Confidence is the key to beauty. All of the externals that society tells us create a beautiful appearance---symmetry, smoothness, classic bone structure---really have very little to do with it.
How you look on the outside is a manifestation of how you feel on the inside—we radiate what’s inside us!---and the truth is, if you feel great about yourself, that’s what makes you look great to the rest of the world.
But where does that leave us if we don’t already feel confident?
We’re all human; everyone has insecurities and places we feel vulnerable. Even the most vibrant, radiant, energetic, sexy women I know sometimes feel a little less than confident about some aspects of themselves. It’s unrealistic to expect yourself to feel totally fabulous 100% of the time.
As women, we’re often trained to be so tough on ourselves, that if we’re not careful, we can wind up feeling insecure about the fact that we’re not perfectly and constantly confident! It’s a vicious cycle, and it only stops when we interrupt it.
But the good news is that we can. And it doesn’t require some dramatic inner overhaul—it just takes consistent, patient practice.
If you try practicing building confidence in small, daily ways, you might be astonished at how profoundly your self-image changes over time.
First: accept yourself—completely.
Sounds like a tall order, right?
All of us have parts of ourselves that we’d rather deny or hide. When our insecurities come up, it doesn’t feel good, and our first tendency is often to resist that discomfort.
We think if we cover up the thing we’re insecure about, we can make it go away. But here’s the secret: doing that just makes it stronger.
When we resist something we feel insecure about, that plays into the story that it’s a big, bad thing that deserves to be hidden. It might seem paradoxical, but accepting your insecurities and fears is exactly what defuses them.
Say there’s a little wrinkle on your forehead you feel self-conscious about. If you look in the mirror and think to yourself, “I hate that line; I better hide it,” cover it up with concealer and hope nobody notices, that reinforces the idea that it’s supposed to be hidden.
But what would happen if you looked at that wrinkle, said hello to it (no matter how silly that feels!) and accepted it, as a part of you? If you practice doing that, on purpose, over and over, one day you might find yourself
looking in the mirror and not minding that wrinkle one bit. It takes a little practice—and can feel scary at first—but it’s worth a try.
Listen to your body.
When an insecurity comes up, our body’s tendency is to clench up around it---and our mind’s tendency is to spin off into all the ways we can hide it, forget it, or make it go away.
What might happen if you experimented with tuning into your body when that happens? Take a little inventory: Where do you feel that insecurity?
Is it a tightness in your chest? An urge to hide your face? A clenching of your belly?
You can experiment with shifting your attention away from your thoughts and onto your body—and then relax into the feeling.
Doing this sends messages to your brain and your autonomic nervous system that you’re safe, that everything is okay. And practicing this experiment repeatedly builds new pathways in your brain—so that eventually, you may find yourself feeling better, more relaxed, and more confident.
Notice when you feel good.
Our brains are wired to pay close attention when something doesn’t feel good—and to remember it. Our attunement to our fears has helped us to survive as a species for thousands of years—it ensures that we pay attention when something is a threat and that we remember it for next time so we can protect ourselves.
But the brain functions that served us when we were living exposed to the elements, amongst wild animals, can kind of get in the way of our happiness here in the 21st century.
If we let ourselves default to focusing on our fears and insecurities, our survival instincts take over, and they just multiply. But if we put in a little extra effort to pay attention when we feel good---if we catch ourselves feeling vital, sexy, and confident and make a mental note to pay attention to that feeling and remember it—it winds up sticking a whole lot more.
That little bit of effort spent paying attention to those good feelings winds up multiplying them. Bit by bit, we can retrain ourselves to spend more time feeling great about ourselves and less time paying attention to our fears. And that builds confidence.
How To Boost Your Confidence
When women join together and share our stories — our joys, our fears, our unique wisdom — we have the power to change society’s view of aging.
Meet Riti, and Watch the beginning of her story here on the BOOM! blog.
Feeling good for me means feeling grounded and feeling peaceful.
It doesn't necessarily mean feeling excited about something. It just means sort of a steadiness, an alertness of being aware of the things around me and inside of me.
