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6 Ways To Get Your Mojo Back When Your Confidence Is Slippin'

Inspiration

One scroll on Instagram or a bad hair day can make our self-confidence take a nosedive.


It happens more than we would like it to, but we all have moments when we don't feel like ourselves. Yes, we're the first ones to talk about self-love, but a lack of self-confidence can be just one of the fun (insert sarcasm here) things about being a woman. We all have our Monica moments where it's just one of them days and we just want to be all alone.

The key though, is to not stay down. Here are a few ideas to get your mojo back when your confidence is slipping.

Say Something…

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While it might seem like this method is a little overrated, they really do help. And they never get old. I've had times where I was really coming down on myself from my image to my career, but in those moments, we can be our worst critic or our number one cheerleader. The difference is what we say about ourselves. Who cares what anyone else thinks? When you speak out of your mouth that you're amazing, powerful, and a bad mama jama, you'll start to feel the shero within you rise once again. And the best part is that it might take a lot of energy in those moments where it's tempting to have a pity party, but those seemingly little words can make a major difference. You'll be milly rocking in the mirror again before you know it.

Retail Therapy

If you're as frugal as I am, this one might be a difficult one. But it's definitely worth it. I'm not saying you have to splurge on something major. It can be as small as a pair of shoes you've been eyeing or a jacket. Don't get me wrong, I don't think the foundation of our confidence should be the clothes we wear. BUT I'm also a strong believer that when we look our best, we feel good about ourselves, and can at times be even more productive. Besides, it can even be something like purchasing the LLC for your business; anything that will help you feel like you're the amazing woman that you truly are. Whatever you choose, just know that you deserve a good spoiling every once in a while.

Music Is The Move

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Okay, so… This might sound really crazy (or not), but it's no secret that music can determine our entire mood. I feel like we all have that one song from Rihanna to Cardi B to Kirk Franklin that helps boost how we feel about ourselves. Whatever song you have, blast it in the car while you sing along or belt it out in the shower and get ready to conquer whatever funk you might be in at the time. We all know that music can create memories, good or bad ones. Something about it has the power to uplift us in a unique way. So use it to your advantage and make new memories with songs that help you get back to feeling the superwoman you really are.

Pamper Yourself

Have you ever noticed what a day at the spa can do for your inner and outer self? Wonders, sis… wonders. Again, you don't have to break the bank. I'm basically the president of all things balling on a budget. From a manicure less than $30 to a pedicure or even a staycation at home for the free-free with your favorite meal, there are certainly ways to pamper yourself to help you get back your mojo. If you still need more suggestions, consider taking a nice, warm bath, or just asking our significant other to rub your feet. Sometimes it's the little things that make a huge difference. Ultimately, you're important enough to take time and not only woosah but also get pampered to help level up your confidence.

Show Off Your Pearly Whites

I always remember reading that it takes 43 muscles to frown and 17 muscles to smile. Still, when we want to be in our own mood and just have a moment, it might seem like spreading our mouth into a smile will take all of our energy; especially if we're forced to interact with the wrong person at the wrong time. Still, it's turning that frown upside down that will help us get our mojo back. Even when we don't feel like it, it can at least put us in a better mood when we're intentional about being happy and getting our confidence on track.

Think Happy Thoughts

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This one might not be as tangible, but it's arguably the most powerful. Most of the time (if not all), our insecurity starts within our minds. When you find yourself comparing yourself to someone else or trying to convince yourself that you're not good enough to live the life of your dreams, shut down those thoughts with positive ones. It's been said that you can't fight fire with fire, so the solution might be to say an affirmation out loud or listen to something positive (Sarah Jakes Roberts is always a win for me) that will help you get your bounce back. You can also try reading an inspiring book, or like the point above, listen to music that will encourage you to tap into your best self. 'Cause you're the bomb, sis.

Featured image via GIFs

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You may not know her by Elisabeth Ovesen – writer and host of the love, sex and relationships advice podcast Asking for a Friend. But you definitely know her other alter ego, Karrine Steffans, the New York Times best-selling author who lit up the literary and entertainment world when she released what she called a “tell some” memoir, Confessions of a Video Vixen.

Her 2005 barn-burning book gave an inside look at the seemingly glamorous world of being a video vixen in the ‘90s and early 2000s, and exposed the industry’s culture of abuse, intimidation, and misogyny years before the Me Too Movement hit the mainstream. Her follow-up books, The Vixen Diaries (2007) and The Vixen Manual: How To Find, Seduce And Keep The Man You Want (2009) all topped the New York Times best-seller list. After a long social media break, she's back. xoNecole caught up with Ovesen about the impact of her groundbreaking book, what life is like for her now, and why she was never “before her time”– everyone else was just late to the revolution.

xoNecole: Tell me about your new podcast Asking for a Friend with Elisabeth Ovesen and how that came about.

Elisabeth Ovesen: I have a friend who is over [at Blavity] and he just asked me if I wanted to do something with him. And that's just kinda how it happened. It wasn't like some big master plan. Somebody over there was like, “Hey, we need content. We want to do this podcast. Can you do it?” And I was like, “Sure.” And that's that. That was around the holidays and so we started working on it.

xoNecole: Your life and work seem incredibly different from when you first broke out on the scene. Can you talk a bit about the change in your career and how your life is now?

EO: Not that different. I mean my life is very different, of course, but my work isn't really that different. My life is different, of course, because I'm 43. My career started when I was in my 20s, so we're looking at almost 20 years since the beginning of my career. So, naturally life has changed a lot since then.

