Confidence Archives | Smart Photography

Category Archives for "Confidence"

Does Accepting Yourself Mean Giving up on Change?

Some women have almost a fear of body acceptance, because they think it means giving up on ever changing, and just accepting you'll always be the same (or, let's be honest, it's all downhill from here anyway).

This fear is completely understandable - if I love myself as I am right now, why would I want to change a thing?

Love and acceptance do not mean perfection

Just because you love someone, it doesn't mean you think they're perfect, does it? So allowing yourself to love yourself, doesn't mean you consider yourself perfect either. It simply means letting go of constant self-criticism.

Think of your best friend

You love them, right? 

If they wanted to lose weight, you wouldn't refuse to love them, and be nothing but negative towards them, until they'd done it. You wouldn't consider them weak, disgusting or unlovable. 

You'd support them in their goal, knowing that, whether they achieve it or not, they're awesome. They're worthwhile. They are valuable in your life. You'll love them anyway, because you were never defining them by how they looked or what they weighed.

It's ok to do that for yourself to

You can support yourself in your own goals in life and still accept yourself, before you've reached them. You can literally choose to do that.

You can choose to be your own biggest cheerleader, and work to change your internal dialogue to one of encouragement, not criticism. But it is work and you have to make it a conscious decision - rarely do we get to just wake up one morning, feeling awesome about ourselves. We have to make an effort to achieve that for ourselves.

The biggest part of that effort by far, is making that mental leap that it is definitely ok to like/accept/love yourself now.

So, take it on board, as a concept. Think of it in relation to other people. Do you hope that your partner/friends/children feel good about themselves?
Is there really any reason why, despite the fact they are not perfect, they shouldn't accept and love themselves?

You're not the exception.

Much love,
Anna
xx

Summer Of Self-Love : Week 12

Welcome to the twelfth week of our 'Summer of Self-Love' project

Each week throughout the summer, I'll be giving you one suggestion of something to do to enrich either your mind, body or soul.

I'm sharing a weekly video on our Facebook page each Monday, with that week's idea.
However, I don't like watching videos, so in case anyone else feels the same way (which is basically 'Why can't I just read it?'), each Wednesday, I'll be doing a blog post like this, one, where you can either read what to do, or watch the video (just scroll down).

Spend time in nature

Across the summer we've been nourishing our minds, bodies and souls and for our final week, this is my absolute favourite thing of all to nourish your soul.

This week is all about spending some time in nature.

Nature can mean different things to different people – I love trees and forests, you might love beaches, so if you can get to your absolute favourite place then do. But if you can't get to the place you love the most, then just go to where you can, for as long as you can, to find some quiet, peaceful, calm time for yourself.

Technically, I spend time in nature every day, just by walking my dogs. But what I don't do in that time is take any time at all to pause, really look at my surroundings and enjoy where I am. I mainly trudge through a field, calling my dogs or chatting to whoever I'm with.

So, for me, this week is about going beyond what I usually do – for example, where the studio is, we are 2 minutes from a lake to go and walk around, and on from that there are fields to walk. But I rarely go there. I could, each day, take just a 15/20 minute break and sit and look at the lake, listen to the birds sing, and clear my head.

So for me this week, I need to do that at least once, with no one else, no distractions.

If you love walking, this is the perfect week to go for a walk in the countryside. We are blessed in Oxfordshire with beautiful places to walk.

If you're in a city, this is trickier, so you've got to find your space, get out of the city if you can, or find a park, or another quiet spot that you can quietly enjoy.

You might love being in your garden, but perhaps you rarely just sit in it without doing something – this week is not about being busy. Pause in the space you find. If you've got time, you could read a book or listen to music, but drink in your surroundings and appreciate them.

This could take some effort to even find somewhere, or you might be lucky and be going on holiday somewhere that makes this easy. You are worth putting effort into though. When you prioritise yourself, as part of your general routine, your self-worth increases, your confidence increases, it's all a positive effect on your mental health. So don't not do things that could prove to be beneficial to you, just because they take a bit of effort. You would put that effort into doing things for someone else.

It's one small part of one day to try to get some time, outdoors, for you.

Much Love,

Anna 

xx


Does a lack of body confidence affect your sex life?

For many women, the answer is yes.

There are lots of ways a lack of body confidence can affect your sex life, or even stop you from having a sex life at all.

One very common thing we come across, is a reluctance to undress in front of your partner.  Sex is a strictly lights off affair - running into the bedroom and diving under the covers, or getting out of nightwear whilst already in bed, and putting it to the side to be rescued later.

Please know, I am talking about the partners who tell you how much they love you, and love your body. If your partner is critical, puts you down or insults you, I personally do not think it's your body you need to change...

What about touching?

It's not at all unusual for women to have parts of their bodies they absolutely hate. Stomachs often get mentioned to us, and nothing as much as the 'pouch'. So loathed, that they don't want their partners to touch this part of their body they feel so ashamed of.

When you're mind is concentrating on 'where is that hand going to roam to' and not 'wow, this feels amazing', you are not letting go and enjoying the moment - and any tension you're feeling may well be transmitting straight to your partner, who won't necessarily know why it's there.  They'll probably learn your 'no-go areas' over time, but wouldn't it be a whole lot more relaxing to be comfortable enough with your partner to know that they accept the shape of your body for what it is? Do we prevent that by not being accepting ourselves?

Sex is an activity that engages many senses

So it stands to reason that when we start to restrict sight and restrain touch, we're, for a start, not feeling relaxed, but also if great sex is about involving all of our senses, what are we cutting ourselves off from by not allowing the sight of our partners, and their's of us, to play a part?
By not allowing their hands to roam our bodies, and to feel someone embrace, with love, something we struggle to do so for ourselves?

