When I read this poem by Erin Hanson and it really struck a chord:
Never Trust a Mirror
Never trust a mirror,Never Trust a Mirror, Erin Hanson
For the mirror always lies,
It makes you think that all your worth,
Can be seen from the outside.
Never trust a mirror,
It only shows you skin deep,
You can’t see how your eyelids flutter,
When you’re drifting off to sleep.
It doesn’t show you what he sees,
When you’re only being you,
Or how your eyes just light up,
When you’re loving what you do.
It doesn’t capture when you’re smiling,
Where no one else can see,
And your reflection cannot tell you,
Everything you mean to me.
Never trust a mirror,
For it only shows your skin,
And if you think that it dictates your worth,
It’s time you looked within.
It’s so true, and yet we place so much value on what the mirror shows us. We are more than the reflection in the mirror, the selfie on our phone, our social media profile pictures.
We tend to focus on the negative – our Inner Critic is good at that. I have clients tell me they “hate” themselves. It is such a horrible place to be. Can we learn to speak kindly to ourselves? Can we learn that our beauty comes from more than just our snapshot reflection? Below are some ideas for boasting your body confidence; although if your issues run deep, it is always worth seeking professional support too!
Take a step back at look at the whole picture. When we look in the mirror, our eyes go straight to areas we dislike the most and that is when our Inner Critic, that mean, little voice, pops up and starts to criticise us. By looking at our bodies in their entirety we can start to see ourselves as a whole. Other people look at us as a whole, they are not focusing on the same areas we do, so let’s change the perspective.
The “Negative – Neutral – Positive” Journey. Sometimes saying what we like our ourselves is too hard, so how about what’s just “OK”? Sometimes the road to body-positivity can seem too unobtainable, so how about body-neutrality? Going straight from negative to positive can be a big leap so I believe that starting at “neutral” can feel more logical, achievable even.
Use kind words. Our choice of language is important. The negative words you use for yourself chip away at your self-esteem. The more you say them, the more you believe them. Do you like your arms, wrists? Do people comment your eyes, your smile? Whatever it is that holds something positive (or even, just not negative!) – write it down! Committing something to paper means you remember it better; it holds more weight in your mind. Add on the non-physical qualities that you like about yourself (or ask your friends and family for some) – caring, ambitious, creative, supportive…. – add to the narrative of what makes you, you!
Confide in your tribe. You don’t need an army and it doesn’t have to be your partner but one or two people in your corner giving you objective support is essential. Pick someone you trust, someone who “gets it” – I love my husband, he is brilliant at a lot of things, but I would personally choose a female friend for this particular job! Tell them how you’re feeling, if they love you they will support you.
Can you re-frame your thoughts? When you think of the parts of your body that you don’t like, can you re-frame how you think about them? For example, from “I hate my arms, they’re disgusting” to “my arms, they allow me to hug my loved ones”. Re-program your narrative by repeating the positives that those areas you don’t like are giving you.
Comparison is the thief of joy. My good friend, Emily (Whoop Fitness and Wellbeing), says this all the time – and she is right! You have your own unique colouring, body shape, mannerisms, way of doing things. There’s no one quite like you. There’s no point trying to be someone else – you will more than do!
If you need more help with your body confidence or image confidence, contact me for a free consultation call.