5 Lessons In Self-Confidence From Queen Bey

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Dear readers, a national and global treasure was born 34 years ago today. Her name is Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter. Not only has she blessed us with a lyrical toolbox of ways to be our best, most confident selves, but she relays this all with a feminist spin we appreciate. (Yeah, we can forgive "Cater 2 U"). So, on this very special occasion, we've gathered some of our favorite life lessons, straight from the mouth of Bey (and some psychologists, for good measure). Here's hoping we all earn straight Bs. Lesson 1: You — yes you — can run the world.
Of course you're strong enough to make millions alongside the rich dudes of the world — because you’re cognitively the same as they are. Yep, a 2013 study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology confirmed that the cognitive differences that do exist between the sexes aren't enough to make any diagnoses about what's "typical" for anyone. "Boy you know you love it / How we smart enough to make these millions / Strong enough to bear the children / Then get back to bidness."
Lesson 2: You're a sight to see.
There’s no shame in wanting a good-looking partner — or admitting that you're pretty damn sexy, too. If that sounds like you, studies from Northwestern University suggest you might also be one to fall for a new partner pretty quickly: The sooner you and your honey click into a romantic pattern, the more likely it is that you two are at similar levels of attractiveness (Read: You're both hotties). So don't be afraid to get to it. "Damn, I know / I'm killing you with them legs / Better yet, them thighs / Matter of fact it's my smile, or maybe my eyes? / Boy, you're a sight to see / Kinda something like me."
Lesson 3: Don't be afraid to boost your bedroom bravado.
Seriously, upping your confidence between the sheets can help you feel that way in the streets, too. According to a recent study published in Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, having positive experiences when experimenting with your sexuality can boost your overall self-image. And if you have an alter ego that (consensually) comes out during sex, that totally counts! Take this as your excuse to call yourself Sasha or Peaches and get a little nasty. "Take all of me / I just wanna be the girl you like, girl you like / The kinda girl you like / Is right here with me."
Lesson 4: Love the person you are right this second.
A 2012 poll of over 1,000 18- to 29-year-olds revealed that 59% of them agreed with the statement “I think adulthood will be more enjoyable than my life is now.” Which means that the majority of participants — many of whom we might consider adults — were reserving their own happiness and self-worth for a TBD time in the future, rather than making the present enjoyable. Beyoncé herself struggled with this future-focused thinking as a teen, so you know you’re not alone. As tempting as it is, we can't just wait for the future to hit to feel good about who we are. Now get to the present, and stay there. "At 14, they asked me what I wanna be, / I said 'Baby, 21, so I can get a drink.'"
Lesson 5: "Stick-up, stick-up" for all women.
As necessary as it is, actually fighting back in the face of sexism can seem like a daunting task — and it is necessary all too often. In a 2014 study, researchers took a look at the chilling phenomenon of women who remain silent while observing sexism. Because one traditionally female gender expectation is avoiding aggression, the study authors posit that this may make it harder for women to rally against the already-present sexist attitudes we face. But, to empower women everywhere, we sometimes need to stick up by speaking up. Although pushing yourself to be more assertive isn't always the best course of action, it's always worth it to check yourself for subconscious hang-ups about getting out of your passive comfort zone. Whenever you're in doubt, simply ask: WWBD?

"This is a stick-up, stick-up (I need them bags and the money...) / We're gonna stick-up, stick-up (You see them ask, 'Where that money?') / All my ladies get it up, I see you, I do the same; / Take it to another level, no passengers on my plane."

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