I’m feeling so bodacious myself after my offer to buy some investment property was accepted yesterday. Still, what everyone’s calling “the new normal” is shaking the confidence of a lot of people. As someone who teaches people how to reposition themselves profitably, I see almost daily how stronger self-confidence always means a higher level of performance. Let’s define “self-confidence” as “expecting to deal with any situation effectively.” Based on my teaching and research over the last dozen + years, I’ve come up with a list of the habits you consistently see in highly-confident women. This list can help you shore up your own confidence, and feel more relaxed in any situation.
Seven habits that highly-confident women practice (imperfectly) include the following:
1. Avidly care for their bodies. It’s not that all highly-bodacious women have the body of Heidi Klum; it’s something much deeper. Highly confident women realize that to ensure optimal levels of performance, they must take extra care of themselves. You’ll find most highly confident women take their nutrition and exercise very seriously. Exercise, nutrition, and rest are indispensable for mood management… we how irritable we can get for doing too much for too many people, for too long. Put working overtime, volunteering for PTA and overdosing on Starbucks aside. Focus on taking care of numero uno.
2. Appreciate who they are and what they have. It’s fun and productive to think about how great you might look stepping out of a Mercedes C-Class in a pressed, Chanel suit and Christian Louboutin heels. However, remember who you are right now. The best way to snap out of negativity is to stop and be grateful for what you already have. Highly-confident women know they aren’t perfect, but they are also aware that they contribute to a better society, and realize how blessed they already are. Even if they’re driving a Honda. 😉
3. Assign the best possible interpretation of motives to all people and situations. This is a habit, like any other, that has to be deliberately cultivated. It helps you shrug off things people say, or things that happen, that might otherwise throw you off kilter. Ignore the intern in the cubicle next to you who listens to Lady Gaga so loudly on her iPod that you now know all of the words to “Poker Face.” And smile when the dry-cleaner hands you your clothes, even if he did take 20 minutes to find them. Because highly-bodacious women consistently look for a positive framework through which to view events, other people generally return the favor. Looking for the positive slows down that knee-jerk reaction of going off on mental fantasies of disaster. (Cue the fax machine scene from Office Space.)
4. Confront early and lightly. This is probably the trickiest but most telling habit. They usually give positive feedback, but when a correction is necessary, highly-confident women say what needs to be said without getting all dramatic about it. And because they take care with their own attitude, they’re not harboring resentments that can turn a trickle of annoyance into a fatal tsunami of rage. Like that time your college roommate forgot to take the dog out for the 67th time, so you let Spot take a pee in her new shoes. Say what you need to say, as the saying goes. Then breathe deeply.
5. Ask for help. Highly-bodacious women don’t have their egos tied to being the lone savior of a situation, or the world. They don’t have to get the gold star at the end of the day. Likewise, they realize that people enjoy helping and delight in being asked to contribute. Ask Susan from public relations to help out, even if doesn’t have anything intelligent to say because she’s been staring at the free muffins all morning. This habit will help you avoid being overwhelmed, another kill-joy tendency.
6. Are acutely aware of their preferences. It’s not that highly-confident women always insist on getting things their way; but somehow, they usually do. But instead of hating them for it, join them. When asked where to have lunch, suggest a place. When asked what you would like to drink immediately respond with the request for a dirty gin martini and bleu cheese stuffed olives. This awareness sets the foundation for their goal setting, and will help you make better decisions more quickly.
7. Are attractively light-hearted, aka FUN. Highly-bodacious women take their work seriously, but not themselves. There are no melt-downs of embarrassment when a string of Cottonelle decides to hang on to a shoe. They can laugh when faced with adversity, making them more attractive to others. Try keeping a light heart under trying circumstances. Think about your own life— don’t you try to spend more time with happy people? Choose to be one of them.
I am grateful to my former student Paula, who helped polish and lighten up this article!