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Menopause confidence loss: how to regain your spark

We spoke to menopause experts about why we lose confidence in menopause – and how to find it again

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Melanie Macleod
Melanie MacleodWellness Editor
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If you've felt your confidence drop during menopause, we're here to reassure you that you're not alone. A huge 67% of people said their self-confidence plummeted during menopause, according to a recent survey.

We consulted three menopause experts on how they regained their confidence after seeing it dip, and we're happy to report they have some easy-to-follow advice on how they found their sense of self again.

Before we begin, it's important to identify why we lose our self-esteem during menopause. Even the most confident among us can feel our sense of self dropping when we hit midlife, and it has absolutely nothing to do with us. Instead, society is to blame.

Why do we lose our confidence during menopause?

1. We're told menopause is the end

"Western culture is obsessed with youth, and beauty is intrinsically linked to youth," explains menopause expert Dr. Naomi Potter, founder of Menopause Care, and co-author, with Davina McCall, of the book Menopausing

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Menopause can cause confidence loss

"Menopause is indicative of the opposite of youth. It's almost seen as lost youth, which can make us feel vulnerable, lost, overlooked, not seen and 'past it.' These are all reasons we see such an impact on self-esteem."

READ: Why can't I sleep during menopause? The real reason 

 2. Physical symptoms

Add on top of that the physical symptoms that come part and parcel of menopause, including hot flashes, dizziness and hair thinning, and it's no wonder that we feel a loss of confidence.

 "Hot flashes in public can be embarrassing and make you feel less confident and self-conscious when they happen," Dr. Naomi continues.

EXPLAINED: How to talk to your kids about menopause – whatever age they are 

3. Psychological symptoms

Menopause brings mental health struggles for some, causing us to forget words and suffer brain fog as well as anxiety.

"Poor concentration, brain fog and memory issues can make us question our own abilities," says Dr. Claire Spencer of My Menopause Centre. "Women tell me they feel that they feel lost and not themselves. "

READ: How to fix your sex and relationship issues during menopause 

4. Lack of knowledge

All these symptoms, along with a lack of understanding about why they're happening, can be debilitating.

"I left work amid menopause and my self-esteem and self-confidence were absolutely rock bottom," explains Lauren Chiren, founder of menopause platform Women of a Certain Stage.

"I found myself sitting in meetings, not being able to get words out. I couldn't focus, I'd find myself holding onto the arms of chairs because I thought I was going to fall due to heart palpitations," Lauren shared.

NEED TO KNOW: What to do when menopause impacts your work, according to an HR expert 

"It was really, really odd and I was in my early forties and I didn't have a clue about what was happening to me."

We're thankful that high profile women, such as Naomi Watts and Michelle Obamaare being open about their experience of menopause, making us more well-informed than ever, but Lauren explains that now we've broken down the barriers surrounding menopause, we need to reframe it to help rebuild our confidence - and stop other women from experiencing the same loss of self-esteem.

How to rebuild your confidence in menopause

Both Dr. Naomi and Lauren believe that reframing the way we think about menopause is the best way to minimize confidence loss.

If we stop seeing menopause as the end, and instead consider it the start of the next, very exciting life chapter, it feels a lot more positive.

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We need to reframe menopause

"Eastern culture's view is that menopause is the 'second spring' and that it can be freedom from contraception, periods, and the responsibility of young children, which allows you to focus more on yourself," says Dr. Naomi.

Lauren agrees that the freedom from periods is something to be celebrated, not seen as a loss.

"Menopause can be a positive transition," she reassures. "It's an amazing opportunity; we've gone through an average of 37 years of periods and everything that comes with that, yet we've still acquired incredible skills, knowledge and experience through all those years.

SHOP: The 6 best books about the menopause 

"But we're only halfway through our adult lives when we get to menopause, so imagine what the heck we're going to be able to do with all our skills and knowledge when we don't have to worry about losing around three months a year to period pain!

"We've got to stop buying the narrative that menopause is a negative, and think of it as something to be celebrated instead."

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