Woman 2 Women//Building Confidence

womenI am truly grateful for each of you for sharing your thoughts regarding the previous post on Woman 2 Women!  I love that so many of you share my concern with helping women build genuine, long-term friendships.  I was speaking about this with my sister as well, and she has brought something else to my attention.  We both agree that women may have been set up from the beginning!! Ridiculous right?

This may be a stretch, but think about something as simple as entering the women’s restroom…what have you noticed?  There are stalls that separate us from one another, in comparison to men’s restrooms where they normally share an open space when handling their business (sorry if I’ve already grossed some of you out).  I’m not saying that I want to do away with stalls at this point (because I’ve grown accustomed to expecting this), but I am just raising some questions about the messages that we have been receiving and sending.

In my previous post on Woman 2 Women, many commented on the fact that many women may lack confidence in themselves, therefore prompting even more insecurities.  These insecurities would most likely prevent any individual from socializing and taking the opportunity to build relationships with others. Personally speaking, if I do not feel secure in my finances, appearances, work status, or relationships, then this will pose as a major barrier to communicating honestly and openly with others.  I would spend my time focusing on whether or not the individual was criticizing me for one of the above mentioned reasons, rather than sharing this moment with them/doing more to get to know them.

Why was I ashamed?  Why was I embarrassed of having others inquire about my the status of my relationship, my finances, or comment on my weight?

What came to mind is that I lacked confidence in myself.  So, I wanted to dedicate this post to helping others find their strengths, improving their self-confidence…and running with it!

Here is what has worked for me with gaining confidence:

  • I stopped believing that I needed to compete with others
  • Wrote down my expectations and goals for myself
  • Figured out a step by step plan on how to meet my goals and expectations
  • Stopped complaining (well I cut down on this..lol) about not being where I thought I needed to be with my goals
  • Encouraging myself daily with positive messages
  • Started enjoying my experiences and being truly grateful for my family, friends, career, and health

Responses from others on how to build confidence:
1) Through prayer

2) Figuring out what you do best

3) Finding out what makes you different from anyone else, and embracing these differences.

I had every intention of linking peer-reviewed articles to this post on how to build confidence in women, but I’m having a difficult time discovering articles that don’t focus on women competing with men in the workforce!  Don’t get me wrong. There are tons of advice columns, blogs, and inspirational quotes on pinterest that discuss ways we can build confidence. But, I am also looking for research based studies that offer more insight into how to help others seriously facing challenges in this area address this issue.

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How do you gain confidence? Was this something that happened relatively quickly, or did you develop this confidence over time?

~XOXO
FreeBryd

Photo #1 credit: http://boujibuzz.com/category/in-the-news/

Photo #2 credit: http://www.quotesforthemind.com/

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13 thoughts on “Woman 2 Women//Building Confidence”

    1. Thank you! I know that I too have not so positive thoughts sometimes about other women…and I don’t even realize that I’m doing this! I do hope that more of us can learn to be more supportive of one another.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. for me I have been far too busy to compete, running taking care of kids, but as a younger woman I heard cutting remarks and looking back I feel there was a competition that I was not aware of and for what? So it is silly. I was a busy mom in a difficult situation at times so it was weird! Yes women need to support women! love your theme!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. In other countries it is not so uncommon to run into some of these more communal settings that men normally encounter here. I believe that it is something that we find taboo here. We are leaps and bounds behind some of our other overseas companions in confidence that it is quite sad. They have nude beaches and nude weather channels even regular nude art in the open because it is just that tasteful art. However, here people have to EXPLAIN that it is art and that seeing a woman’s breast is not rude that it is for breast feeding or for purpose or art and not sexual means. Women are actually the worst critics in these magazines fat shaming, skinny shaming, and so forth, not the men, causing these horrible stereotypes and confidence issues.

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    1. So true!! As women, I feel like we separate ourselves so much from other women, and then wonder why many of us are unable to form meaningful relationships with one another. It’s so hard to compete with the ideal image of what we should all look like. Then we shame others for fitting more into the image of how we should look. I just feel like we spend too much time fighting and not embracing our differences.

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  2. ::enters the discussion 20 years later:: I definitely think it’s conditioning that strips women of our confidence. I feel like I was taught to have a “healthy” sense of shame about my body that was masquerading as lady-like modesty. My theory is that it’s a carry-over from the Puritans who first colonized America and their conservative practices. For me there’s also a sense of envy that I experience when I see another woman expressing herself in a way that I am unable to because of my on mental blocks or because I disagree with it. I can’t stop myself from having these thoughts but I do try to either keep them to myself or just acknowledge that that’s what she wants to do and really it’s none of my business. I also try to honestly give compliments when I like something about another woman. Like everything else, unlearning this socialization is a process.

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    1. Haha. Better late than never, right?! Wow! You’ve definitely thought about this topic before. I agree that conditioning has played a major role in building our confidence. I often have to check myself internally, when anothyer women expresses herself in a way that I also envy. I usually don’t say anything, but I sit there and ask myself how come I have bene unable to do something similar. In the past, someone told me that I needed to have more confidence. At first, I thought it was a joke, because of the person I was speaking with. But, then I was actually hurt. I realized that it was obvious that I was lacking confidence, and this scared me. I needed to work on improving my confidence, because I was growing tired of not speaking up for myself.

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  3. When I think of the word “woman” so many thoughts race through my mind; but the one that resonates with me is strength…. So many women do not see just how strong, powerful and great they are without wanting to be like someone else. Finding the root cause is key. Where did we learn that we had to be a certain way, act a certain way or look a certain way? Some of us may have negative self images wherefore it trickles into our relationships with other women. I love how you brought out some real life experiences we all may have faced in our lives. Thank you for sharing that I’m not alone in how I feel .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So true, and you are not alone! I was growing tired of trying to compare myself to other women. Not going to lie, this still happens, but I’m trying to be more aware of this. It’s extremely exhausting trying to keep up with everyone but ourselves. Women are definitely so strong, and we could accomplish so many things individually, as well as in groups. I’m thinking back through the generations of women in my family, and I see them portraying the same images of how women should look, act, etc. This goes wayyyy back….

      Liked by 1 person

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