Confidence seems like a somewhat elusive quality that’s slowly earned over the course of a lifetime. A highly complex state of being, confidence is both innate and learned, and it can set the stage for many of life’s triumphs. While the importance of confidence is no secret, many of us struggle to possess that strong sense of conviction in ourselves. So we turn to books, blogs, and role models in an effort to improve our sense of self-worth.
In honor of Women’s Equality Day (each August 26), we’ve tapped Alexis Meads, a professional life and wellness coach for women, to weigh in on key traits of confident women that anyone easily can emulate. Meads believes confidence is something that everyone deserves to experience, regardless of success, status, or looks. In an article for Huffington Post, Meads details what she believes to be the most important traits of confident women–and fortunately they can all be learned. Using her insight as a guide, here are our top three qualities to focus on for a greater sense of self-confidence.
Authenticity often goes hand in hand with confidence, especially with the rise of social media and technology. “We are more ‘seen’ today than ever before thanks to technology. Social apps flood us with glossy photos of perfectly arranged dinner tables and newly engaged friends,” writes Meads. “What’s not shown is that everyone has insecurities and flaws. You do this world good when you embrace your whole self.” Staying true to your innate sense of self, and not feeling like you always have to present a perfect front for the world is one of the bedrock traits of women with confidence.
We’re not saying that everyone shouldn’t enjoy a compliment here and there—it feels good when others admire the qualities we like about ourselves. The defining word in this sentence is need. Not needing the approval of others is one of the standout traits of confident women. “Highly confident women aren’t living for someone else’s praise. They move forward boldly in the direction of their dreams,” writes Meads. “If you allow other people’s opinions to be more important than your own, see if you can tap into your own intuition where deep down you know what you need to do. Just asking yourself, 'What do I need right now?' can bring greater confidence.”
One of the most important traits of confident women, compassion flows from a strong sense of self and a willingness to accept one’s flaws. And that extends to others in your life. Rather than taking things personally and letting negative comments influence self-perception, confident women make it a point to treat themselves with compassion, no matter the circumstances. “When you’re able to see criticism as a reflection of the speaker rather than of you, life becomes less about drama and a lot more about fun,” writes Meads. Confident people, she adds, “have learned to feel compassion for themselves and move through feedback with grace.”