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  • Writer's pictureYvonne Ewington

Five Ways to Increase Confidence

Updated: Jul 21, 2023

It's not possible to be perfect and women today increasingly try to fit into other's idea's of how we should look and how we should act.

We tend to worry more about being disliked or appearing unattractive. These feelings often become more intense for women in middle age and beyond. In addition, we pile on the pain by comparing our lives to others often finding ourselves lacking. It's not surprising that this starts to zap our confidence and self-esteem.

As a woman now in my sixties, I realise I have to let go of my notion of how I should look by the standards created by others, and stop comparing my reality now to the me then; younger, fitter, slimmer, ergo more attractive and perhaps more acceptable - but for who?

I spent years trying to fit in, of people pleasing, trying to be perfect and getting way to involved in what other’s thought of me.

Striving for perfection stops us from reaching our true potential and being who we want to be. Our aspirations start to disappear because we feel that we can’t live up to the ideals we have made for ourselves and for everything in life to be perfect.

Accepting that nothing will be perfect can be liberating. It helps us to accept and appreciate ourselves just as we are, empowers us, feel more confident and allowing us to simply flow more freely with life.

I like the Japanese philosophy of Wabi-Sabi. The belief that the beauty to be found in an object is in its imperfection, celebrating transience, individuality and the flawed nature of things. Qualities that make it unique, genuine and beautiful.

Central to this is believing that we are all worthwhile and that we have value.

The truth is that we’re perfectly imperfect and our flaws make us who we are, in the Wabi-Sabi way: unique, genuine and beautiful.

Its wisdom reminds us that our bodies and the material world around us are in the process of returning to dust, it’s the natural way of life. It is the art of finding beauty in the imperfect, impermanent and incomplete.

With age comes wisdom, experience and skills by the bucketful! Be proud of your achievements and celebrate who you are and how far you've come.

Five Ways to Increase Confidence:

1. Start noticing when you use the word should. Should” implies obligation. It means trying to please someone else or trying to live up to rigid pre-determined standards. Replace it with the word could. Could is full of possibility, giving us autonomy and choice.

2. Stand or sit in a posture of confidence. Studies have shown the positive effects of confident body postures on our hormones. Look for sensations of confidence and practice feeling them more in your body. Feel your feet on the ground, keep your body relaxed and open. Stand tall and take up your space!

3. Visualise. Imagine a confident you. Close your eyes and relax your body. Feel grounded to the sensation of relaxation. Imagine how you’d like to see yourself as you want to be. perhaps doing an activity where you would like more confidence. How do you look? What are you wearing? How are you standing. Go into the detail. What does the confident you feel like? Channel it!

4. Drop the inner critic voice that sabotages your confidence and aims. Instead speak to yourself with self-compassion, kindness and encouragement. You are a women full of wisdom and experience. And you are powerful! Imagine how you talk to your best friend. Switch from critic to friend when you notice your negative voice.

4. Play to your strengths. Using your strengths increases confidence and self-esteem. Sometimes we take our strengths for granted and forget what we're good at. Ask yourself:

  • What lights you up and energises you?

  • What are you doing when you feel like the real you?

Using your strengths can lead to improved psychological wellbeing such as resilience, vitality, increased confidence and self-esteem. You can find an assessment of personal or 'character' strengths at the VIA Inventory of Strengths (VIA) online. Its free to complete, takes about 20 minutes to do and you’ll receive an online strengths report. Find it at

5. Adopt a more flexible mindset and approach to life. Things change all the time so be less rigid with yourself and use words like “alternatives” “possibilities” “sometimes” “occasionally” and “compromise.”

Have faith in yourself and believe you can make positive change in your life, building your confidence along the way. Accept the so-called flaws and reject the idea of perfection because you are unique and beautiful because of them.

Confidence and approving of yourself is a process. The most important relationship you have in your life is with yourself – make it the best you can.

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