Is There a Secret to Body Confidence?
Well, if you were hoping I would go with 'this one neat trick to give you more body confidence', I'm afraid you're going to be disappointed!
However, I can tell you how to improve your body confidence, so don't despair (unless you are looking for something that takes zero work on your part!).
Changing how you look won't necessarily increase your body confidence
Think about it - do all the women who look how you wish you did brim with confidence?
Or do they just have a whole different set of insecurities?
I used to think that 'beautiful people' must be aware of it. Newsflash - they often aren't. And if they are, then they are also often aware of how fleeting beauty (in the traditional, media enforced sense) is.
You can look at this as bad news - so what's the point of even trying to 'improve' if it won't make you feel better about yourself?
Or you can see it as good news - because there are plenty of regular, normal women, like you and me around, who aren't gorgeous supermodel types, who are perfectly confident and comfortable in their own skin.
If body confidence doesn't have to be tied up in how you look, then it's attainable to all of us, right now! Yay!
So what can you do?
You need to change how you feel.
Sounds so simple, doesn't it? Well, realistically, it is simple. Simple is just not the same as easy.
Here Are 4 Tips on Changing How You Feel and Improving Body Confidence
1. Ditch The Competition
To do this, you've got to suss who your competition is.
It could be:
- your friends.
Don't literally ditch them! They're your friends. But remember that pretty much everyone has insecurities, problems and a whole load of 'stuff' going on. You are not in competition with them.
- the people you follow on social media.
Social media can be fabulous for making you feel connected, and terrible for making you feel like you're failing, inadequate or underachieving.
If who or what you are choosing to follow doesn't inspire positivity, just stop following. Kon Marie your social media until it only 'sparks joy'!
For most of us, our impression of how we look, and even who we are, is formed in our late teens/early twenties. So, the further away from that we get, and the more our bodies go through (childbirth, illness, the menopause), the less we sometimes identify with ourselves.
Your mental image of yourself needs updating, rather than constantly thinking you should be trying to be more like a much younger self.
2. Listen To Yourself
For many women, our own wants and needs get drowned out by the demands of, well, life.
Jobs, children, relationships and trying to balance everything, all of the time, means that something usually falls by the wayside - what you need.
It becomes increasingly difficult to prioritise yourself. We are excellent at stifling our inner voice that cries out to say 'take a break'. When she's never being heard, she eventually just shuts up. Well done, we have managed to silence our own wants.
You need to turn the volume up on your inner voice and start listening. Of course, we can't drop everything when she says 'a week on a beach with a good book and no demands' is what she craves. But if we never listen to our own internal voice at all, we 100% lose the ability to even know what we want.
If you have no clue where to even start with listening to yourself, click here to go and take a look through our 'Summer of Self Love'* videos, as that is exactly what they are all about.
(*may also be followed in Winter).
3. Stop Believing That How You Look Affects What You Can Do
I'm not beautiful. I don't have the perfect figure, and everything seems to sag a little bit more each day.
I probably have to accept that I am not going to make it as a supermodel.
Anything else I might want to do though, is there for me to crack on and do. I can learn what I want, wear what I want, go where I want, do what I want.
I may have other constraints (mainly financial!) but how I look can't stop me doing anything, unless I make the decision to let it.
Why would I make that decision?
4. Let Your Body Know That You Love It
(Even if you don't).
We often punish ourselves when we've fallen out of love with our bodies. Couple that with putting ourselves to the bottom of the pile when it comes to our priorities in life, and we have the perfect recipe for self loathing.
This manifests in so many ways, and it varies from person to person. It often boils down to one thought - 'I don't deserve...'
We sometimes attach 'conditions' to when we might allow ourselves nice things (and the biggest of these, by far, is 'until I've lost weight'.
- I won't get new clothes, until I've lost weight
- I can't go and do <whatever fabulous thing you want to>, until I've lost weight
Let's not pretend that exercise can't become a form of punishment too, when it becomes obsessive.
It's understanding the difference between setting goals - which can be a great motivator - versus deprivation - which is less so.
Your body deserves lingerie that fits you, nourishing food that you enjoy, your care, your love and your attention.
Your body does not deserve your punishment. It doesn't deserve to be uncomfortable or in pain and to have these things ignored. You don't need to pay a penance for not achieving whatever it is you want to with your body, by allowing it to hurt.
Your body does deserve to be celebrated. It's amazing. Even when it's broken, even when it doesn't look how you want, it is doing it's best for you. Let your body know that it's best is always good enough.
Don't love your body? Fake it, and treat it like you do. It won't be able to tell the difference.
If you can do all of these things, then do. Each one will make a difference. If you can only do one - treat your body as if you love it already.
Fake it 'til you make it.
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