We’re born confident. A toddler walks unsteady, they fall over and over, and haven’t mastered the skill of communication, by any means. Still, they won’t think twice about lifting themselves back up and running across a room to socialize with others.

All babies will do the same thing. They haven’t been taught negative self-talk or lack of confidence in their abilities (yet). They’re not anxious when all eyes are on them or nervous when addressing others. In adulthood, most of us don’t feel as secure. Our skin loses that baby-soft touch, but what else changes as we grow and mature?

Photo: @punttim Unsplash

Negative Self-Talk

Dove has funded fantastic research on self-esteem, confidence, and body image, and discovered that 80 per cent of women fail to recognize themselves as beautiful. It’s a universal problem. As our girls grow older, beauty-specific pressure intensifies while body confidence decreases, stopping them from seeing their true beauty. We begin to remember past failures and second-guess ourselves through negative self-talk.

Leah McFadden, owner of Revel Medical Beauty Club, said that her confidence began to plummet as a teenager. “I was 15- years-old in high school when I began my major battle with cystic acne. Having skin problems weighed on my self-confidence and I felt that people weren’t taking me seriously or worse, judging me.”

McFadden spent the rest of her teenage years hopelessly experimenting with every acne medication prescribed by her general practitioner, countless topical ointments, and likely hundreds of over-the-counter skincare brands, all to no avail. “In the end, I was hoping that my skin condition was something that I’d grow out of,” McFadden said. “But, that didn’t happen.

Unfortunately, this is a common issue amongst young women, and it may linger for years or even a lifetime – 54 per cent of women say that they’re their own worst beauty critic. And to make matters worse, negative self-talk tends to creep into some of life’s most significant moments. Take for instance, a job interview.

Four Minute Interviews

Recent research shows that the average interviewer will reach a final decision about an applicant roughly four minutes after meeting them. Looks play a role in their decision making, but, they’re not the most critical factor in interview success either. In four minutes, there’s a small window for an interviewer to evaluate how you speak, carry yourself, and respond to them. These are all strong signals of your level of self-confidence.

“Entering an industry that I was passionate about was a dream come true, but it was at this point in my life that I felt the impact of the condition of my skin the most,” McFadden explains. “The struggle was multiplied by the fact that I now had to be the face of an industry that promotes itself through messaging that’s aspirational in nature. Although I knew I had the skillset to support people with their skin and confidence, my self-confidence was non-existent.”

Get Your Confidence On

Clarisonic asked nearly 10,000 adults if they feel more confident when their skin is clear and healthy-looking. Not surprisingly, 31 per cent said yes. When you’re comfortable in your skin, you’re beautiful and confident, inside and out.

So, turning on your confidence will always give you a better chance of getting the job you’re after. And though loving the skin you’re in is a significant first step towards success, there’s much more to nailing an interview. The good news? Self-confidence can be learned and even recovered by using the following techniques.

Power Posing – Body language affects people’s perception of you, but it also impacts how you see yourself. Amy Cuddy’s studies demonstrate that ‘power posing’ (holding a posture of confidence, even if you don’t feel self-assured) affects your brain chemistry, and actually makes you feel more confident. You can learn more about it and increase your chances of a successful job interview by watching Cuddy’s video here.

Affective Memory – Like method acting, affective memory is often used to help actors relate more to their characters and create a confident, believable performance. Before a job interview, try calling on positive memories from previous job interviews and rehearse for those crucial first four minutes.

Rewrite Your Story – What makes you nervous during a job interview? Does your anxiety set in when you first enter the building or shake hands with your interviewer? Note what triggers you and consider what you might say in a conversation with yourself in these moments. Highlight all the negative self-talk and rewrite those words in a positive way; a manner that helps you feel poised and upbeat about yourself when you read them back. Flip, ‘I won’t ever get hired for this job’ into ‘this company is lucky to have someone like me!’

Remain Focused And Present – This ones simple: stay present and involved in the interview process by actively listening to what your interviewer has to say. Use your eyes to let them know that you’re acutely engaged and focus on what you’re trying to accomplish. That way, feelings of uncertainty, self-doubt, and nervousness will have less opportunity to sneak into your mind.

Love Your Skin, Love Yourself, And Get that Money

Not-so-surprisingly, McFadden has a different perspective now that she practices positive self-talk.

“Fast forward to today, and my attitude couldn’t be more different. I was able to find products and treatments that ultimately helped conquer my skin issues and I tell myself how capable I am every day when I look in the mirror,” said McFadden. “I can’t stop showing off my skin and I regularly showcase myself and the treatments I do on social media. It’s somewhere I never thought I’d be.”

Now go and get it, queens.

Hayden Birch

Hayden Birch

Hayden Birch is a serial entrepreneur and the Senior Outreach Manager at SociallyInfused Media Ltd. She spends part of her days wondering how to combine her two passions, comic books, and red wine. The rest of her time, she spends engaging with and consulting exceptionally creative business owners.

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