This article was originally published on February 24, 2016 and has been updated.
Confidence is like an outfit. It can be sexy, it can be cute—sometimes, it can be flat-out over the top.
Wearing confidence is like wearing an outfit. Worn the right way, confidence is sexy. Worn the wrong way, it’s quite the opposite.
These days, I feel like most people are wearing confidence all wrong.
People who wear confidence the wrong way are getting their confidence from the wrong source.
Let’s start with what I feel confidence is.
What is confidence?
Real confidence takes us out of our comfort zone. It challenges us. A confident person knows that no matter how challenging or difficult a situation, they can own it.
Confidence is presenting a speech in front of hundreds of people who intimidate you, and still feeling good about yourself, despite what you are wearing or what you look like.
Confidence is owning it.
It’s knowing that you have the knowledge and power to do whatever you want.
Confidence is loving yourself, and it comes from inside.
What’s wrong with confidence in today’s society? With the growing popularity of social media, it is external factors that are either bringing us confidence or depleting our confidence.
Posting pictures on social media and receiving ‘likes’ gives people artificial confidence and validation.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, social media can make people feel inadequate. It makes us question why our lives aren’t as perfect as the lives we see portrayed there.
These external factors are influencing our self worth, and this is not healthy.
Sure, a great pair of heels and new hairdo can make us feel confident. Posting a picture on social media with the same heels and hair can also make us feel more confident. But this confidence is fleeting (and artificial) if it doesn’t come from within.
A deeper level of confidence doesn’t take a pair of sexy shoes or a handful of likes on Instagram.
So whether you’re in a pair of brand new heels or your oldest joggers, if you have the confidence, you'll look sexy either way. Your confidence and sexiness will simply shine through.
My 3 Steps to Sexy Confidence
1. Believe in yourself.
Like I said, confidence comes from within. If you believe in yourself, and believe in every single thing you do, your words and your actions will reflect this.
Whether consciously or not, people pick up on inner confidence. It is reflected through you and your actions. When confidence is reflected through you, people not only see it, but feel it. When you believe in yourself, others believe in you as well.
Being too confident. No one likes talking to someone’s ego. When people talk to others who have a big ego, it’s almost like a contest to see if they can one-up you, or try to prove how much better they are than you.
Being too modest. You don’t want to come across as having a low opinion of yourself—or that there’s nothing worth celebrating. There is a lot to celebrate about being you, so don’t be modest about it!
Find that sweet spot between modesty and over-confidence. But be careful—it can be very easy to cross the line between modesty and over-confidence.
Don’t be afraid to share some of the great things that are happening in your life. But when you are sharing your accomplishments, be sure to ask others about the accomplishments going on in their life. You can ask something like: what have you done recently that you are proud of?
2. Celebrate others.
Everyone loves being acknowledged for a job well done. It’s in our nature.
Being recognized when you’ve put your hard work into something is a great feeling.
Embrace this feeling. And share it with others.
Being able to celebrate others and their success shows absolute confidence. It shows that you care not only about your own success, but other people’s as well.
When you celebrate others, you shine a light on them and bring out your own inner confidence.
Only celebrating your own success and/or not acknowledging others for their support. If someone has helped you get to where you are then thank them!
Never take credit for others’ success. This has happened to me several times throughout my career. It is dishonest, and will show its way eventually. Own up to your successes, and when someone else succeeds, don’t take credit for it—celebrate them!
Compliment people. Acknowledge them and their hard work. It can be as easy as saying “You’re inspiring”, or “I admire the way you run your business”. Write them a card, send them an email, take them out for lunch—doing this shows your confidence—and it's sexy.
3. Stay committed.
Setting goals, working towards them, and staying focused can be difficult—and scary. You don’t know if you will be able to accomplish what you have set out to do, or how hard the road will be.
One of the sexiest things about confidence is being able to face the unknown—facing the hard times and obstacles and overcoming challenges.
Commitment will attract your dreams. There are times when it’s easy to give up when the going gets tough, but a confident person overcomes. A confident person stays committed and never gives up.
Giving up at the first obstacle or challenge. I have seen this all too often in both my career and personal life, when someone just gives up when things get difficult.
Remember: goals take time. They take hard work to achieve. If they were easy, everyone would do it. If a goal doesn’t take commitment, it’s too small.
Continuously changing your mind. You have to stay consistent. If people see that you aren’t committed, they won’t take you seriously. They won’t support you.
Going forward with a goal. Even if you don’t know where it will take you or how it will result.
Confidence is about being able to trust yourself. Trusting yourself to figure it out, asking for help when you need it, and persevering through all challenges.
You don’t know unless you try.
Ask yourself two questions when you start to lose confidence:
“What do I need to know about this?”
“How do I get around or through that?”
Then, go do it! Become a Dynamic You!
I often get told that I am confident. Yes, that may be true—but it is always a work in progress. Why?
Because as I grow, and as my business grows, and as I expand the services I offer, I enter unknown territory. I’m human like everyone else. I do things I'm scared of, things I've never done before. I meet and work with people I have admired from afar. I hit challenges and roadblocks that seem insurmountable.
But I believe in myself. My belief, my ability to celebrate others, and my commitment are what give me confidence and help me succeed in business and in life.
It’s not always easy.
But where’s the fun in easy?
Liked this post? Here are three more you might also like to read!
A Woman's Guide to Business Survival
How to Get to the Next Level
The Secret to Staying Positive and Passionate
P.S. I’m always adding to my curated list of ways to be confident, so if you have another idea (which I’m confident you have!) then please share it below or send it to me privately at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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