Far too many women world-wide feel uncomfortable in our bodies. But as young children, many of us felt comfortable in our skin; our bodies were considered treasured instruments—endlessly expressive, valued, and adored—and our world was not limited or dictated by our looks. Too often, women believe they will finally be content when their bodies change in some way; in actuality, they’ll be content only when their minds change—when they give themselves the permission and the tools to be content. Today, I wanted to celebrate that it is a new week, that there is infinite possibility before you and that none of us should play small or scared. Given all that, here are 10 ways- ripped from Beautiful You– to shore up confidence, encourage self-awareness, and get reacquainted with the beautiful, brilliant you that you’ve been neglecting. Try 2 each day this week to take a dive into self-acceptance. Want more? Pick up Beautiful You.
- Start keeping a journal. We’re often too busy to listen to what is going on inside of us. To really know yourself, you have to have silence and an entryway. Journaling provides that. There isn’t a right or wrong way to journal. Just diving in on the page is a fabulous start. You’ll find that writing is a great way to discover what you already know and feel deep inside. If you prefer prompts, enter journal prompts in the search engine on this blog for some of the ones I love to use.
- Realize that you are not your body. Our bodies are not who we are. We are a compilation of our heart, our soul, and our mind. Our bodies are simply vehicles that take us through this life, that allow us to experience this world, and each was chosen, through genetics, for our particular journey. Today, think about how much you are experiencing because of the hard work your body does. Appreciate it.
- Yet, you must treat your physical body well. Yes, our body is our vehicle of expression. It is what allows us to experience, enjoy, and grow from life. If we don’t reasonably maintain our body, we diminish our capacity to experience, love, and grow and, that, too, is a form of paralysis. Do at least one thing today to more thoughtfully honor your physical body so that it continues to be capable of doing what you ask of it. We’re not looking for a certain physical look here, but an honorable consideration
- Consider the time you’ve lost. Consider the thing that you most obsess over with regard to your appearance, then add up the time you have spent obsessing over in your life. Now ask yourself the questions I asked myself: Is it worth it? Is your hair, your makeup, your outfit deserving of that much of the time you have left in your life? Can you let a little of it go? Can you start toda
- Break your self-deprecation habit. Too often, we normalize our body hatred by letting unkind words pass our lips about ourselves without a thought. We should catch and correct ourselves because our whole lives are affected by how we think and speak about our bodies. Find a bowl, vase, or piggy bank and deposit some change each time you knock yourself, and watch your self-awareness soar and your habits change. When you have collected enough, treat yourself to a gift from the money you have collected or donate it. We can all change our language—and our minds.
- Ditch the fat chat. Take breaking the self-deprecation habit a step further. When a woman criticizes herself in front of you, don’t join in. Instead, celebrate what you love about her and tell her just how wrong she is.
- Have a comeback. Think of the jabs you sometimes hear from friends and family members. Perhaps they are about your appearance, your relationship status, or whether or not you have kids. Now take some time to come up with the perfect comeback. What can you say, the next time it happens, to let that critical person know that you would like to be treated differently or that your body is off limits for discussion? Periodically practice the comeback, in your mind and out loud, so that you are ready when you need to use it. And no worries: it doesn’t have to be fiesty. I like to say “this isn’t an appropriate conversation for us to have.”
- Embrace your passion. One of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves is apassion, something that brings us so much joy and satisfaction that we can’t help but feel successful when we are doing it. When we are doing something we are passionate about, we can’t help but feel like we have something to offer.
- Make eye contact. Much of our confidence is projected through our eyes. Avoiding eye contact is just one way of communicating to the world that you want to be invisible. It also communicates to the person whose eyes you are avoiding that he or she isn’t worthy of being seen, even if you don’t mean to send that message.
- Get political. Recognize that by being consumed by your appearance and the ways you do not measure up to someone else’s beauty standard, you are holding yourself back from being consumed by the calling of your life, from embracing your great gladness and giving it to the world. Imagine your life without the beauty obsession. Would you have time and energy for something else? If so, begin exploring that something else now.
Have any of these ideas worked for you in the past? Could you see them working for you now?
This post was originally published August 2011.