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How to maintain your confidence and identity during midlife changes

How to maintain your confidence and identity during midlife changes

From career changes to changing bodies, from menopause to mindset, from motherhood to empty nests, midlife can be a funny old time of upheaval and change. This can have a profound effect on the self-esteem and sense of identity of even the most confident woman.

But while your confidence might take a bruising, it can also be nurtured to new heights. In her book Perimenopause Power, Maisie Hill says “…what your mind gets up to can have a huge impact on your experience of peri- and post menopause. Adopting a more neutral or positive belief system about this stage of life and the decades that follow will only serve you well. This is an opportunity to radically change how you think and feel about yourself and your life… this isn’t a stage of life where you have to settle down. You can also rise up. Take a look at what your life so far has looked like and decide what you want to happen next.”

In that spirit we decided to gather some confidence-boosting tips from the wise women we’ve been chatting to over on our Willowberry Instagram live interviews:

BEAUTY:

"Don’t be saying ‘oh my wrinkles are awful’, just don’t do it. Try and wash yourself of the negativity around the ageing process and remember that you never, ever, ever lose your beauty. It changes but it’s never something lost."

Jane Cunningham, Beauty Journalist and Blogger

"We all gravitate to positive, sunny people so put your best foot forward and be fun, engaging and interesting. People have got their own worries and they simply don’t care what you look like. Just embrace people around you and smile."

Caroline Barnes, Make-up Artist

"Look at what you like about yourself…there’s always something that someone else is probably looking at you and thinking: Wow! Put on a smile, a bit of red lippy and you’ll be good."

Abigail James, Facialist

 

STYLE:

"Fashion isn’t rocket science but when you’re feeling low, the power of embracing it, albeit slightly a mask, really empowers you."

Gemma Sheppard, Stylist

"If you’re stuck in the same clothes you’ve been wearing for the past 20 years, maybe it’s time to change. I saw it as an opportunity almost to reinvent myself, which is fun!"

Rachel Peru, Model

"I think a lot of people struggle with having clothing that maybe doesn’t fit them so well anymore, they don’t feel good in it. Really have a look at how your body has changed. Just know who you are, what you love, what your body shape is and go from there."

Anna Cascarina, Stylist

 

CONFIDENCE:

"Often the way we speak to ourselves, we would never speak to another human that way. Write down what you would say to your best friend. Say it back to yourself. It is going to be your strongest mantra."

Gemma Sheppard, Stylist

"It’s about being comfortable in your own skin. With age comes much more of an ease about yourself. You care less, you know yourself a bit better, you’re more intuitive, you are wiser, and I think that’s beautiful."

Emma Bardwell, Menopause Nutritionist

"Keep on being interested in the world and what is going on, in every aspect of it. I think it really helps to be curious, to read a lot, to stay relevant, to know what’s going on."

Sandra Sallin, Artist and Blogger

"Inner confidence is complex. The big issue is usually around a loss of identity. Pinpoint when you started to recognise a change in yourself and sort that first. In survival mode you start to lose yourself. You are not going to glow until you are really feeling it from within."

Gemma Sheppard, Stylist

"For my 40th I did a tandem sky dive. I hate heights but I knew I had to build this bank of confidence up. Then I started travelling on my own and volunteered in orphanages in Uganda and India. It was nothing about the way I looked, it was about what was going on in my head and the confidence I was building by getting out into life and doing the things I really enjoyed."

Rachel Peru, Model

And if all else fails? As Willowberry founder Jenni Retourné says: “Confidence really is the biggest beauty secret. Fake it until you make it. If you can force it, you will notice the difference in the way people treat you and then you will start to feel more confident for real.”

Willowberry is nutritious natural skincare for grown-ups, for your best skin. 

A favourite with top make-up artists, Willowberry's luxurious award-winning products protect skin’s natural barrier function, to nourish and revive grown-up skin without telling women to be 'anti-ageing'.

As seen in Vogue, Independent, The Telegraph, This Morning and more.