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A lot of women don’t think they know how to be confident. In fact, 70% of girls believe they are not good enough (according to a study done by the Dove Self-Esteem Fund) and there’s a measurable Confidence Gap between men and women (when will there be an end to all these gaps?). Call it imposter syndrome, negative body image, or lack of self-worth, but we all feel a lack of confidence at least sometimes, and for many of us, it’s all the time. But confidence is not a personality trait or something we automatically get when we hit a certain weight or income bracket; it’s a skill and practice that requires daily attention, and it’s something we all are entitled to.
And if anyone knows how to be confident and love ourselves, it’s Regina Bonds. Not only is she genuinely the most confident person you may ever meet, but she has also dedicated her life to helping other women find their confidence too (because she knows that true confidence means building other people up as well!). Bonds has worked with women around the world to help them recognize their value, find their voice, and clarify their path through the power of confidence, and I sat down with her to discuss all things confidence and self-love on The Everygirl Podcast. Listen to the interview and read on for some of her tips you can start doing today.
What is confidence really?
Most people think confidence is synonymous with arrogance (which is totally wrong!), and others believe it’s about the way you act. Many of us were taught confidence is a gift you’re either born with or not. Most of us—if not all of us—have an on-again, off-again relationship with confidence. While changed actions come as a benefit of gaining self-confidence, it’s much more than that. Confidence is the state of feeling certain about who you are and being certain of your value and worth. When you live in the realm of confidence, you become truly unstoppable. You won’t settle for just anything. Suddenly, all aspects of your life will align with your worth and purpose.
Self-confidence is the key to constant success. I like to think of it as a gas tank: If you find yourself feeling drained, depressed, or as though you’re empty inside, it’s possible your confidence tank is on “empty.” Many people try filling their confidence tanks with the wrong type of gasoline: money, relationships, or material things. But unstoppable confidence doesn’t come from external sources; it’s an inside job. You can’t expect people, places, or things to elevate your sense of self-worth. You’ve got to do the inner work, endure the painful process of self-reflection, and ask yourself some tough questions to get honest with yourself. Confidence is ready, available, and eager to embrace you with loving arms if you want it.
Tips to take your confidence to the next level:
First, you need to know what you want in order to be confident that you deserve what you want; what can’t be explained can never be obtained. There’s power in nurturing the vision of what you want for yourself, and life just makes a little more sense when you have a clear vision. Clarity also gives us a sense of direction and understanding. Write down what you want (even if you don’t know it all!) with specific details, and also make a list of the feelings you want to feel.
Tap into your courage
Begin to exercise the ability to go after what you want, even when it scares you. Don’t be afraid to bet on yourself. In order to level up in life and achieve unstoppable confidence, you have to get out there in the game of life and dream, explore, and discover. Don’t limit yourself if you’re afraid; do it because you’re afraid. Doing things that scare you will build confidence all on its own.
When it comes to building self-confidence, you have to stay committed to yourself and trust the process. Just like we make commitments to another person in a romantic relationship, make a vow to yourself to love you first. Self-love is just like any other great love; it’s a commitment to put yourself first before anyone else. When you use this confidence formula, you will marry yourself to true confidence because confidence isn’t something some of us are born with; it’s something we’re all entitled to.
Create your own confidence toolbox
To nurture your confidence, create a “toolbox” to help you get back on track when you feel yourself going through a confidence slump, you get scared of a new challenge, or you’re questioning your worth. Combining a positive mindset with specific habits leads to successful confidence. Here are a few of my recommendations to add to your own confidence toolbox:
- Create a gratitude journal: Start and end your day writing five things you’re grateful for.
- Meditate: Quiet your mind for five to 10 minutes each day (it may feel hard, but I promise you will rediscover yourself and your bliss).
- Affirm yourself daily in the mirror: Create five “I am” statements to use daily (“I am intelligent,” “I am worthy,” etc.). Then, add to the list as you go.
- Create an encouragement box: Keep a list of the compliments that mean a lot to you (whether it’s a pat on the back from your boss or a compliment from a friend) or ask close friends and family to share what they love about you. Write these down or keep a note in your phone to look at when life gets tough or your confidence takes a hit. You’ll be surprised by how good it can make you feel.
- Find a go-to book: Since books make us feel understood and less alone, create a list of your favorite books—the ones that set your soul on fire, inspire you, or just make you feel good. Highlight your favorite chapter so you can reference it as needed. And if it’s podcasts you prefer, keep a list of the ones that give you those “feel good” vibes to tune in to when you need it.