quit, we should view them as opportunities to learn and grow. By reframing our failures, we learn to take them in stride and see them as the building blocks of success. Review your achievements. You’ll quickly realize nothing worth having ever comes easy.
6. Empowered Women Don’t Poll
It’s true — confident women don’t go around asking for permission, and that’s because it’s the fastest way to self-doubt. When you poll everyone about a decision, you may get plenty of “answers” but little reassurance. Instead, practice a gut check where you observe your feelings about something without judgment, then try acting on that intuition. Start small and work your way up to the big stuff if you have to — before long, you’ll recognize that the little voice inside your head won’t steer you wrong.
7. When All Else Fails, Remember the Big Picture
While it may sound morbid, it doesn’t make it any less true — we all get one life, no do-overs, so it’s best to operate from a place with little regret. Don’t spend so much time worrying about what others will think or say about you because, in the scheme of things, it doesn’t really matter. Make YOU and your feelings a priority. Everyone else’s are just noise.
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