Do any of you watch “The Mindy Project”?
If any of you said no then I surely pity you!
“The Mindy Project” is a unique comedy spotlighting a woman who society feels should have low self-esteem. Just because she’s not skinny doesn’t mean she’s not funny, smart and attractive. Mindy Kaling, the star of “The Mindy Project” is unapologetic-ally confident and that momentum, and self-love, has guided her into 10 successful years on TV. We can all learn from Miss Kaling a thing or two (or maybe 10) on being confident!
Her show, unlike the flailing “New Girl”, projects a positive role model to young, impressionable women. The lead (super boring Zooey Deschanel) in “New Girl” cries and whines a lot, and depends on other people to fix her problems. Mindy, on the other hand, is self-reliant and actually fixes problems without any help. She loves herself so much that she knows she can make her life better, on her own. Even when her coworkers, friends, ex boyfriends, and even frenemies (I heart Ellie Kempler’s new role on the show), bog her down with heinous remarks, and put downs over her weight, intelligence and interests, Mindy always rolls her eyes at her nay-sayers and spits out a classy comeback. Nice!
Since I am a blogger (but not a typical one) I can rant and rave about why less shows today have strong female role models. However, those rants would be gallivanting through closed ears since blogs can only carry so much mileage through Google’s intergalactic space dump of mind-numbing articles. Instead, I will write to you about being your OWN Mindy Lahiri. And no, you don’t need to wear mismatched, neon colored, fruity-frou-frou- outfits to achieve her level of confidence. Save your early 20’s and fake it til you make it!
10 Ways to Fake Confidence (Borrowed from Jennifer S. White of Elephant Journal)
1.) Stand Tall: When you stand up straight, with your shoulders back, you will feel good about yourself and project that inner confident out to the world. Remember to also lift your head up high, pull your sternum up and let your shoulder blades naturally glide down. Even when you don’t feel like doing this, just remember the benefits you will reap from appearing confident. One example of a great benefit is that your interactions with strangers and even coworkers will drastically improve since they will be able to sense a shift in your body language. Mindy never slouches and always walks in with her head held high for every episode. She never even slouched once, even when her ensemble loudly dictated that she should—I still don’t understand why she dresses up the way she does.
2.) Smile: People who smile always win people over. It’s pure and simple. I call this the ultimate key to confidence since smiling (even faking it) helps you feel it and then you send that positive energy out into the world. Scientifically, endorphins are released from your smile and those chemicals lift your dour mood, perk up your eyes, and, eventually, spread from your face into your entire body. Why do you think people exercise like crazy in the Washington D.C area? Mindy loves who she is and smiles even when she doesn’t feel like it.
3.) Make eye-contact: I can see this being innately tough for shy people or for people who were raised in a more submissive household but this is a deal breaker. When you talk to people (even when you don’t want to and your mind is screaming, “LOOK AWAY”) smile, and make eye contact. Consistent eye contact communicates self-assured-ness to the person you interact with and that will help mitigate conversation, or even negotiation if that’s what you prefer.
4.) Quit apologizing: I’ve seen a lot of women do this and what many may not know is that the more your say it for minor/small situations, the MORE you give away your value. Incessant apologizing devalues people’s value of you and when it comes a time when you have to apologize–for real– no one will really believe you. I know it’s a hard habit to break but keep practicing this and eventually you will defeat it.
5.) Laugh at yourself, not others: It’s a lot easier to laugh at yourself and that often exudes confidence since it means that you are so happy with yourself, that you can crack a joke to humor the crowd, so to speak. But when you make jokes at other people’s expense, it only communicates very, very low self esteem. Think about this when you are in the workplace or whenever a “well meaning” friend makes harsh barbs at your expense (especially to a crowd). It’s not you, it’s really them so stay rest assured that you haven’t fallen to that level. Be the bigger (CONFIDENT) person!
6.) Say “Thank You”: When you are offered a compliment please don’t deny it. Don’t make excuses for it due to that little, negative voice in your head saying you don’t deserve it. If a compliment is said to you, then it is true. Keep your chin up, say Thank you in a confident voice, and move on.
7.) Look in the Mirror and See Value: Whenever you look in the mirror, do you only see things that you do not like? You really need to stop this nasty habit since the attributes that you do love about yourself is what people see first. Negative self- examinations will not get you anywhere and will only torpedo any positive thinking. Though this is not mentioned in the original text, I think you also shouldn’t compare yourself to skeletons gracing the covers of magazines. Photoshop can really play made tricks on your head since a healthy woman is not that skinny.
8.) Dress Well: If you dress the part, you play the part. Even on your worst days, always dress to impress. Wearing frumpy clothes, even on your down days, will only fosters negative feelings. Given that this recession has dwindled wallet sizes a smidge, you can always get high-end threads at Marshall’s, TJ Maxx and even consignment stores. Even on my worst days, when I am super tired, or don’t feel put together, I dress to impress (myself). Since I think highly of myself, the way I dress exudes those inner qualities.
9.) Surround yourself with Love: This may be understated but I personally feel like this is the most important step. Make sure you only surround yourself with people who think highly of you since that will only encourage your own self-appreciation. When you invite people into your life and into your heart, make sure they deserve it. At this age, you really should be picky with who you keep in your life. People who make jokes at your expense, cut you down or treat you as inferior to them should NOT be in your life. They perpetuate negative energy and that’s not what you need in your life. Check this article on Toxic People and start trimming that extra social fat in your life.
10.) Fake it, but only ’til you make it: You can’t always flaunt fake self esteem for so long because you need to back it up eventually. Make a list of 50 items on why you think you are awesome and carry that with you. For people with a weak sense of self, read up on books on having high self-esteem or go into therapy.
Having high self-esteem is the key to success and the key to great happiness. Moreover, don’t make excuses on why you shouldn’t have high self esteem by putting this off any longer. Start faking it today and reap the benefits well after.