Okay, so maybe that headline skewed a bit click-baitey, but really: don’t we all want to be a little sexier, a little freer, and a whole lot more confident in the next decade of our lives? The fact that we’re entering the twenties feels pretty major, and for me it’s been the perfect time to take stock of the type of person I want to be over the next 10 years.
I was at a dinner party a couple weeks ago when a friend posed the question for the table: “What’s one thing you want to leave behind in 2019, and one thing you want to carry with you into 2020?” My answer to the first part came to me immediately: I want to stop basing my actions on others’ opinions. I want to live in touch with my own inspiration and desires instead of living for others’ approval.
I want to fully inhabit a strong sense of self-confidence that’s unshaken by circumstance, comparisons, or anyone else’s metric of success.
At 35, I’ve been feeling the sense that if I’m not fully embracing who I am now, then when? Now is the time you guys, and that’s true no matter what age you are. The sooner you understand that it’s better to be a first rate version of yourself instead of a second rate version of someone else, you’ve figured out a major life truth — one that many people don’t ever fully claim as their own.
Can you think of a friend who is really comfortable in her own skin? That friend who wears what she wants, goes where she wants, and says what she thinks, regardless of others’ opinions about it. Now, remember the last time you were with her: did you feel especially at ease, knowing that she wasn’t grasping for approval and you could fully relax in her presence? Maybe you even wished that a bit of her confidence would rub off on you. It feels magnetic, charming, alluring, captivating, sexy.
Our editorial theme for the next few months is confidence. We’ll be exploring how to get more of it, as well as how to tame those parts of ourselves that get in the way (hello inner perfectionist and FOMO monster!) I’m especially excited about interviewing a few creative women who are trailblazers in their fields to uncover how they found their voice and had the confidence to share it. And since today is the first day of the new year and most of us are feeling ready to take some new habits for a spin, I’ll leave you with a few confidence builders you can try on this week:
- Smile and say hello to 3 strangers today. It’s almost shocking how people feel instantly attracted to you when you’re putting out that kind of positive energy.
- When you find yourself scrolling through social media, leave 3 positive comments on friends’ photos to brighten their day. The best way to get over “What do others think of me?” is to shift your focus to “How can I lift others up?”
- Spend 30 minutes in the morning journaling in response to this prompt: “What does “success” mean to me?” When you get clear on your personal values and priorities, you might realize that your definition of success looks different from the one that others may have for you.
- Practice good posture. The simple act of sitting/standing up straight and taking full, deep breaths is the best 1-second confidence booster.
- Schedule workouts on your calendar and stick to them. Exercise for energy, clarity, and to feel empowered. It works.
- Say “no” to something that’s not in line with how you actually want to be spending your time.
- Say “yes” to something that makes you feel purposeful and excited.