In order to be confident you must let go of comparing yourself to others and cultivate your creativity. It was in this spirit that I decided to create my very own analogy that relates to body image and self-confidence. It’s funny how seemingly small moments in life can really grab hold in your psyche and that’s how my acne analogy came to be…
At some point during high school, or maybe it was earlier than that, I got skin care advice that changed the way I look at problems. I don’t even remember who it was that said it to me but if I had to guess it was my mother. Either that or I read it somewhere. All I remember is that it made so much sense to me.
Like most adolescents, I struggled with breakouts. I didn’t have horrible acne by any means so I was actually pretty fortunate. But my skin wasn’t clear either and since it was my face, it was a big gigantic deal to me. So I reacted the way most people do and went crazy with the skin clearing products. Any face wash or cream that promised to fight blemishes or zap zits, I had it. I was washing, scrubbing, toning, and applying at least three times a day. It didn’t help. In fact, I could swear it was making my skin worse.
It was in the midst of this frustration that I heard this advice….
If you stop treating your skin like “problem skin” it will stop being a problem.
Basically the concept was that in using all of these skin clearing products and using them so often, I was repeatedly telling my skin “you have acne” and so it responded by breaking out.
I needed to stop the cycle.
So I got rid of all the abrasive products and I began a regular skin care routine. (Mary Kay all the way!) Instead of reacting to every little breakout by panicking and piling on the products, I stayed consistent and used products made for normal skin. Guess what? My skin cleared up and I haven’t had problems since.
I think part of the reason my skin cleared was simply because I stopped stressing about it. Something about that advice was very freeing for me to hear and I really clung to it. Now that I have a platform where I talk a lot about self-confidence and body image, I can see a huge connection between the two situations.
We spend so much time obsessing over our bodies and telling ourselves we aren’t thin enough, we have too many wrinkles, our thighs are huge, and on and on and on. Then we react (overreact) to this self-perceived problem by going on diets, restricting calories, starting workout programs, pushing our bodies to the point of exhaustion….all with the hope of fixing the “problem”.
We need to stop the cycle.
What if we stopped telling our bodies, through our thoughts and behaviors, that they are a problem in need of fixing and just went about living our lives in the way we actually enjoy? Sure that would still include healthful eating and daily exercise but it would be coming from a place of self-love. How freeing would that be?
Basically I’m equating self love with moisturizing 😉
Obsessing over our imperfections only magnifies them in our own minds and makes us miserable. Start obsessing over your strengths and how awesome you are. Stop talking about everything you don’t like about your body and start talking about what you DO like. I’ve got awesome hair, long toned legs, and big brown eyes! Yay!! What about you?? Can you quickly name 3 things you love about your body? If you can’t, I bet your friend could. Other people don’t pay attention to our “blemishes” the way we do.
In my self-confidence course, I don’t spend a lot of time discussing fitness, weight, nutrition, or body image at all. Even if those factors are the motivation for many of the women signing up for the course in the first place, I’m not going to focus attention on those things and my acne analogy is why.
When I was a teenager I thought my skin was the problem and so I focused on fixing it. It didn’t work. It made the problem worse and it stressed me out. I want women to see that their bodies aren’t the problem nor do they need to be the focus of their lives. Our bodies shouldn’t be the source of our insecurities OR the source of our self-confidence. Our bodies are merely our vehicles to live out our real purpose and to chase our dreams. THAT is why we need to love them and take care of them!