Body-Con: How to Get Confident & Love the Skin You’re In
Do you ever scroll and swipe your way through social media, seeing images of perfectly toned bodies with tight abs and airbrushed faces? Do you come away feeling envious and bad about yourself?
Social media can be fantastic, providing a source of inspiration, aspiration and fun. It can even provide a sense of community with like-minded people.
But at its worst, it can be competitive, inducing feelings of jealousy and an unhealthy ‘less than’ mentality. If we log off or sign out comparing ourselves and our bodies to other peoples, that is an alarm bell that we should not ignore.
SOCIAL MEDIA & THE COMPARISON TRAP
If being on social media lowers our self-esteem, we need to acknowledge that and set some parameters. We use social media for OUR benefit. If it stops being a benefit in our lives and starts being a source of negativity and self-loathing, we are giving it a toxic and damaging power over us. We need to stop doing this to ourselves.
We are all, each and every one of us, perfectly imperfect, beautiful and amazing. So next time you see an image of a person you wished you looked like, just hold up a minute, turn your attention inward and acknowledge that YOU are awesome. And that that person is probably comparing themselves to someone else too. It never stops.
You don’t need to compare; just dare to accept and love yourself. Can you compare a diamond to a ruby, or a sunflower to a rose? We can, but just because they look different doesn’t mean that one is more beautiful than the other. They are each beautiful and worthy in their own way.
Our self-worth comes from ourself, not from others, and certainly not from comparing ourselves to others. Sameness is not necessarily beautiful. Difference is certainly not ugly.
We are all unique and gorgeous in our own way, and it’s true that real beauty comes from the heart, from within. Embrace who you are and what you look like.
Our Body as a Way to Experience Joy
Understand that our body is not our enemy, it is our friend. It’s the only place we have to live and experience this fantastic world, and we need to show it the respect it deserves and be grateful for everything it does for us.
Our bodies can get a bruise or a graze and it heals itself; we can get an infection and our immune system comes in and fights it, making us well again.
Our bodies let us kiss, make love, create life, dance, run and jump for joy!
Take a moment to stop and think about all the amazing experiences your body has enabled you to have, and how central your body is to the sensations and feelings of joy and pleasure.
Self-Talk & Appreciating Our Body
Start showing your body some love. Compliment it. Tell it it does a great job. Compliment yourself. Stop talking about all the things that you don’t like, that you wish looked different, flatter, thinner, prettier, more toned….
Whatever it is, stop speaking negatively to yourself about your body. It’s an amazing, soulful machine that lets us power through our day and live our best life.
The words we say about ourselves, either out loud or in our heads, are so powerful, affecting our mood and our confidence levels.
So start noticing and appreciating how much your body does for you every second of every day, and start seeing what you like about your body. Do you love your hair, your eyes, your smile?
Whatever you love about your body, notice it and focus on what you do have, and what is good about YOU. Because there is plenty, let me tell you.
You have so much worth, and that worth is not just tied up in your body and the physical; we are more than just a network of nerves, blood and muscle.
We are living souls, made of stardust and wonder, and you are magnificent.
Maybe keep a gratitude journal, and in it, list all the things that you are thankful for. Don’t focus it all on only our body and our physical self. We don’t want to reduce ourselves down to cells and atoms; we are more than our bodies.
But for the purposes of boosting our body confidence, let’s think about all the things we love about our body and the compliments we have received and re-live how they made us feel.
Then let’s think of all our achievements. Did we pass an exam? Did we get amazing feedback on something we did, whether we danced in a show, acted in a play, or wrote a poem? Did we cook something delicious? Did we get a promotion at work?
Whatever it is, start to notice these things and log them - either make a mental note or write it down in an uplifting book – so that we can turn to them if we ever feel our spirits are a little low and we need a confidence-booster.
Focus on the positives, and make it a habit to use positive language about yourself and others.
Affirmations & Soaking Your Body in Positivity
Then go get yourself an affirmation or a mantra that you can say to yourself as you look at yourself in the mirror.
Try starting with the following mini motivational speech:
I am strong, intelligent and awesome.
I am capable of achieving my goals.
I love my self and I love my body.
I respect my body and I nourish it with healthy food and exercise.
I don’t deprive myself or feel guilty for eating certain things.
I live with balance and I give my body the right fuel to do all the things I love to do.
I am filled with joy and I am beautiful, inside and out.
My worth and my joy is defined by the quality of my heart and the amazing, kind person that I am.
I am precious.
I am enough.
I love who I am and I am confident in my own skin.
Talk to yourself like a cheerleader, like a coach. Be your own best friend, and if you catch yourself thinking and saying nasty, harsh things about yourself and criticising your body, tell yourself NO.
Would you call your best friend fat, ugly, a failure? If you swapped places with your friend, and you looked like her and she looked like you, would you think the same way? No, because we always see ourselves with a critical eye, judging ourselves harshly and always ‘should-ing’ on ourselves. I should be thinner, I should have gone to the gym, I shouldn’t have eaten that chocolate cake or that biscuit…
Sound familiar? We all do it. But it’s seriously time to stop.
We’re here for a good time, not a long time, and we are certainly not put on this earth to punish ourselves with self-hatred, criticism and harsh calorie-restricted diets and punishing exercise regimes. Focus not on calories, restriction, and guilt, but instead focus on eating healthy foods as fuel; eat in the right amounts to fuel your body for vitality and success. Not too little, not too much. Just the right amount. Indulge, enjoy and don't deny yourself - just think of balance. This applies to exercise regimes too.
Let everything you do for yourself, for your body, and for others, be done with love, joy and tenderness. You owe yourself that much and so much more.
If you wouldn’t say something to your best friend, don’t say it to yourself.
Know that you have the power within you to create whatever personal change you need to. Make that change healthy and positive; infuse it with self-love and you will shine. You shine already.
The Most Beautiful Thing of All...
Your spirit and your personality shine through when you are your authentic self, when you are kind to yourself and when you do kind things for others, from the simplest things - such as paying someone a compliment, sharing your smile, or putting the kettle on for someone - to giving a tiny slice of your time by volunteering within your community or for a cause that is close to your heart.
When we give back to ourself and others, in even the tiniest of ways, it makes us glow and we light up from the inside out. There is nothing more beautiful in all the world than a kind heart and smiling eyes. No foundation or highlighter can mimic the glow you have just by being YOU. No-one can bottle YOUR radiance and YOUR luminous essence.
And even if you’re reading this and not feeling it right now, don't worry.
Just try some of these ideas, gently introduce them into your life.
Focus on pleasure and joy and kindness.
Speak kindly about yourself, your body and others.
Look for the good that’s around you and in you.
Accept compliments with grace and thanks, and sprinkle genuine compliments around like stardust.
You were born to shine, so go ahead and sparkle with confidence!
Simplify your life; stop judging yourself on what you look like.
Hold that head up high and just own it. You are amazing! x
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