I don’t think my career has changed a whole lot – not as far as my writing is concerned, and my stream of consciousness with my writing, and my concerns and the subject matter hasn’t changed much. I've always written about interpersonal relationships, sexual shame, male ego fragility, respectability politics – things like that. I always put myself in the center of that to make those points, which I think were greatly missed when I first started writing. I think that society has changed quite a bit. People are more aware. People tell me a lot that I have always been “before my time.” I was writing about things before other people were talking about that; I was concerned about things before my generation seemed to be concerned about things. I wasn't “before my time.” I think it just seems that way to people who are late to the revolution, you know what I mean?

I retired from publishing in 2015, which was always the plan to do 10 years and retire. I was retired from my pen name and just from the business in general in 2015, I could focus on my business, my education and other things, my family. I came back to writing in 2020 over at Medium. The same friend that got me into the podcast, actually as the vice president of content over at Medium and was like, “Hey, we need some content.” I guess I’m his go-to content creator.

xoNecole: Can you expound on why you went back to your birth name versus your stage name?

EO: No, it was nothing to expound upon. I mean, writers have pen names. That’s like asking Diddy, why did he go by Sean? I didn't go back. I've always used that. Nobody was paying attention. I've never not been myself. Karrine Steffans wrote a certain kind of book for a certain kind of audience. She was invented for the urban audience, particularly. She was never meant to live more than 10 years. I have other pen names as well. I write under several names. So, the other ones are just nobody's business right now. Different pen names write different things. And Elisabeth isn’t my real name either. So you'll never know who I really am and you’ll never know what my real name is, because part of being a writer is, for me at least, keeping some sort of anonymity. Anything I do in entertainment is going to amass quite a bit because who I am as a person in my private life isn't the same a lot of times as who I am publicly.

xoNecole: I want to go back to when you published Confessions of a Video Vixen. We are now in this time where people are reevaluating how the media mistreated women in the spotlight in the 2000s, namely women like Britney Spears. So I’d be interested to hear how you feel about that period of your life and how you were treated by the media?

EO: What I said earlier. I think that much of society has evolved quite a bit. When you look back at that time, it was actually shocking how old-fashioned the thinking still was. How women were still treated and how they're still treated now. I mean, it hasn't changed completely. I think that especially for the audience, I think it was shocking for them to see a woman – a woman of color – not be sexually ashamed.

I hate being like other people. I don't want to do what anyone else is doing. I can't conform. I will not conform. I think in 2005 when Confessions was published, that attitude, especially about sex, was very upsetting. Number one, it was upsetting to the men, especially within urban and hip-hop culture, which is built on misogyny and thrives off of it to this day. And the women who protect these men, I think, you know, addressing a demographic that is rooted in trauma that is rooted in sexual shame, trauma, slavery of all kinds, including slavery of the mind – I think it triggered a lot of people to see a Black woman be free in this way.

I think it said a lot about the people who were upset by it. And then there were some in “crossover media,” a lot of white folks were upset too, not gonna lie. But to see it from Black women – Tyra Banks was really upset [when she interviewed me about Confessions in 2005]. Oprah wasn't mad [when she interviewed me]. As long as Oprah wasn’t mad, I was good. I didn't care what anybody else had to say. Oprah was amazing. So, watching Black women defend men, and Black women who had a platform, defend the sexual blackmailing of men: “If you don't do this with me, you won't get this job”; “If you don't do this in my trailer, you're going to have to leave the set”– these are things that I dealt with.

I just happened to be the kind of woman who, because I was a single mother raising my child all by myself and never got any help at all – which I still don't. Like, I'm 24 in college – not a cheap college either – one of the best colleges in the country, and I'm still taking care of him all by myself as a 21-year-old, 20-year-old, young, single mother with no family and no support – I wasn’t about to say no to something that could help me feed my son for a month or two or three.

xoNecole: We are in this post-Me Too climate where women in Hollywood have come forward to talk about the powerful men who have abused them. In the music industry in particular, it seems nearly impossible for any substantive change or movement to take place within music. It's only now after three decades of allegations that R. Kelly has finally been convicted and other men like Russell Simmons continue to roam free despite the multiple allegations against him. Why do you think it's hard for the music industry to face its reckoning?

EO: That's not the music industry, that's urban music. That’s just Black folks who make music and nobody cares about that. That's the thing; nobody cares...Nobody cares. It's not the music industry. It's just an "urban" thing. And when I say "urban," I say that in quotations. Literally, it’s a Black thing, where nobody gives a shit what Black people do to Black people. And Russell didn't go on unchecked, he just had enough money to keep it quiet. But you know, anytime you're dealing with Black women being disrespected, especially by Black men, nobody gives a shit.

And Black people don't police themselves so it doesn't matter. Why should anybody care? And Black women don't care. They'll buy an R. Kelly album right now. They’ll stream that shit right now. They don’t care. So, nobody cares. Nobody cares. And if you're not going to police yourself, then nobody's ever going to care.

xoNecole: Do you have any regrets about anything you wrote or perhaps something you may have omitted?

EO: Absolutely not. No. There's nothing that I wish I would've gone back and said to myself, no. I don’t think at 20-something years old, I'm supposed to understand every little thing. I don't think the 20-something-year-old woman is supposed to understand the world and know exactly what she's doing. I think that one of my biggest regrets, which isn't my regret, but a regret, is that I didn't have better parents. Because a 20-something only knows what she knows based on what she’s seen and what she’s been taught and what she’s told. I had shitty parents and a horrible family. Just terrible. These people had no business having children. None of them. And a lot of our families are like that. And we may pass down those familial curses.

*This interview has been edited and condensed

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Feature image courtesy of Elisabeth Ovesen

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