What is self confidence and why do we still need it as we age? When you think about self confidence, what comes to mind? Many people might describe self confidence as feeling good about oneself, being proud of your accomplishments, and having a positive outlook on life.
All of these things are definitely part of feeling self confident, but there’s more to it than that. And are we able to hang onto it as we get older?
Why Self Confidence is Important
Overall self confidence is fundamental to living your best life.
In fact, and to tell you the truth, self confidence is really the best outfit you can wear after the age of 50.
What’s in this Post?
This post explores what self-confidence really is, why self confidence is important, and how you can continually boost it throughout your life.
- What is self confidence?
- Why do we need self confidence as we age?
- Why am I losing self confidence as I get older?
- How to improve your self confidence.
- 3 Ways to help boost your self esteem and feel better about yourself.
- 5 confidence building exercises.
- My self confidence formula
- Why friends are so important.
- Best books about self confidence.
What is self confidence?
Self confidence is key to our relationships and work, and when you have it you feel good about yourself.
“The concept of self-confidence is commonly used as self-assurance in one’s personal judgment, ability, power, etc. One’s self confidence increases from experiences of having satisfactorily completed particular activities. It is a positive belief that in the future one can generally accomplish what one wishes to do.”Wikipedia
- Self confidence is not just about being pretty or popular.
- It’s not about being young and still in the process of ‘finding yourself’.
- It’s not about being unduly cocky or arrogant in any way.
- It’s about feeling great about yourself, and who you are, no matter what, at any age.
- It’s about knowing that you’re strong and capable emotionally, even when things are tough.
- Self confidence is a feeling of generally liking yourself, and of being satisfied with who you are.
Without self confidence, we doubt our abilities and we may stop believing in ourselves.
Women have historically been led to believe that they aren’t good enough, and this negative messaging along with a focus on youth culture can chip away at our self confidence as we get older.
We need to constantly be alert to the way we talk to ourselves and keep building up our self confidence.
With a boost in self confidence, you’ll find that you can achieve anything you set your mind to!
When I was in my twenties I worked as a secretary, generally for male bosses, and in those days I found that being a secretary was really just the job of a glorified, executive Man Friday!
I could arrange a nice vase of flowers, take dictation, type letters, organise meetings, buy gifts for his wife, and make teas and coffees to order.
I was led to believe that being a support system for a successful man was a good career in itself.
But I decided this life wasn’t for me, and I mustered every inch of gumption I had one day to apply for a job as a columnist on a magazine.
I wasn’t a confident young woman. In fact I wouldn’t say ‘Boo’ to a goose at that age! But I knew I didn’t want to be a secretary for the rest of my life, and I really wanted to write.
Without any qualifications for the job that was advertised except a love of English (and good shorthand skills and typing skills!) it was truly a case of pretending to be super confident and ‘faking it, to make it happen!’
And I did, and it did!
I got that job and I’ve never looked back.
Since then I’ve been in situations where I’ve still had to bolster my confidence, and there have been many instances where it’s taken a knock.
However, these days I try to actively work on being confident every day.
Why self confidence is important as we age?
So why do we need self confidence as we age? Why is it still important?
Although we acquire wisdom as the years pass by, sometimes this doesn’t equate to knowledge about the current world we live in.
Things change so fast, our bodies start changing to, and yes it can be depressing to acknowledge that we don’t possess the same sort of power over self and the world as we used to.
Self confidence is so important for older people to be able to function effectively in a changing environment and not become unhappy or depressed.
Why am I losing my self confidence as I get older?
It’s no secret that inner confidence tends to ebb and flow as we age.
But why is that? What happens as we get older that causes our confidence to take a hit? And more importantly, what can we do about it?
It’s not always easy to maintain self confidence as you get older because some aspects of life seem to just get harder.
Our sense of self-confidence may take a knock as we get older because of the following situations:-
You may lose some physical strength
You may not be as fit and strong as you were.
Perhaps you’ve had joint replacements or operations that have impinged your strength.
Job loss and redundancy
Perhaps you’ve lost your job and you’re finding it really hard to find a new one.
Perhaps you’re being overlooked as younger employees are chosen (yes, ageism still exists in the workplace).
Maybe you’ve been made redundant, and while you’re not totally unhappy about that, it still leaves a confidence void as you look towards what retirement means for you.
Mostly everyone I know looks forward to retirement.
However, once you retire self confidence issues can arise as you realise that certain areas of your life look very different.
Perhaps you don’t feel quite as ‘needed’ anymore.
Lack of routine can suddenly be de-motivating rather than freeing.
Maybe you realise that you aren’t keeping up with technology in the same way you did when you were employed.
Sometimes you’ll feel as if you’ve lost your purpose.
Lacking life purpose
As we get older our roles and our responsibilities change.
We might retire.
Our children may have children and then we become grandparents who help out – we are not indispensible, as we were once as parents.
We might move from the family home and downsize.
All these events can leave us wondering about the meaning of life and what is our life purpose now?
And the downside of that is that our self confidence may diminish.
Societal pressure about beauty
Maybe your self confidence is intrinsically bound up with society’s focus on beauty , and perhaps your looks (in your opinion) are fading as age weaves it’s patterns across your face and body – thus making you feel in some way inadequate? (I hope not! Lifestyle Fifty readers are all feisty and fab!)
In our youth-centric, social media driven society it’s almost impossible not to compare yourself to other people, and comparisons about age can also leave you lacking in confidence.
However, it’s important to remember that everyone is different and that there is no “right” way to look, be, or feel as we journey through life. In fact each day really is a new page for you to write on or discover.
How to Boost Your Self Confidence
We need to flex our confidence muscles every day.
