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Self-confidence in just five days

SheKnows.com love/sex columnist Margeaux Baulch Klein is a freelance writer and lives in New York's East Village. She believes all is fair in love and sample sale shopping.

Believe in yourself

Self-confidence is essential to success in many aspects of our lives, yet so many women struggle with it. Below is five-day plan to help free you from self-doubt.

Day 1: Self-Confidence is Self-Love

As women, we spend far too much time criticizing and comparing ourselves to others in the name of self-improvement. We never seem to be smart enough, beautiful enough, thin enough, and so on. However, by judging ourselves so harshly, we are destroying our self-confidence in the process. The first step in gaining it back is to spend more time appreciating who you are. Today, your goal is to write down at least 10 things that you love about yourself and then read the list out loud.

Day 2: Look Good, Feel Good

The clothes you wear and how you feel in your own skin can make or break your self-confidence. Too often, we sabotage ourselves by continuing to wear or hold onto clothes that are detrimental to our confidence because it either seems a waste to throw them away or we think they might come back in style. With that in mind, your mission for today is to go through your closet and take out every itchy sweater, pair of too tight pants, and faded blouse you own and trash them, keeping only the items that make you feel like a million bucks. You can even go a step further, if you'd like, and go shopping for something new that makes you feel especially powerful. (Sexy shoes are great for this.)

Day 3: Commit Your Goals to Paper

Actress Cate Blanchett once said that she enjoys making to-do lists for the sheer pleasure of crossing the tasks off her list one-by-one. While you may or may not feel the same way, (sometimes to-do lists can feel overwhelming!) there is still something to be said about how accomplishing a goal can dramatically boost one's self-worth. However, you can't reach a goal without identifying it first, so, today, write down at least a couple of goals that you want to accomplish by the end of the week.

Day 4: Take Risks

When faced with a new opportunity or challenge, do you tend to shy away? Although the possibility of failure is always present, building self-confidence means accepting the occasional defeat while not allowing it to deter you from your goals. As long as you approach each occasion as an opportunity to learn, realize that there can be no real losing. For today, try something that you've never done before or even better, try something that scares you.

Day 5: Fake it until you make it

Even if you're not feeling one hundred percent confident, today, act as if you are. Sometimes the best way to deal with any lingering fear or self-doubt it to just confront it head on.

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