Life coach Terri Savelle Foy, author of Make Your Dreams Bigger than Your Memories, shares her top tips for building confidence during and after pregnancy.
1. Stop speaking negatively about yourself.
This can be especially tempt-ing during pregnancy, as your body will slowly change in ways to which you are not accustomed. You believe in yourself more than anyone so cut the negative words out of your vocabulary and practice speaking positive affirmations to yourself. Your words create your image.
2. Compliment other people.
During pregnancy, it may be easy to lash out at your partner or your co-workers because you genuinely feel tired and uncomfortable or are not getting much sleep at night. To kick this bad habit, begin complimenting others. As you engage in building others up, you will, in effect, build yourself up. Practice having a conversation with someone in which you do not say a word about yourself to them. Look for ways to focus on them by complimenting their attributes or achievements.
3. Stand up straight.
If you think highly of yourself, you hold yourself high. It’s that simple. People connect good posture with confident, capable and qualified individuals. This is something you can change overnight to instantly appear and feel more confident.
4. Look people in the eyes.
When you avoid eye contact with others, you avoid connecting with them. Others may interpret your avoidance as disinterest when in fact you’re just shy. Looking people in the eyes demonstrates confidence and will cause people to respond more positively to you as well.
5. Don’t ignore your appearance.
Although pregnancy is likely to dominate your thoughts, you can’t be so distracted that you fail to give attention to your physical appearance completely. Even though you may not feel like your most attractive self when you’re in
the final stages of pregnancy, continuing to put effort into your appearance is crucial to remaining self-assured. Get a haircut. Buy a fun scarf to jazz up your maternity wear. Slide on some earrings, brush on extra mascara, and step out the door feeling beautiful.
6. Set goals.
As Norman Vincent Peale, acclaimed author of The Power of Positive Thinking, said, “Action is a great restorer and builder of confidence. Inaction is not only the result, but the cause of fear.” Although your main purpose is safely delivering this new life into the world, you cannot forget about your own hopes and dreams in the process. A confident person thinks about what kind of impact she can personally have on her world and on the lives of others. Set personal goals for both before and after you meet your baby.
7. Relish your alone time.
Whether it’s reading a book, writing in a journal, or painting your nails, alone time is key to relieving stress for you and the new life inside you. These moments are especially precious considering that after the baby is born, they will be much more rare. Your baby will benefit from having a mother who is rested and relaxed going into her delivery. Your thoughts directly affect your physical state and that of your baby—thus it’s best for those thoughts to be nurturing and peaceful.
8. Help others.
Focus on contributing to others and it will get you out of your own mind. That’s what being nervous and self-conscious is all about: focusing too much on self. You won’t worry so much about your own concerns when you’re looking for opportunities to be a help to the world around you. Give out food to the homeless. Visit a children’s shelter. Host a fundraiser. Making a difference in someone else’s life builds confidence in your own.