There are simple everyday ways you can continually raise your confidence and boost your self esteem to feel better about yourself.
- Always be positive about yourself when speaking to others.
- Keep your inner voice positive and encouraging.
- Don’t compare yourself to others.
- Give yourself credit for your accomplishments.
- Take care of your body and mind.
- Build a support system of friends and family who love you for being you.
3 Ways to help boost your self esteem and feel better about yourself.
Self esteem is a sort of by product of feeling self confident – it’s an evaluation of one’s worth, and yet it’s something that can be difficult to maintain as the years go by.
“Self-esteem encompasses beliefs about oneself (for example, “I am unloved”, “I am worthy”) as well as emotional states, such as triumph, despair, pride, and shame.”Wikipedia
You might be surprised how your self confidence increases as you begin to feel happier about yourself.
The following habits can help:-
1. Get organized. When you’re constantly dealing with clutter, it’s tough to feel good about yourself. Taking some time to get rid of the excess and organize your life will make you feel more in control.
2. Exercise regularly. Not only is exercise great for your physical health, but it’s also great for your mental health. Exercise releases endorphins, which make you feel good physically and mentally.
3. Set realistic goals. Don’t set yourself up for failure by setting unrealistic goals; instead, set goals that are challenging but achievable.
How to keep building self confidence
You can work on building your self confidence by accepting yourself for who you are and by doing things that make you feel good about yourself, thus also increasing your self esteem.
- Try focusing on your positive qualities and don’t be so hard on yourself – everyone makes mistakes from time to time!
- Give yourself permission to be imperfect. We all make mistakes, and that’s okay! Accepting that you’re human and fallible can help reduce the pressure you feel to always be perfect.
- Take care of yourself physically and emotionally. When you feel good physically and emotionally, it has a ripple effect and improves your self confidence as well.
If you’re like most women, you probably lack self confidence at times.
This is perfectly normal and understandable.
After all, we are constantly bombarded with images and messages telling us that we’re not good enough.
However, it’s important to remember that you are unique and fabulous no matter what anyone else says.
Mark Manson says in his article, The Only Way to Be Truly Confident in Yourself : “The only way to be truly confident is to simply become comfortable with what you lack.”
Self Confidence Formula – My 15 Top Tips
But for me, these are the 15 things that I endeavour to keep in mind. I hope you find the following tips helpful too:
- Make a list of your accomplishments.
- Identify your personal strengths and focus on them.
- Don’t compare yourself to others.
- Fake it until you make it! Pretend you are confident, and soon you’ll start to believe it too.
- Practice positive self talk.
- Take care of yourself emotionally and physically.
- Cultivate a positive self image. Believe in yourself and your abilities.
- Think positively about yourself and your worth as an individual.
- Accept compliments gracefully . Don’t reject compliments or put yourself down – Accept compliments with a smil and simply say “thank you” and mean it! Don’t downplay your accomplishments.
- Take care of yourself . Make sure to get plenty of exercise, eat healthy foods, get a manicure and pedicure, book the occasional massage, meet friends for coffee, tea or lunch, go to the gym, play a sport – choose things that give you a feel-good factor.
- Be the best version of YOU! Everyone is different and that’s what makes life interesting! So don’t put unnecessary pressure on yourself by comparing yourself to others – focus on being the best version of YOURSELF instead.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.
- Understand that self confidence is not a one time event, it’s something you have to work on every day.
- Stand up straight, shoulders back, and head held high – this will make you feel more confident. Remember that self confidence is the best outfit you can wear today, and everyday!
- And lastly don’t forget to enjoy life – it goes by fast!
5 confidence building exercises
There are many easy confidence building activities that you can start right now.
1. Set goals and achieve them.
Accomplishing goals gives you a sense of accomplishment and builds self confidence.
2. Make time for yourself every day.
Make time for activities you enjoy, even if they’re just for yourself. Whether it’s taking a yoga class, reading a book, or taking a walk outdoors, make sure you take some time for yourself each day to relax and rejuvenate.
3. Practice positive affirmations.
Repeating positive statements about yourself can help start to shift your mindset and increase your self esteem. “I am loved, I am beautiful, I am enough, I can do this, I accept who I am, I am capable, I am strong.”
4. Dress for success.
When you look good, you feel good. Wear clothes that make you feel confident and attractive.
But remember, self confidence is the best outfit you’re going to put on, so rock whatever you choose to wear!
5. Think good things about everyone
Envy, jealousy and any kind of malicious gossip will end up making you feel bad about yourself. So practice seeing the good in everybody and in turn this will be reflected back at you, which will boost your self esteem.
Why friends are so important for our happiness and well-being
Did you know that having close friends is one of the main contributors to happiness and well-being? If you are happy and feel good, you are more likely to feel good about yourself, and your self confidence strengthens too.
People who have strong social relationships are more likely to be happy, and less likely to experience negative emotions like loneliness or anxiety which can lead to a loss of self confidence.
Friendship is important! Online friendships are important too.
Having friends is one of the cornerstones of a healthy, happy, confident life.
Here are 7 reasons friends are so important for our self confidence, self esteem and wellbeing.
- Friends help us cope with tough times and tell us we ‘can do it.’
- They give us a sense of belonging and support.
- We can rely on them to boost us up if we’re feeling down.
- Friends relate to us, and think highly of us.
- They bring new experiences and insights into our lives.
- We can be ourselves with our friends.
- They bring fun, love and laughter into our lives!
Books to Help Improve Self Confidence
Everything is Fucked – A book about Hope by Mark Manson
Self-Confidence Strategies for Women by Leslie Theriot Herhold
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