The definition of self confidence is “a feeling of trust in one’s abilities, qualities, and judgement”. Sometimes, as a woman over 50, we can lose those feelings. We’ve experienced changes in our bodies, inside and out. Some we can see, others we can feel. Our career might be a memory rather than a daily activity as well as a source of identity. Our family unit may look vastly different now than it did ten years ago.
The result can sometimes be a struggle to maintain self esteem and confidence after 50. The black and white truth is, we can’t turn back the clock, shave 20 years off of our face and body, maintain the level of energy we had in our 20s, 30s, and 40s. Not going to happen.
So what is a girl to do? Comparing yourself to others is not a healthy path to follow, and does nothing to help you feel better about yourself. The level of confidence we possess is so very connected to what’s going on in our head, my friend. And that is where these three tips, or actions, begin.
3 ways to boost your confidence
These three daily actions will help you remain confident as you move through the day, the week, the month, and frankly, through midlife.
When you get up in the morning, begin your day with the first tip. It could become a regular part of your healthy morning routine. You do practice a morning routine, right? That in itself will start your day on a healthy, positive note, provide some self care, and go a long way toward helping maintain confidence and self esteem.
As you’re getting ready for the day’s activities, put tip number two into action. Even if you’re not leaving the house, give thought to this seemingly mundane activity. It will make such a difference in your self image!
The third tip may require some deep breaths and even a little bit of practice as you go through the day. Or, a lot of practice. But to maintain your self confidence and self esteem after 50 you have to put in some work every day if you want to see positive results.
1 | eliminate negative self-talk & replace it with gratitude
I know how the drill goes because it’s easy for me to do the same thing. What is that ‘thing’? It is letting that self-criticism of how I look, what I’ve done (or haven’t done) in a day, the goals I didn’t accomplish, the poor choices I made with my food intake, the exercises I didn’t do…fill my head and pick away at my confidence. I failed again.
Negative self-talk is dangerous and destructive to our self confidence as women over 50, my friend, and can result in low self esteem. Whether you’re 55, 45, 65, 75, or 35, the result is the same. When we are our worst critics the results show themselves in how we look, how we feel, and how we live.
Of course our bodies have changed. Everyone goes through similar changes as they age:
- our metabolism slows down
- our skin becomes thinner
- our body shape changes
- our hair turns gray
- our need to exercise becomes essential
- our life situation may change drastically
We have so many things to beat ourselves up about, particularly if we compare ourselves to the younger, firmer version of us and spend too much time comparing ourselves to other women.
What can you do to eliminate negative self-talk? Try this instead. When your brain starts reciting the litany of your shortcomings, make it stop by turning the thoughts around into positives.
For example, when I look in the mirror and immediately start to point out to myself the wrinkles, sagging skin, rounded belly, and more, I say to myself, literally, “stop”. Then, I find two or three things about myself that are positive. This will be unique to each of us, but when I focus on the good things about me, those negative thoughts are pushed aside and my self confidence gets a little boost.
When you replace the negative with positive thoughts, inevitably there will be some gratitude sprinkled in with them, and that is a healthy way to fend off the bad self-talk. For example, if I tell myself that my hair looks good today, I will then go on to thank the Lord that I have a full head of hair, and am a healthy woman, because so many other people are struggling with illness and have lost their hair.
If I’ve been criticizing myself for those extra pounds that show up in my arms and legs, I’ll turn it around and be grateful that I have all of the working extremities, and am able to do what I want and am not limited in mobility.
Replacing negative thoughts with gratitude not only enhances our self confidence, it helps put things in perspective, too.
Here is another tip: when you want to get negative thoughts out of your head, sing a song. To yourself, in your head, that is. Unless you want to sing out loud, that’s up to you! For me, it’s usually in my head, just for me to hear. But when I do that, and focus on the song, it clears my head of the negative thoughts and helps me get on to the next activity of the day and lets go of the stuff that was dragging me down.
Remember, you are the only person who can defeat yourself from the inside out. Relegate the negative thoughts to where they belong. Out of your head. Be grateful for what you have and who you are. Keep that mantra of self care in your head instead.
2 | wear what makes you feel good
If you don’t feel confident in the clothes you’re wearing, don’t wear them. This doesn’t mean that you won’t put on any clothes until you find the outfit that makes you look young, beautiful, and perfect. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have any of those magic clothes in my closet.
But, I do know this. If I put together an outfit: a top, slacks or jeans, maybe a sweater, some shoes…and when I look in the mirror it just seems off, I need to do something about it. If I turn this way, that way, front view, rear view (always check the rear, girls!), and I don’t feel right, off come the clothes and I start over again until I am wearing what makes me feel good on that particular day.
Whether I’m getting dressed to work at home, or go to the grocery store, or head out to visit a family member, I feel confident and self assured when I’m pleased with my outfit for the day. That is a boost to the self image, and I need that. We all do.
So again, wear what makes you feel good, confident, and self assured. If you feel good about how you look, you’ll have more confidence in yourself.
Here is another tip: Pay attention to those articles of clothing, those outfits, that pass the “feel good” test. Because you know what? There is probably a pattern to the choices and a reason they make you feel the way they do. And, it’s possible that your wardrobe contains a number of pieces you really don’t want to wear anymore, for a variety of reasons.
You might be surprised at how our choice of clothing and how we see ourselves relative to fashion can affect our self image as well as our self confidence.
Check out these posts to learn more:
- How to Find Your Own Style as a Woman Over 50
- How to Put an Outfit Together with Confidence
- How to Simplify Your Wardrobe
If you’re feeling like a total revamp of your approach to fashion in midlife is in order (including your sense of personal style and confidence), see how my affordable email series course, The Fashion Cure, could be just what you need!
3 | move & speak with confidence & purpose
Our confidence and self esteem will get a boost when we stand tall, move about, and speak with confidence.
Even if you don’t feel it inside at the time, keep the posture tall, eyes forward, and an honest smile on your face. This may take you out of your comfort zone, my friend, but ultimately it will make you feel more confident and self assured. And, after awhile, that confident stride, that walk with purpose, that strong posture, that ready smile…will become more natural and a part of who you are, every day.
Something to Remember…
…about maintaining your self confidence as a woman in midlife. You don’t practice these actions once and find that you suddenly have renewed self esteem and confidence every day, all day. Realistically, you’ll go through these steps to boost your confidence just about every day. And you know what? That is perfectly fine, and normal. We have to work at being positive, healthy women!
As women over 50, we have so much to offer to others as we travel through midlife. Think of how much we have learned, how wise we are, the myriad of skills we possess, the positive influence we have on others, the love we share with our family.
Every time you look in the mirror, remember to keep the voice in your head singing a positive song, have the confidence after 50 to know the reflection you see is a woman who is comfortable with how she looks, is standing tall, eyes focused, and ready to face the world today with a smile.
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