And so, when I'm in that place I do feel like I look good no matter what is going on with my hair or what I'm wearing.
I feel like looking good is about a kind of energy that comes from inside, and that's shared, an energy that I can share with the people around me.
When I was a makeup artist, I did a lot of listening. When someone is in your chair, they have downtime to relax, and there’s an intimacy and trust to the situation. Quite often people open up.
As I was making them up, I listened to the stories of these models. I was amazed at how many of them were depressed because they didn’t feel loved or appreciated for who they were, their character and viewpoints.
They didn’t feel seen or heard or appreciated for who they were. Instead, because people considered them the most beautiful women in the world, they were just interested in their bodies and their looks.
That really shifted my perspective. Here were these women, who fulfilled a societal ideal of beauty, who were supposedly at the top of the mountain because they looked exactly how we’re “supposed” to look, and they were feeling unhappy.
It made it clearer than ever that fitting that societal beauty ideal doesn’t make us happy! We give so much power to that ideal when really it doesn’t bring us joy. I wouldn’t have had that realization in the same way if those women hadn’t shared their experiences with me.
Later, once I was modeling and my images were widely published through advertising and magazine editorials, women started coming up to me in cafes, theaters, and bookstores to thank me for what I was doing.
They said it was inspiring them to throw the dye away, cancel the Botox appointments and look forward to their future with joy instead of dread. That impacted me, deeply, and inspired me to become even more public with my viewpoints.
Once I started to talk to women about these subjects, I saw tears of joy, relief, and received a lot of enthusiasm from them to keep the conversation going. Every woman I shared my ideas with felt “seen” and understood. It was emotional and exciting for all of us.
Being around women every day and sharing our stories has helped me grow, expand, and become more joyful in my own life.
My beauty philosophy has been shaped and developed by sharing our fears, our desires, and discovering together how we have been duped into believing we have to look young—in a very specific way—to be valued.
During our formative years, we are often convinced by society’s message that we must change our shape, our size, our hair and our features to be considered beautiful---but by sharing stories with other women, we can discover that’s not true at all.
I believe that we can spread these new pro-age points of view. I’m calling this process of discovery and sharing and being living examples of continuing to live life with passion and enthusiasm the “Pro-Age Revolution.”
By talking openly and truthfully with other women; sharing our fears, our pain, our hopes, our joys we can shift our anti-age viewpoints to a pro-age viewpoint.
By doing so we begin the process of shifting society's viewpoint. Every time I share my own experience, I offer the possibility of considering another way to look at our age---just like dozens of other women did for me.
Over time, that process can transform our society—ageism is moving over and the pro-age attitude is going to take over! It happens every time we talk to each other.
I get letters from thousands of women between the ages 13 to 90, sharing how they felt when they first discovered BOOM! products and the pro-age philosophy.
I have sat with tears of joy reading them. BOOM! is a movement. It’s a community of women of all ages around the world, ready to support each other and celebrating themselves and each other at every age!
So many women feel self-conscious about aging—of course we do---we’re conditioned to!
But if you talk about it with others, that fear starts to lose its power, and joy and connection begin to take its place. Get your fears out on the table. Listen to new and different points of view.
Be gentle with yourself. Let other women know what you find beautiful about them. It’s amazing what happens when we start to share with each other truthfully and authentically.
How do you practice this in your own life? I’d love to hear your stories in the comments below!
How We Can Expand By Sharing Our Stories
The first time Hadley came face to facewith her age, she was in her mid 30s trying on a wedding dress:“The first dress I tried on was very lacey, very low-cut -- and I turned around, and I was really stunned… I don’t think I’ve ever had a moment of truth like that before.”Watch all of Hadley’s journey towardwisdom and self-exploration in her brand new video.Video Highlights:0:14 The first time Hadley was confronted with age
1:09 Wedding dresses
1:43 Knowing what fits
2:50 living from your center
3:12 How children changed me
4:00 Making a lot of noise
4:20 Breaking out
4:44 BOOM! Mask
5:02 Boomstick Trio
5:12 It's not over 'till its over
Hi, I'm Hadley Boyd. I'm 47. I'm the youngest in my family, and I've always looked young. Aging just never affected me in any way.
