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While it’s unrealistic to think we’ll always be 100% happy with our looks, freeing yourself from a constant loop of self-imposed negativity is absolutely possible. Here’s how to get started!
Confront What You Don’t Like and Challenge It with Appreciation
We all have negative thoughts about our bodies at one point or another; we’re human. The thing is – if not confronted – these thoughts and feelings are poison to our self-esteem and deeply affect our confidence and happiness. In my post, Are You A Bully?, I go into detail about a variety of negative thoughts, but the takeaway is recognizing how often these thoughts arise and confronting them with a positive challenge.
For example, “Look at how much my thighs rub together, gross!”, can be challenged with, “These thighs enable me to walk, run, and dance.” It won’t seem natural at first, and that’s OK! The more you challenge these negative thoughts with positive appreciation, the easier they will be to ignore and, eventually, the less they will happen. For your own “Negative Thought/Positive Argument Worksheet”, click here!
Start Celebrating Your Strengths
Like a ripple in a lake, loving the hell out of one part of your body – no matter how small – will have an impact on how you view the rest of you. Pick one part of you that you’re happy with. Be it your long legs, full lips, or strong arms, celebrate it! Accentuate that aspect of yourself when you get dressed, focus on it intensely in the mirror when you’re lifting weights, and think of it each and every time you have a negative thought about another part of you.
Start to look for another small thing you like, and allow yourself to get comfortable feeling confident about it. Again, the more you practice these actions, the easier they will become.
Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
The media certainly doesn’t help us with articles like, “who wore it better”, but comparing ourselves to others is a huge waste of energy! Judging yourself as worse than someone else, damages your sense of self. You view yourself in a negative light and stop seeing your positive qualities. By spending our time dwelling on what we aren’t, we’re spinning our wheels and not getting any closer to what we actually want.
Instead, focus on your personal goals for where you are now. If the body you’re comparing yours to is prepping for a figure competition and you’re aiming to fit into your pre-pregnancy pants, that is not your goal!
Only picking apart what you don’t have, don’t do, and don’t look like, is fruitless and drags down your self-esteem and self-confidence. When you choose to focus on what you have done and are able to do, your confidence will grow and the things you do not have won’t matter as much. For more tips on how to stop comparing yourself to someone else, check out my post, Do You. Free Yourself From Self-Comparison!
Surround Yourself With Positive Powerful People
During a recent session, a client brought up that she went out to dinner with some friends a few years younger than her. “They were all talking about this new diet, or how they were trying to lose a few pounds”, she told me. “And I was bored with it. I don’t want to talk about that anymore!” I loved how she recognized this in the moment!
When you’re around others who routinely pick themselves apart, you’ll start to pick yourself apart. The size of your jeans may have zero impact on your day. The thought of them may not register as something to spend any time thinking about. But, if you’re with 3 friends who are constantly talking about wanting to go down a size, or how they hate being size X, you’re going to start comparing your size with that, and debating if it’s good enough.
However, when you’re with people who celebrate their wins, and brush aside worry about how they look from the outside, only to replace it with confidence with how they feel on the inside, you will be unstoppable!