Women: Beautiful, smart, inspirational, hard-working. They are truly amazing.
Believe it or not, I used to be incredibly intimidated by other women. I believed they were a threat to me and would belittle myself so much that I didn’t want to be around strong, smart, successful women.
My judgment toward them was a reflection of the relationship I had with myself.
I would cut them down, thinking they were snobby know-it-alls and dismiss them. The women who seemed to have it all together, to me, lucked out on living this glorious, fantasy life that was completely out of reach to me.
I realized one day in my early 30s that the way I was feeling was my insecurities flooding through when presented with such magnificent women. I wanted so badly to start feeling the confidence they seemed to be holding effortlessly.
One day, I decided I that wanted that, too. I wanted to be that. I wanted to be confident in who I was. I wanted to feel beautiful and smart. I wanted to stop being such a witch to happy women and start being happy for them and with them — happy for their success, happy for their achievements, happy for all that they had to offer me if I just stopped being so bullheaded and maybe started to work on myself a little bit by no longer reflecting my anger outward and looking inward.
I did the work. It was not easy, but it was worth it.
It felt so good to come out on the other side of being bitter to being truly and authentically happy for those women who worked hard and achieved their dreams, just like I am now doing, too.
Embracing these lovely ladies for all that they are not only made me feel good, but I have made some amazing friendships along the way as well.
If you have ever felt this way, I am here to help.
Five tips to building your confidence:
1 Find something you are interested in and study the heck out of it. Anything. It could be writing, drawing, fitness, food. Whatever sparks your interest. Dig in, and learn everything there is to know about it. You will start to feel more confident in what knowledge can bring you, especially in something that lights you up.
2 Hang around those women who inspire you. Ask them questions. How did they do it? How are they doing it? If they are where you want to be, take advice from them.
3 Let go of anyone who makes you feel less, even if they have been your “bestie” for years. If they make you feel inferior or talk down to you, let them go.
Try something new that excites you.
5 Tell yourself each and every day, for at least two minutes, the things you love about you.
That last tip is a game changer. In my life, it was the most needed.
Each night, I walk a hill near my house. For the entire trip, I speak well about myself. I start with my feet and work my way up by saying what is so great about my whole body — my legs for carrying me each day, my belly for birthing my kids, my heart for feeling compassion to others, my arms for letting me express my creativity, my mouth speaking love to others, my ears for hearing wonderful sounds, my eyes for seeing the beauty in everyone, my soul for always guiding me down the right path.
It might sound a bit “out there.” But if you are feeling as bad as I was, you will try anything to feel better. Each day, it gets easier.
One day, you will look in the mirror and see that beautiful, smart, inspiring woman that always has been there.
Addie Graffin is a freelance columnist and blogger based in Platteville, Wis. Read more at www.HealthyHairdresserAddie.com.