Never thought about it, really, until I went to go try on wedding dresses and I was in my mid-30s. And the first dress I tried on was very lacy, you know, very low-cut or whatever, and I turned around and I was really stunned that my face was too old for the dress.
It was a dress for a very young bride, and it was the first time I'd ever come face to face with my age physically.
It was a shock. So then I thought, "Oh, you're not a kid anymore." Yeah, you know it was a relief actually to be able to put the lacy thing away and go for something that really suited.
And to have that moment of truth, I don't think I'd ever had a moment of truth like that before.
I got this gorgeous dress, princess seams and satin and so forth, and it was made by these Polish ladies in this atelier. Right before the wedding, I did not know I was pregnant.
We went in for the last couple of fittings and these very direct cut-and-dried women were like, "Our measurements are exact. You have gained weight." And I'm like, "I have not gained weight."
I had just ruined their dress. I had just ruined the lines of the dress. And then we came home from the honeymoon and I realized...I found out I was pregnant.
I ruined the lines of the dress.
Older women are very powerful. They've done so much for some many people by the time they get into their 50s and 60s.
They've built things, they've created things, they've learned to let a lot of things go, and all that wisdom can be very intimidating, I think, to people.
Wisdom, especially female wisdom, is one of the most powerful things in the world and that's why men need to sit on it.
You go through several lifetimes of living out other people's models of how to be.
Like when I went to college, I had heard so many stories of my parents' time in college and my sister's time in college, and I felt like I was supposed to do something like that.
So I would do things like I joined a sorority, which I didn't really have an interest in.
Now in my 40s, I feel like I've tried a bunch of different things on, now I know what fits. I have a better sense of that ping when something's not right, when something feels off.
People who don't live from their center or who live with kind of a grain of unhappiness it's like an oyster with a piece of sand under its shell. Instead of making of a pearl, that strain starts to show in your 40s and 50s.
If you don't take care of your stuff, it can show up in your face. It might have been difficult for me to stick up for myself as a young woman, but as soon as I had kids and I had to go to bat for them, I had no problem at all.
My son was in a Pre-K program here in the city. So they make them take tasks and all that sort of stuff, and my son as a three-and-a-half-year-old did not wanna sit for the exam.
So they couldn't grade him, which means his chances of getting into Pre-K were nill. I heard through the grapevine that the director of our school, this young woman, kinda too young for her job, had been gossiping about my son's scores.
Making another parent feel better like, "Wow, as bad as your kid did, at least you didn't, you know, do what this little boy did." It was the first time in my life I think I'd ever really caused a big problem. I made a lot of noise and I didn't recognize myself. I couldn't be stopped.
I think women who go on a journey of self-exploration, self-revelation, they start to glow more from the inside, and so that's what I'm going for.
I'm going for the glow.
I noticed in the last few weeks I have started to break out, and I didn't know why.
I don't normally break out, and I realized it was from the hot yoga class I've been taking, that whatever towel they're using...because you lean...you know, you bow with your forehead and then you bow with your right cheek and left cheek.
And I had this perfect triumvirate of pimples and I couldn't figure out why.
And then I just figured it out. So last night I used the mask and they are gone.
it was amazing. Yeah, I loved the moisturizer. I used both moisturizers. They felt really nourishing, gave it a nice sheen kinda thing, but they felt really nice.
And they were really, really easy to work with. I like the stick kinda thing, I know you're never supposed to tug at the skin around your eyes and so having it in stick form you just put it on.
I'm still inventing myself, so it's not over till it's over.
And I wish society would give women more of that message, too, that you just never stop going for things, you never stop inventing or wanting things. And that's really important. That's life for us.
It's About Women, It's about beauty, It's about time
Join the Boom Club for new videos, discount codes, and more!