I was contacted by a scrumptious Nu Bride reader and wanted to share this topic with you. As understandably, confidence comes up time and time again and something I often work with clients on overcoming.
I am getting married in April this year, and am stuck with some serious confidence issues!
How can I overcome them, so that I can stand tall and actually feel beautiful for once on my wedding day?
With only a few weeks to go, nerves can be rife during the final stages of getting married.
I’ve said it before. It’s ok and completely normal to feel nervous and unconfident. Try not to beat yourself up about it, it won’t help. Weddings are a big deal and assuming most of us follow the traditional format, the prospect of being the centre of attention, all day, can be completely overwhelming and it’s understandable to feel intimated.
The one thing that caught my attention in this reader query was your comment about ‘actually feel beautiful for once. This leads me to believe you don’t feel beautiful and there may be some battles with self-esteem. I hear you.
I firmly feel we become what we believe. How we think, has so much power over how we feel. Just because we ‘feel’ un-beautiful, doesn’t mean that we are.
With the right understanding, we all have the power to change how we think and feel in an instance and the road to long-lasting confidence will follow.
I mentioned the role of self-effacement in a recent post that low confidence, feeling powerless is something that is more frequently aligned to women than men:
Sometimes it’s almost as if women have been programmed to criticise, deflect compliments, or behave inferior to avoid being accused of being ‘over-confident’… Are we conditioned to self-sabbotage?
There are SO many things you can do in the run up to your day AND on the day itself, to keep nerves at bay and stop them from interfering with your celebration.
The one thing that it is SO important to keep reminding yourself on your wedding day; ‘Everyone there is on your side’.
Give yourself permission to feel vulnerable, un-confident and nervous. Don’t make any judgements or place expectations that you shouldn’t feel nervous, you might.
And that’s ok.
Sometimes simply giving yourself permission to just ‘be’ takes away the overwhelming pressure to be perfect.
Practice Being Confident
Sounds silly – but you can’t just suddenly ‘be confident’ you have to practice. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy says “fake it until you become it”. Let’s get to it!
Practice Power Poses
When we are confident, our body language is big, open, we are taller, we feel good. When we feel un-confident we do the opposite with our body, we shrink to make it smaller, fold our arms, put our head down etc. A HUGE part of feeling confident is in your body language. Practice big power poses (see video below) for 20 seconds before you need to enter an environment that makes you feel un-confident. Such poses are scientifically proven to increase testosterone levels by 20% which help you feel more confident, simply from changing your body language. When I want to feel confident, I wear my favourite heels, they change how I walk, how I stand, and force me to be taller (bigger) and ultimately change how I feel.
Let me know how you get on and try some of the power poses in this video. Honestly from the coaching world, we always champion ‘changing your state’ when you are having unhelpful feelings. Your body changes the way you feel in an instant. Feeling un-confident? Instantly open up and make your body bigger – think of a cat about to fight – it makes itself bigger and more intimidating!
Watch this video – it will make more sense.
Remember a time when you felt comfortable. Imagine what it would ‘feel’ like to be confident? Remember a time when you didn’t judge how you looked, or when people look up to you for love and support. Think about someone confident you admire and mirror their body language.
Remember when you got engaged and how you felt…. On top of the world? Hold onto that. THEN practice some of the power poses for 20 seconds, before you walk down the aisle (or enter a situation that is intimidating).
Even those of us who are, or appear to be confident, all have our moments of insecurity, self-doubt, inferiority. It’s ok. These are human conditions, don’t deny them, accept them and try to understand why they are happening at that moment. Changing your body language or remembering when you felt great, can instantly help change the negative shift.
An oldie, but goodie. Say these to yourself in the mirror several times a day and ‘mean’ them. If you find it difficult to say a certain phrase, notice it, go back and say it again until you mean it.
I am beautiful.
I am loved
I am valued
I am a force to be reckoned with
I will rock my wedding day
I deserve to feel beautiful.
I will smile, I will laugh, because I am beautiful.
Yup. Start looking at yourself in the mirror and accepting what you see is perfectly imperfect. You WILL feel excited, You WILL feel nervous. But you WILL also feel beautiful on your wedding day and with that comes confidence. You will feel beautiful simply by marrying the one you love with all your friends and family all right there cheering you on, by your side. Allow your friends and family to lift you higher.
Do you worry about confidence or feeling un-beautiful on your wedding day? Please get in touch by commenting below, or send me an email. I would love to help firstname.lastname@example.org