How to be confident when you feel like a fraud

Finding a more confident you is easier than you think.

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  • Confidence may not be something you think about much - unless you don't have it. For women, developing self-confidence can be particularly difficult due to societal pressures to conform to certain appearances or particular roles. If you're struggling with self-esteem - or just looking to feel your best - finding a more confident you might be easier than you think.

  • Get something done

  • Has it been ages since you've crossed off an item on your do-do list? That procrastination could be undermining your self-confidence. The feeling of accomplishment naturally gives your self-esteem a boost, so when you're accomplishing nothing, you can expect the opposite result. Spend a day ticking items off your list (regardless how long). You'll feel more capable, more competent and - yes! - more confident.

  • Do some service

  • Strange as it may sound, your inner confidence might reside somewhere far outside yourself. If you're looking to build your self-esteem, try doing something that's not about you at all. Whether that means running a 5k for cancer research, taking dinner to a sick friend or volunteering at a neighborhood cleanup event, you'll be surprised how helping someone else can give your own a confidence a welcome boost.

  • Smile more

  • Is better self-confidence just a smile away? Maybe. Smiling and laughing can have a positive effect on your wellbeing - and genuinely improve your mood and health. When you smile, you become instantly more attractive to the world around you, drawing people in, rather than pushing them away.

  • Accept compliments

  • There's nothing like a genuine, heartfelt compliment. But for people with low confidence, it's tough to accept them graciously. Next time someone admires your dress or compliments a new hairstyle, don't deflect - cherish it! Low self-esteem makes it difficult to accept - and give - genuine compliments. Practice accepting compliments with a heartfelt "thank you," and, equally important, practice offering genuine praise. Your confidence will be all the better for it.

  • Chill out

  • Stress and anxiety aren't just bad for your health; they can be catastrophic to your self-confidence. If you're feeling overworked and overstressed, take a time out. When you slow down, even if that means nixing a few seemingly important responsibilities, you'll feel more in control of your life, making you more confident. Bonus: now you'll have time for that yoga class or just an evening relaxing with a good book.

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  • Reflect on your accomplishments

  • That blue ribbon for best cherry pie might not be a Nobel Prize, but it certainly reflects your talent and hard work. When you feel you're lacking in confidence, think about all you've accomplished in your life - whether that means appreciating your career, education and family, or pulling out a scrapbook to remind yourself of past awards and recognitions. Taking a moment to revel in your success can keep those confidence-undermining moments at bay.

  • Take the high road

  • Holding grudges? Nursing those little (or big) resentments could be undermining your confidence. If you want to improve your self-esteem and confidence, you could start with forgiveness. Practicing forgiveness not only earns you popularity and respect, it also makes you like yourself and the world around you.

  • If you want to make choices confidently, check out the Women’s Choice Award. You can check out which brands women trust most when buying cars, makeup, baby products, etc. for free.

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Kristen has a journalism degree and has experience writing in a variety of fields, including art and culture, health and fitness and financial and real estate services. Kristen has written for USA Today, SFGate and the Knot.

Website: https://www.facebook.com/kradfordprice

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