Though social graces have changed enough to allow women to enter the workforce in somewhat more equal positions, it’s still a man’s world. The gender pay gap isn’t showing signs of shrinking in the near future, and there are still more males in leadership positions than women.
As a woman, it can be daunting to even show up at work, let alone stand out as an important member of the company. But you have to resist the urge to fade into the background and exude some self-confidence if you want to make it in the corporate world. Use these tips to help boost your self-esteem.
Notice that the title of this tip is not “diet” or “lose weight.” Exercising has a greater purpose than trimming body fat. Everyone has a different body type, and not everyone can be a size two model – there’s no shame in that.
It’s important to note that exercise is an excellent way to make you feel great about yourself, no matter what you look like. It can give you energy, boost your mood, and make you feel good about yourself in a way that dieting never will.
2. Pay Attention to Appearance
You don’t need to dress to the nines every time you go to work, but you should pay attention to your appearance. What makes you feel comfortable will make you feel confident. Start by choosing clothing that is both comfortable and flattering. It should make you feel good about your body shape, but you shouldn’t be constantly tucking and pulling at the ensemble. Furthermore, don’t say no to makeup and skin treatments. Simple makeup can do wonders for making you look more capable and feel great. Pay particular attention to your eyes, especially if you’re prone to getting dark circles from lack of sleep, which can make any woman feel insecure and come across as incapable.
“If you think that your dark circles are forming due to a lack of sleep or an abundance of stress, a great home remedy you can try is the good old fashioned cucumber treatment,” according to this blog post. “Cucumbers come packed with natural astringent properties that can help tighten the skin under the eyes to reduce the appearance of dark circles.” This type of skin treatment and others can do wonders for boosting self-esteem.
3. Take Time for Special Interests
It may sound strange, but oftentimes, the key to looking and feeling confident involves focusing on other things besides work. If there’s one thing that successful, confident people have in common, it’s that they all have a hobby or interest outside of work.
“One of the common tenets of low self-esteem is a seeming lack of purpose,” according to Ade Ilesanmi of Insight Bulletin. “Hobbies are an avenue to finding an applied purpose…Moreover, hobbies can physiologically boost one’s mood and, thus, enhance one’s confidence.” This is one entity that translates effortlessly to the workplace.
4. Cut to the Chase in Conversations
You’ve probably met a lot of people who are extroverted and love to talk. However, did you know that frequent and continued chatter is actually a sign of low self-esteem? Not only that, but constant talking without proper listening can ruin your chances of being a successful leader.
“I am an introvert,” Susan Cain of Quiet Reverence told Forbes magazine. “This means that I very often sit around Boardrooms doing more listening than talking. At first in my career, this seemed to be a deficit to my success…But as I grew more confident, I realized that all my listening helped me to form insight and comments that were truly valuable.”
This just goes to show that confidence doesn’t mean loud and talkative. It means that you know exactly what to say, how much to say it, and when to say it. Analyze your conversations to see how you can exude a stronger sense of confidence in your communications at work.
5. Take Charge Every Now and Then
You don’t always have to be nice. In fact, the occasional bossy, take-charge attitude may be exactly what you need to get the respect you deserve. Those who can stand up and take charge, instead of waiting to be rescued, will find the practice empowering. It will show that you are a capable woman who is strong enough to handle a sticky situation, which says a lot about your personal confidence.
It all boils down to how much you believe in yourself as a confident, capable woman. If you look and feel confident, it will be much easier to get the respect you deserve, both from your colleagues and yourself.
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