If they would sell confidence at the bodega on the corner, I would be the first to line up.
I would enter as my meek, quiet self and exit a woman transformed.
Not because I would get a makeover but because I would realize that I already have everything I need to shine from the inside out.
Wouldn’t that be something?
Jokes aside, I struggled with confidence for as long as I can remember.
Some days I’m convinced that I deserve the world.
On others, my imposter syndrome makes me want to beg the universe’s pardon for breathing.
Today falls into the second category, so I’m in dire need of a pep talk.
I’ll give it to myself.
Here are 8 traits of a confident woman who doesn’t care what others think.
Perhaps you also need a refresher?
1) She doesn’t make excuses for who she is
A few dumb things I’ve felt bad about in the recent past:
- Needing reassurance while in a romantic relationship
- Disregarding a loved one’s advice and making decisions based on my best judgment
- Disliking a song or book everyone else seems to like
- Declining an invitation to a night out when I was exhausted and craving me-time
- Expressing an unpopular opinion about how a company I was collaborating with approached a project
None of these should make me feel guilty.
A confident woman who doesn’t care what others think certainly wouldn’t feel that way.
It’s because she doesn’t waste time justifying herself or explaining away her behavior.
Instead, she embraces who she is wholeheartedly without downplaying or rationalizing her actions, needs, or preferences.
She’s the type of woman who knows herself well, warts and all. She actively works on improving herself but accepts that she’ll never be perfect.
Plus, she knows that peculiarities and flaws only make people more lovable.
If only I could drill this information straight into my brain.
2) She says “no”
Women have more trouble with refusal than men.
Maybe because we’re often taught to value compassion, to put others first, to be agreeable and likable and deferential.
I don’t know about you, but I’m actively trying to ditch this attitude for good.
Confident women don’t fret over saying “no.” They don’t overcommit or overschedule themselves just to please others.
They prioritize self-care, set boundaries, and successfully avoid resentment.
Here’s a quick cheat sheet of things you should say “no” to:
- Social invitations that don’t actively excite you
- Unreasonable demands from loved ones
- Activities that don’t align with your priorities or goals
- Peer pressure
- Unhealthy relationships of any kind
Saying “no” to things that don’t serve you shows that you respect your own needs and limitations.
You’re not being authentic otherwise.
3) She doesn’t apologize for taking up space
A woman who lacks confidence is self-conscious about her actions and general presence.
As a result, she feels the need to apologize just for existing.
For occupying space in a room, for having opinions, for contributing to a conversation.
I have the annoying tendency to apologize to loved ones for experiencing emotions.
Complaining about going through a hard time makes me feel like a burden, even though I’m pretty sure they don’t mind comforting me.
(Using “pretty sure” here only emphasizes my point.)
Confident women who don’t care what others think don’t do this.
They understand that they have the right to express their opinions, thoughts, feelings, and desires without seeking others’ approval.
When they actually say, “I’m sorry,” it’s because they’ve made a mistake, and they’re taking responsibility for it.
That only makes the apology more powerful.
4) She follows her own path
As a perpetually single freelance writer in my mid-30s, I used to occasionally feel “less than” for not following a more traditional life path.
Stable job. Marriage. Kids. The coveted white picket fence.
But even during my lowest moments, I knew that path wasn’t for me. I would never feel fulfilled living that life, no matter how good it might look from the outside.
On this note, confident women know that you’re more driven when you’re on a path that aligns with your passions and interests.
For some, that can mean traveling the world and living a nomadic existence.
For others, it means getting the stable job and the white picket fence.
No path is wrong as long you’re doing what you want, independent of societal pressure.
The funny thing is, embarking on your own journey builds more confidence.
Comparing yourself to others? Not so much.
5) She asks for what she needs
We’ve already established that a confident woman who doesn’t care what others think never makes excuses or apologizes for having needs.
The next logical step: she asks for her needs to be met.
This can cover everything from going after a promotion, taking the next step in a relationship, or asking a friend to help her navigate a difficult time.
Whatever the case, she doesn’t just take what she’s given.
She demands what she deserves.
6) She looks the part
What’s on the inside counts, sure. Still, appearance matters. A lot.
Not only to others but to yourself.
You can’t feel confident when you wear uncomfortable clothes or worry that you’re having a bad hair day.
The world continues to be shallow, and pretty privilege is an unfortunate reality of our times.
That said, beauty is subjective – and confident women aren’t confident because they meet current beauty standards.
Their confidence stems from the fact that they present themselves in a way that reflects their personality.
As a quick example, wearing professional makeup makes me look dope.
Yet, the few times I did, I felt like a clown. Like I was hiding behind a mask and wasn’t myself.
As expected, having a pit in my stomach didn’t enable me to act more confident. Quite the opposite.
A confident woman who doesn’t care what others think looks polished on her own terms.
If you want to boost self-confidence, discover your personal style and stay true to it.
You’ll feel comfortable and ready to take on the world.
In other words, empowered.
7) She carries herself well
How you present yourself isn’t limited to what you wear or how you do your makeup.
It’s also about body language.
Slouching, for instance, is a no-no.
Standing tall and having good posture, on the other hand, signals that you’re self-assured.
So do making eye contact during conversations and having a firm handshake.
Oh, and smiling – unless a man is telling you to.
Practice makes perfect. I need to remember that.
8) She is generous
We’re reaching the end of this refresher, so here’s a final trait confident women share: they’re generous.
They don’t feel the need to take others down because they know that someone else’s success doesn’t prevent or diminish their own.
As their confidence is rooted in a healthy self-image, they’re not threatened by acknowledging the strengths and accomplishments of others.
They celebrate other people’s breakthroughs, offer wisdom, and strongly believe there are enough resources to go around.
Furthermore, their altruism is genuine, so they don’t expect much in return.
They’re not doing it for the validation.
Phew, I feel a bit better. Do you?
Confidence fluctuates, and just because you doubt yourself every now and then doesn’t mean that you won’t eventually remember how fabulous you are.
Hopefully, that realization will come sooner rather than later.
I, for one, am keeping my fingers crossed.