8 habits to drop today to boost your confidence

8 habits to drop today to boost your confidence

Want to feel happier and more confident this year? Then it’s time to kick some bad habits to the kerb…

Want to feel happier and more confident this year? Then it’s time to kick some bad habits to the kerb…

While you probably worked hard to boost your daughter’s – and maybe even your granddaughter’s – self-esteem, when was the last time you stopped to think about your own? If you’d like to start this year off in a positive way and want to know how to be more confident, we’ve got some advice you’ll appreciate. Here are eight things you need to stop doing to feel happier and more self-assured than ever.

1. Comparing yourself to the younger you

It’s easy to look back on photographs or videos and yearn for your younger self’s looks, talents or confidence, but remind yourself that you are the same person you were then – just with even more skills, knowledge and life experience.

Write down your three proudest accomplishments after 50, and focus on the skills you’ve acquired because of that. And if it helps in maintaining a positive outlook to life, consider other successful women of your age – Meryl Streep wouldn’t waste time focusing on her negatives, would she?

2. Forgetting to make time for yourself

When was the last time you shut out the outside world and gave yourself some me-time? For some, that involves quiet solitude – not answering the phone, replying to emails or going to the door.

For others, it’s all about enjoying some pampering time, to remind yourself that you are important; that’s why you should always choose products that make you feel good – Pantene Repair & Protect Shampoo and Conditioner will leave your hair feeling and looking stronger than you’d thought possible. If you find it difficult to relax, try relaxation and stress-relief exercises. Whatever it is, do it regularly – making yourself a priority will be one of the smartest things you’ll ever do.

3. Focusing on the past

Studies show that when we are focused on the moment – rather than ruminating over the past or even looking ahead – we’re at our happiest. By all means celebrate the past and those lovely memories, but make sure you’re engaged with what’s happening right here and now, too.

4. Making negative jokes about your body

It’s easy to kid yourself – or others – that by making throwaway comments about yourself or your body, you’re only ‘joking’, but the effects can be damaging. If you’ve ever called yourself ‘fat’ or ‘old’, you were giving yourself a label to adhere to. Instead, start talking to yourself and your body in the way you’d talk to a friend. Don’t be rude, don’t offend them and instead be kind, complimentary and gracious. You’ll feel better for it.

5. Ignoring your talents

Ask yourself what you love doing, and chances are it’s something you’re pretty good at. As we get older, it’s easy to discard hobbies, skills or talents and tell ourselves there’s something more important to do. But as well as helping us connect with others, using our skills and getting stuck into new hobbies improves our confidence and fuels our creativity, too – meaning it’s definitely something you should be prioritising.

6. Limiting yourself

‘What if I fail? What if I embarrass myself?’ are thoughts that most of us have when it comes to trying something new. But often the only reason we fail is because of the limits we place upon ourselves.

Stop holding yourself back and telling yourself you can’t do something – whether it’s a dance class with friends at your local gym, or starting up a business after the age of 50. Once you remember that anything is possible, you might just be amazed at what you can do.

7. Slouching

Harvard researcher Amy Cuddy brought the world the ‘power pose’ – which explains that standing for two minutes in the pose (think ‘Wonder Woman’: feet flat on the ground, shoulders square and hands on hips) can help you feel up to 40% more powerful than sitting with your arms crossed. Research also suggests that people with good posture have more confidence in their thoughts than slouchers – reason enough to perk up yours?

8. Taking everything so seriously

There are certain things it pays to be serious about – taxes, doctors’ appointments, parenting – but other things? Not so much. If you find yourself taking jokes too seriously, or questioning lighthearted comments more than your peers or family, then your confidence will probably be taking a knocking too.

Find your funny bone again by listening to podcasts that make you laugh, watching DVDs of your favourite comedians or simply reminding yourself of the humour in day-to-day situations. Or, failing that, is it time to organise a girls’ night out with your dearest friends…?

Have any other confidence-boosting tips to share? Comment below with your ideas to help other Victoria readers make this year their happiest and most confident yet.

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