• Michaela Newsom

How to boost your self-confidence in perimenopause

Perimenopause hits just when you are at the top of your game. A successful career, a family, a home. You have it all and then all of a sudden you can’t remember people’s names, in work meetings you go blank, you start crying in meeting, in front of your work mates. You have no idea what’s going on but you feel like you are losing your mind. It can have a devastating effect on your self-confidence. On top of that, perimenopause is like an acknowledgement that you are getting older. We live in a society that tends to value youth and beauty over experience and wisdom and so we are surrounded by people trying to look younger and more beautiful which can have a huge impact on our self-confidence when we are feeling a little vulnerable. The good news is that once women move beyond menopause, they tend to find themselves filled with a newfound confidence and at ease with themselves in their own skin – often for the first time in their lives.

So remember that this is just a passing phase of your life and it will get better but in the meantime here are six tips to help boost your self-confidence in perimenopause.

1. Give yourself a pat on the back

When we are feeling a little down on ourselves we can struggle to find the positive and value in what we do. So make a note of all the little things that you have a achieved in the day and give yourself a pat on the back, even if it’s something simple like you got the kids up dressed and to school on time. Don’t underestimate what an achievement that can be and there are lots of kids that don’t have that support, so well done you. At the end of each day write down 3 things that you are proud of that you achieved that day no matter how small.

2. Create your very own strengths statement

Take a pen and paper and write down a list of your strengths. If you are struggling, ask a friend or family member or consider the following questions:

What are some of biggest challenges in life?

How did you overcome them?

What achievenments are you really proud of?

What do you like and admire most about yourself?

What are you really good at?

What skills do you have that others don’t?

What do you love doing?

What do friends and family admire about you?

Once you have done this you can create your own strength statement that reads something a little like this….

I am someone who is ………..

I have overcome ………….. by …………. and have achieved …………

My friends and family love that I am ………. and I love to……………

3. Do affirmations daily

Our brains are programmed to focus on the negative which from an evolutionary perspective is not necessarily a bad thing as it has ensured our survival. In a negative situation we need to take action to survive, for example if there is no food, no shelter or predators lurking, if we don’t take action we become ill or even die. Conversely, when everything is hunky dory the brain has no need to take notice and take action. Today, however, our lifestyles are a complete mis-match for this evolutionary advantage and negative thoughts can quickly spiral and become something much bigger. So spend time focusing on positive thoughts. Write your affirmations down and have them where you can see them several times throughout the day – have them as your phone or laptop screensaver, on the mirror in the bathroom, on the fridge.

The more you fire your neurons the stronger the neuronal pathway becomes, so practice firing positive neural pathways. Researchers have shown that repeating positive self-affirmation actually caused changes in the brain regions associated with self-processing and these changes led to positive changes in behaviour.

4. Accept compliments

What did you say the last time someone complimented you? Did you brush it off or put yourself down? Accepting a compliment reinforces the message that we are good enough, we deserve the compliment and someone else cares enough about us to notice.

5. Do something every week just for you

During the perimenopausal years looking after family and own needs can drop to the bottom of the pile. This can subconsciously start to give ourselves the message that we don’t matter. The brain gets this negative message on repeat and starts to believe it.

6. It’s not all about you

The way someone speaks to you or responds to you is rarely to do with you. Our behaviour is complex and is based on a lifetime of habits and experiences. The way someone responds to you is a result of these habits and experiences rather than a response to you personally. Take a look at bullies, often their behaviour is related their own feelings of inadequacy or lack of control and the need to try and have power or control over something else which unfortunately may just be you.

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