Not to mention the fear of meeting someone new

It's one thing to have a long term or regular partner, but the thought of getting back into the dating scene, all of the swiping, then meeting, then oh dear God, the revealing yourself to someone new...it is way too much for some women, so  they'll avoid even looking for a partner for fear of what this person, who they don't even know yet, may think.

Maybe other people aren't all that shallow?

When women bring their partners along to view their photos, we are often trying to show our clients what their partners already see - it's not the other way round. It is not your job to have a perfect body, there's no such thing. Do you reject your partner for natural changes that occur in their body over time? For most people, the answer is no. Have a little faith that other people aren't quite that shallow either (and if they are, are they someone you want to be with anyway?).

If you'd like a chat about building up your body confidence, fill in the form below, and I'll be in touch.

Much love,
Anna
xx

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Summer Of Self-Love : Week 11

Welcome to the eleventh week of our 'Summer of Self-Love' project

Each week throughout the summer, I'll be giving you one suggestion of something to do to enrich either your mind, body or soul.

I'm sharing a weekly video on our Facebook page each Monday, with that week's idea.
However, I don't like watching videos, so in case anyone else feels the same way (which is basically 'Why can't I just read it?'), each Wednesday, I'll be doing a blog post like this, one, where you can either read what to do, or watch the video (just scroll down).

Journaling

If you're joining us through the whole summer, you'll know that each week we're nourishing either our mind, body or soul – this week we're talking about our minds.

Mental health is as important as it is neglected, so we're trying to address that, in a variety of small ways. One big problem many of us have is getting stuck in our own heads, with whatever's on our mind taking up all of our head space, and it just becomes impossible to switch off. The worst time for this can be late at night, in bed, when you want to sleep but problems or things you're anxious about suddenly seem insanely insurmountable, and things get a bit panicky.

If you struggle to switch off, or even struggle with time management, because there are never enough hours in the day, or you just can't let go of certain things, then this week is designed to help with that, because this week is about journaling. Journaling does sound a bit formal though, so let's call it writing things down.

If you happen to be a stationery obsessive, you now have free reign to find yourself a really nice notebook and pen – don't obsess over finding the 'right one', that's just the stationery mad way of putting something off.

There is no right or wrong way to journal. If you've never done anything like it before, then sit down, preferably at the start or the end of the day, and write down whatever the things are that are filling your head and crowding your brain.

These can be worries, things you're feeling grateful for, something that's happened in your day, good or bad, that's on your mind. Just a stream of consciousness to get what's in your head onto a piece of paper. Do physically write things down, because the mental processes involved in writing are very different to those involved in typing so, if possible, this is a pen and paper job.

If you want to introduce a bit of structure, there are lots of tips on journaling around. I would say find the time of day that suits you best – it's often recommended to journal in the morning, because you can write down dreams you've had. But mornings can also be crazy busy and personally, I hate mornings and am in a really bad mood every single morning, so I would prefer to journal of an evening!

Pick your time of day, and then write down good things that have happened that day, bad things that have happened, how you're feeling, what's on your mind, and get it all out, down on paper.
You can work towards using journaling to prioritise, if you're just trying to fit too much in, or just keep it as a brain dump. There's a lot of great advice around on this, all we're doing this week is giving it a go and getting started with trying to establish the habit of actually doing it.

Don't underestimate the power of writing things down, this is excellent for your mental health. Let me know how you get on, show me your gorgeous stationery and I'll see you next week.

Much Love,

Anna 

xx


I’ve been ghosted

...and I'm ok with it.

You know that feeling when you've spoken with someone and felt like you've made a true connection? They get you, you get them. Then, all of a sudden, the phone goes to voicemail. A text gets no reply. It's like that brief moment of connection never happened.

Welcome to my world!

I'm not talking about getting ghosted by men (although the correct response to that is saying 'so long, and thank for all the fish' and moving on).

I get ghosted by clients. Or, I should say, potential clients. And I'm ok with it because I understand exactly how and why it happens.

When you exist to make people more confident, chances are they're not feeling all that confident when they first get in touch. My job is to instill enough confidence to get someone to the studio. Once that happens, everything else is plain sailing.  

But confidence ebbs and flows, it's not a constant thing. What you might feel whilst we're chatting everything through on the phone is not necessarily the same as you feel, lying in bed in the middle of the night, panicking about your body somehow not being 'right' (because, it's always the middle of the night, isn't it? When the worst panics happen).

But if we've chatted, and gotten on well, it is then really, really hard to say "You know what, Anna, I don't think I have the confidence after all".

What if I'm upset, that you've wasted my time (I'm not).
What if annoyed? (I'm not).
What if I think you're being silly (I don't).
What if I use my soothing voice to convince you it will all be fine? (OK, that literally could happen, as my 'messaging the Facebook page at 10.30pm in a mad panic' people will attest to).

You choose radio silence, and I completely understand.

I'll respect where you're at

If there is one thing we know to be really important, it's that coming along for a boudoir portrait is much less about what's happening with your body and much more about what's happening in your head.

Your brain may well be on a see-saw of:
"I would love to do this"
- "Except I can't"
"But it could be fab"
- "But I might look awful"
"But it could be really good for me"
- "But I just don't have the confidence"

and so on.
This is entirely normal, amongst our clients, so we are just waiting for that see-saw to rest on the side of "I can".  If you're not there yet, even if you thought you were, or really wanted to be - that's ok.
We'll wait.
We'll be ready for you when you are there.

Much love,
Anna xx

If you feel like you might be ready to fall in love with you, fill in the form below, and I'll be in touch (oh, and this will save you our £99 session fee too!).

Anna
xx

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