What can start as a morning feeling fit and fabulous can often turn into an afternoon and evening feeling a lot less than such. We catch a glimpse in every mirror or reflective material possible throughout the day and demonize ourselves and our efforts along the way. Not surprisingly, this situation of feeling less than in love with ourselves and our bodies is pretty widespread. Seeing friends much thinner, more in shape or on the path of major accomplishments can automatically make us wish more for ourselves or want different things than what we already have. Not surprisingly, these people that we view with candy coated eyes are frequently feeling the same and scrutinizing over another person down the line. The cycle continues in a never ending circle of hate and unnecessary harshness. We’re bombarded with social media, advertisements, entertainment, unrealistic ideals and unattainable goals. We tell each other to love ourselves and one another, but can rarely accomplish this momentous task at hand.
I guess I can’t say if this happens to everyone, because I’m only one person… but I can say it happens to me, all the time, and every single person I’ve ever talked to about it. It infuriates me. Most days, I love myself and I’m happy with my body… but there are more days than I’d like when I don’t. A compliment of looking great will be replaced with an immediate thought of how on earth they think such a thing, or worse, if they’re lying just to be nice. I’m faced with unrealistic body images and almost daily, find myself reminding my own mental and emotional process that this is normal and I’m human. So, here we are…. all of us humans living in this alien world of expectations. Thinking worse of ourselves than even closely necessary and continuously acting as our own worst critic. It won’t stop – that’s the hard truth, but it will get better if we try to overcome it. The way we think about ourselves and the world around us has a huge impact on EVERYTHING. The least we can do it try to make it more positive…
STEP BACK FROM A MAGNIFIED VIEW
Way too often, I find myself honing in on the smallllllest little thing when looking in the mirror. Upset about this one wrinkle or dimple or doughy part of my body. Step back… literally. Walk farther away from your mirror to see the full image. Turn around and turn back again with clear eyes to allow yourself to see the true beauty looking back at you. Sometimes, it won’t matter, and that’s ok. Other times though, it will and realizing another perspective can be incredibly powerful.
ACCEPT THE COMPLIMENTS
Most of us absolutely and completely suck at accepting compliments. We have this weird phobia about people telling us positive things they’ve noticed about us and quite honestly, that’s ridiculous! To help combat this, some friends and I decided to respond to compliments with a smile and response of “Oh yes, please go on!” A laugh is usually returned because it’s unexpected, to which we’ll respond with a, “just kidding, but seriously – thank you, I really appreciate your kind words!” Aside from the handful of crummy people out there saying nice things because they’re secret bullies with hidden agendas, the majority of compliments you receive are authentic. You ARE amazing, you ARE beautiful, you ARE an inspiration, you ARE wearing killer wedges, you ARE the person with the best hair in the room….. SOAK IT IN and say THANK YOU!
SELL YOURSELF ON SELF LOVE
There are bound to be things you hate about yourself, that’s old news. Dig deeper than the standard self hate and start writing down what’s on the other side. What do you like, love and feel very loyal to about yourself? It can be anything you want, as long as it’s something. And YES, there is something we all like about ourselves. Sadly, we often suppress these feelings and they end up hard to find. I love my curves, even when they make me feel fat. I love my work ethic and willpower when I put my mind to something. I love my nails when they’re not bitten off. Most of all, I love my ability to reflect and accept all the things about myself, both loved and unloved!
FIND COMFORT IN THE UNSPOKEN SUPPORTERS
At any given time, there’s someone rooting for you that you have no idea about. Even in our world of being so publically present online and in person, we can feel shy, sheltered and scared. We keep our thoughts to ourselves and secretly send positive vibes to those who inspire us. Even when you don’t receive a compliment or a million likes on your latest selfie, someone is thinking about you and wondering how you do the amazing things you do. More likely than not, your presence in this world, your body image, your personality and your path are motivating someone – never, EVER forget how much that matters. Never forget how others have impacted you in that way and above all, never forget that you’re amazing, beautiful and so much stronger than your image issues.
FUEL YOUR BODY WITH BALANCE
We’re the masters of fad diets, destroying our bodies and minds, and bringing ourselves down during the idiotic processes that we falsely feel with make us better. Instead of crashing and burning to bring on a bikini party in a few days, fuel your body with better health over time. Find a daily balance that gives you the strength, confidence and courage to conquer anything – planned OR unplanned! Face to face with something that you don’t feel ready for or confident about? Allow that to light the fire within you to make a change. No more pity party – just a positive step in the right direction that tomorrow is a new day and a new chance for healthy change.
To all the beauty and strength you hold within,