“Know who you are, and know its enough”
Women are so hard on themselves. And it’s frustrating… and I get it…. But it’s frustrating.
Any woman can say they want to be happy. Great. But what does happiness look like? I think if you make a mistake in quickly assuming what will make you happy you could set up yourself up for giant disappointment. Negative body image struggles deeply upset me even though I fall victim to the same negative thoughts and feelings on a regular basis. It’s inspiring to see women striving towards goals that will help them feel better and think more positively about themselves, but my concern is that most of the time there is no consideration given to how that goal will really address your inner feelings of distaste toward yourself. I’m proposing that we change the action we take toward those feelings to better suit what is really causing it.
For instance, you want to lose weight? Great.
Why do you want to lose weight? You want to look good? Stellar! Don’t we all.
You want to try juicing? Get that SlimFast thing going? Super. Go for it.
So what happens when you lose twenty pounds and you’re still hanging out with the same lack of confidence you struggled with before?
You’re going to constantly be looking for the next thing you can do to make yourself feel better about how you look; you’ll probably continue to feel as though you’re “not enough” but instead of downing spinach every day which isn’t sustainable, you’ll revert to over-spending on beauty items and cosmetics as a way to mask how you truly feel about your image.
Book those manicures, pedicures, hair appointments for quick fix-me-ups. They’re awesome aren’t they? But they won’t last. You wake up a week later with a serious case of bed head and while your face is broken out and I can assure you your previous hair appointment will be doing nothing for your confidence in that moment.
Do some online shopping to buy clothes that will undoubtedly make you feel great regardless of their price tag. But the day you wake up feeling ugly, bloated, or fat, those clothes don’t have a chance in hell of changing what you see when you look in the mirror regardless of how radiant you may actually look to everyone else.
Buy expensive skin care products as a means of giving you that extra glow. Move forward with all of these options for a few weeks until you realize that you’re not feeling any better and re-start the cycle of searching for the next thing you can depend on to make you feel good about what you see in the mirror every day.
Then start depending on the people closest to you to help you feel good about yourself. If you’re lucky enough to have a significant other by your side through this entire process, I’m sure you’ve undoubtedly placed pressure on them to help boost your confidence. But after months or even years of that do you really think that you can continue to do that without it taking a devastating toll on how well they feel they have been able to support you and make you feel good. Not to mention you’ll start to resent them too because talking to them doesn’t make you feel any better.
The solution is not weight loss pills, or exhausting yourself at the gym twice a day, or cosmetics, or overshopping, or receiving compliments from others. What you truly need to shift is how you think about yourself. It doesn’t cost a thing to do, it just involves time and attention. I fully understand how hippie this could start to sound, but it does only take a few minutes of positive affirmation and self love every day until you start to see a difference.
It takes a few moments of reflection on what you have accomplished in your life. It always baffles me the most to hear Moms talk about their “not enough” feelings because Moms by all means are the most impressive humans on this earth. Knowing how much the average mom does on a daily basis just makes it that much more crucial that they aren’t hard on themselves for not looking like a supermodel every day. You woke up, you managed to keep another human being alive who is completely dependent on you, while balancing everything else that non-parents struggle through on a daily basis (household, financial, relationship, or family stresses). Celebrate small victories.
It takes a few moments of gratitude for what you have in your life. You have a body that moves and thinks and feels and breathes freely. Seriously…. you’ve got so much to be thankful for. Spend a day volunteering at a hospital or at a retirement home and you’ll quickly earn an appreciation for your mobility, your health, and your “stresses”. I can guarantee you that you wouldn’t walk out of those places feeling like you’re “not enough”.
Take care of the inside first and foremost. Get rid of any negative thoughts. Get rid of any negative people you surround yourself with. Get rid of any negative things you do or say on a daily basis toward yourself and toward others. Love who you are. Love what you have accomplished. Love the opportunity that you are given every single day to wake up and make positive change. Love the people who continue to support you.
Love yourself on the inside first, and the changes will become apparent on the outside. I promise.
And if that’s “not enough” to motivate you, then make the decision to be more kind to yourself because ultimately how you treat yourself will teach the future of women how to treat themselves. Choose to love yourself from the inside out, because you would want nothing less from them.
I never want them to feel as though they’re “not enough”.