11 Secrets of Confident Women

11 Secrets of Confident Women

Top expert-approved ways to become more confident as a woman and a mom.

By Judy Koutsky

You know that woman: You see her at school or work, and she just exudes confidence. You want to be her friend, or at least know her secret. It's not that these women don't have insecurities or doubts; it's that they know that's all a part of life, and they have confidence in the way they handle things.

An outsider would probably tell you you’re doing a great job juggling motherhood, work, and life, but now you need to believe you are. Back when I was in my early 20s and about to be promoted to a position I thought was way over my head, my soon-to-be-boss said something that will always stay with me: I wish you believed in yourself the way I believe in you. I took that to heart and realized believing in yourself is one of the best things you can do as a woman and a mother.

Here, 11 more secrets only confident women know – that we could all learn from!

1. Confidence is acceptance. “Confidence is assuredness,” says relationship therapist and personal coach Rebecca Wong. “It's a knowingness. It's a feeling of safety and security that exists within us.” How do you get that? Start believing in yourself. You’re not always going to make the right decisions, but accepting the fact that you made the best decision you could at the time goes a long way.

2. Trying new things can increase your confidence. As a travel writer, I’m often given assignments around the world. The first time I went to Africa for a story, when I was in my early 20s, I was terrified. I was traveling solo, I had very little international travel experience and I was venturing out of my comfort zone. That trip turned out to be life-changing, and I now travel upwards of 30 times a year. Taking that first step -- whether it’s working, parenting, or personal -- is always going to be a bit scary, but the confidence and empowerment you’ll feel afterward is almost always worth it.

3. It’s good for kids to see their mom as confident. “As mothers, our children look to us to be stable, so they may grow their own confidence in themselves and the world,” says Wong. “Our job is to model that process. When we approach the world, our relationships, our daily activities, and inner monologues with confidence, that's what we teach our children to do in turn.” Showing your children that you believe in yourself is the best way for them to model that behavior.

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4. Confidence affects the way others treat you. Insecure women are not making bad or wrong decisions; it’s just that their insecurities often radiate outward and have a rippling affect, making other moms doubt them or their abilities. Nobody wants to join the PTA if the woman running it doesn’t seem like a leader. People listen and respect those who come across as competent and assured.

5. Confidence means knowing when to ask for help. Confident women don’t know it all, but having confidence allows them to admit that and to ask for help or support (or advice) without feeling bad. “Confident people are unafraid to show vulnerability and they are unafraid to show strength,” says John McGrail, PhD, author of the book The Synthesis Effect: Your Direct Path to Personal Power and Transformation. Admitting that you don’t know all the answers and being open to feedback from others is a key sign of confidence.

6. Confidence allows you to dance to your own drummer. “Confidence allows you to live by your own values, regardless of what others think or expect or want from you,” says McGrail. “It means living in a way that feels good to you.”


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7. Confidence allows you to own it. Whether it’s your crazy hair, your unique style, or the way you talk, confidence is realizing you don’t have to conform to what’s “in” or what’s the norm. “Not caring what others think about you is a huge part of confidence,” notes McGrail.

8. Confidence can be mastered at any age. Sure, there are those women who were confident even as little girls, but each woman hits her stride at her own time. It can be in her teens or 40s, but it’s never too late to master it.

9. Confident women fail. They pursue their dreams and take failure for what it really is -- a chance to learn and improve, says McGrail.

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10. Confident women can laugh at themselves. Spilling coffee at a fancy luncheon, walking around with raccoon eyes without knowing it, or showing up a day early for book club -- we all experience missteps. Hone your ability to laugh and move on.

11. Confident women treat others with respect and kindness, much like they treat themselves. One of the biggest reasons confident women attract friends easily: “When a woman is loving and kind towards herself, she is able to be loving and kind towards others,” says Shirani M. Pathak, a psychotherapist and owner of the Relationship Center of Silicon Valley. She doesn’t gossip behind other’s backs, and she doesn’t judge. Instead, she’s accepting of others’ faults like she is her own.

What do you think is the biggest sign of confidence?

Judy Koutsky is the former Editorial Director of KIWI magazine, a green parenting publication. She was also Executive Editor of Parenting.com, AOL Parent and BabyTalk.com. Follow her on Twitter @JudyKoutsky.

Image ©iStock.com/PeopleImages

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