It’s that time again where women from many different corners of the world celebrate being wonder women. International Women’s Day is a one-day event held every year on March 8th to celebrate women’s achievements throughout history and across nations. It is also known as the United Nations Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace.
When I say the word “Wonder woman,” what springs to mind? My guess is something like: “She has it all together”; “She balances work, motherhood, running a home, being a good wife, etc.”; “She exceeds her potential”; “She does it all with ease, and a smile.”
While the concept of being the perfect woman, is one that many women dream of, the truth is…she is a fantasy! That idea of what makes a Wonder woman is an unattainable caricature. It is unrealistic for women to strive to become, which is why when we size ourselves up to this ideal we inevitably fall short. Like Barbie’s 19” waist, the idea of Wonder woman’s unlimited, never depleted, energizer bunny-like super-human powers is a myth. An illusion once invented to liberate women, has in effect left us in shackles. When did you last meet a woman who is capable of being everything to everyone AND also able to take care of herself?
Women today are more educated, and in theory, better equipped and capable of being a successful career woman, wife, mother, daughter, friend, aunt and sister. This is a result of four decades of ‘progress’ albeit these changes have increased possibilities and opportunities for us, they have also added new responsibilities and stress to our lives. Not only can we do more, but now there is the added expectation that we should do more. Now that we’re “liberated”, thanks to the “progress” of the women’s movement.
Don’t get me wrong, many women have excelled following this model, and I for one am grateful for the developments.
It is just important that if you in any way fall short of meeting all of the requirements that you are still left feeling your best, vitalized and fulfilled as opposed to being left feeling overwhelmed, depleted, unfulfilled, low in confidence and sacrificing her own well-being for the sake of others (her family, “the firm”, society)? If someone were to ask you, would you say that you are truly happy? Women are often left lacking confidence in themselves because we spend more time criticizing ourselves for what we have yet to achieve then celebrating our successes.
Oprah Winfrey put it perfectly – Yes I confess I am an avid fan of her. For years I’ve watched her in awe as she’s built her empire and often wondered how the heck she manages to do it all and take care of herself. She’s just wrapped up the 25th season of her TV show, she’s got her magazine, her webinars, her TV appearances, her angel network, her school for girls, her youth ambassador program, and now her own TV network! Oprah has a the trainer, chef, cleaning crew and assistants, a huge team to support her and yet, even Oprah confesses that this Superwoman thing is simply an impossible, unattainable, unrealistic and unhealthy role to aspire to.
So what is one to do I hear you ask? I want to be successful, but this route now sounds terribly unappealing! Dear women I by no means wish to discourage your path to success, quite the contrary I encourage you. I am merely reminding you that if you have a bad day, week or year that you are human and we are not superheroes so we will make mistakes, get tired, get sick, face hurdles and on occasion run short of time.
The main thing is that you perform to the best of your abilities and within your powers. After all even superman is weakened when he comes in contact with Kryptonite!
So here are 4 tips on being a confident 21st century Wonder woman
1. Mark your Victories
Keep a written record of all of your victories, both past and present. It’s extremely important that on your journey towards happiness and success that you reinforce your confidence by identifying and acknowledging your accomplishments. We’ve all had successes and frequently don’t give ourselves any credit. You need to reflect on each of these victories because they are fundamental stepping-stones to increasing your confidence.
It doesn’t matter if you are a CEO or a cleaner; you have “Victories.”
● Did you launch a new product? Victory!
● Did you get 100% on your algebra final in high school? Victory!
● Did you teach your little brother to ride a bike? Victory!
● Did you give a great presentation that closed a sale? Victory!
● Did you donate blood and save someone’s life? Victory!
● Do you have a beautiful singing voice? Every time you sing is a Victory!
● Did you complete all of your chores? Victory
Take a moment, right now, and write down 10 TRIUMPHS, no matter how big or small, or how old.
You can review your collection of TRIUMPHS when you are down, when your boss or client is giving you a hard time, when you have to be ON for a presentation, anytime at all that you want a confidence boost.
Now add to your list EVERY DAY!
How do you think it will feel to look back on this daily list in a month? Six months? Five years?
2. Smell like success
Many connections have been made between smell and the way we feel.
Considering that it is a well established fact that some smells evoke feelings of calm, excitement or well-being. It’s a good idea to find a perfume that makes you feel enthusiasm, gusto and confidence and wear it whenever you feel like you need an added confidence boost.
3. Dress For Success
Whether it’s a power suit, A necklace or a favourite pair of shoes that give you that confidence strut. Make sure you have a few key pieces in your wardrobe that make you feel like a queen. Throw them on whenever you need a little extra boost of confidence!
4. Set a smile alarm!
As we rush through our busy days accomplishing our tasks—work, kids, shopping, cleaning, and eating on the go, we often complain that we don’t feel good. There is a simple, quick, and effective way that you can feel better throughout the day and also be more attractive. Despite the fact that smiling is proven to make us feel better its one of those things that we may not find time to do because we are so caught up doing everything else.
Set an alarm on your phone to smile
Try this exercise
Smile. That’s it, just smile.
Try it again, but this time breathe in through your nose, let it out through your mouth, smile as you let the air out.
Doesn’t that feel good?
The breathing is very important. Your nostrils are attached to the limbic system. The limbic system controls your emotions, and when you breathe in deep through your nose it has a calming effect on you.
Breathe in and smile, exhale.
Let’s add a final touch: positive thinking.
Try focusing on a happy moment in your life, or maybe exclaim out loud “I feel happy and confident”.
You may feel a little silly at first, but this is all about changing how you feel and improving your mental health.
Do this a few times; let your body relax with positivity.
Smiling is great, how about you make time throughout your day to smile and remind yourself that you are happy, confident and attractive.
I guarantee will make a positive impact on your day and in your life, and you will feel more confident immediately even if only for a short while.
So go ahead, smile!
Entrepreneur, Author, Confidence Coach