Many of us have heard, read, or seen many messages telling women that we need to have confidence, to stand up for what we believe in. This may be true – but what about when the thing that we need to believe in, is ourselves?
So how do we do this? How do we have self-belief? Well, the first step is: identifying our strengths. This is a lot easier than it sounds – particularly for women that are not ‘naturally’ self-confident. All of us are good at things – but we need to be able to recognise and pinpoint what these are, and understand how that makes us an asset to a workplace, relationship or friendship. This first step of recognising our own strengths is key to standing up for ourselves, because we need to be well-aware of when these strengths are being challenged.
Thus, step two is: believing that your strengths are true strengths. This requires a deep self-acceptance of your strengths. Having a strong sense of what is truth and what is not helps us to be confident in what we are good at. Because with the constructive (and not so constructive) criticism that we face each day, not to mention with our emotion states that can vary from hour to hour, this ‘truth’ can sometimes be hard to recognise. And if we are having a bad day – then we can be seriously shaken when we come across people or situations that challenge this truth.
It is worth mentioning though, that this requires recognising our need for growth within our strengths and our weaknesses. Because sometimes – although it hurts – criticism and identifying ‘growth areas’ is important – from our partners, our bosses, our friends, even from feedback forms! But believing in our strengths means differentiating between the truth – a true identification of ways in which we can self-improve – and false-truths, which are things that people say to bring us down, and to rock our confidence and self-belief. These false-truths must never seep into our consciousness and change our understanding of ourselves. We need to fight against these false-truths, which requires – you guessed it – Step 3: standing up for ourselves. This can mean challenging the people who said it, and challenging the reason that people are saying it. By ‘nipping it in the bud’ and addressing it as soon as possible, then you can actively disallow yourself from believing false-truths that if we are not careful – can become part of our understanding of ourselves.
And none of this is easy. To you non-confrontational types out there, this confrontation of the person or the cause that is giving you false-messages could well-be one of your biggest fears. But it’s for you – it’s for defending your cause and your truth. Yes, standing up for yourself requires courage and stepping out of your comfort zone – but ladies, you ARE worth that fight. So don’t let people dictate your truth – defend it as your own!