Today’s Q&A really hits home. “K” asked why she just doesn’t believe she’s beautiful, regardless of what her closest friends and loved ones tell her. A lot of us struggle with this and I wanted to address why we find it so hard to believe sometimes.

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First, let’s just remember that we LEARN to compare ourselves and pick ourselves apart. When we’re extremely young we’d never think to do this. We’re taught what to believe is beautiful or that external “perfection” even matters or is possible. And when young girls do it we blame the media because where else do they learn this habit?! The media, yeah, but we adult women perpetuate it. Please realize that every single thing we covet about other people is strictly the fault of manufactured expectation of whatever beautiful is at the time, and NOT things we necessarily even WANT to change. We know this because we only desire certain things as they become popular. Styles of what’s beautiful change every decade or so and chances are, what we “wish” we were changes just as often.

Beauty standards are constantly changing and it’s all made up and ridiculous.

A few weeks ago I was on Instagram and came across one of Kristen Bell’s pictures. She had twins not too long ago and she still looked completely GORGEOUS about to go to some big gala. Then I read the caption and she was saying how the reason her boobs looked so perky is because there was literal duck tape wrapped from the bottom of her boobs up to the back of her shoulders to keep them from looking droopy. I found this hilarious and so freakin’ awesome!

My point of sharing this is that no matter how “perfectly beautiful” someone else looks to you, they’re struggling too with their image too. Don’t get tricked into believing that IF you had THIS then you’d feel better, because you wouldn’t. You’d find something else to nitpick.

But this is GOOD NEWS! That means that you don’t need to change anything to feel better. You just need to do a little internal work.

Being happy with ourselves takes practice and effort. So just because you have days where you don’t like what you see in the mirror doesn’t mean you’re destined to feel this way forever. It just means you’re normal! Loving yourself takes practice and when you practice something with intention, progress is inevitable.

Here’s your action plan:
1) On bad days AND good days (that part is important), take a couple minutes EVERY SINGLE DAY and praise yourself.
Stand in front of the mirror and tell yourself 3 things you did well that day and 3 things that look nice. It sounds silly but trust me, it WORKS. You MUST MUST MUST do this daily. Even if you feel great, DO IT. If you feel weird about looking in the mirror, you can even journal in writing instead.

2) Instead of dismissing compliments, say THANK YOU and smile!
Don’t excuse them or wave them away. Practice accepting them and saying thank you.

3) GET FED UP.
This helped me, so I’m sharing it. I got to a point where I was annoyed with myself for feeling negatively about the way I looked. I was like, “this is SUCH A STUPID waste of time!” I kept picturing my 85 year old self looking at pictures of me now saying, “I looked amazing & can’t believe I took that for granted.” Also at the time, I was watching a friend battle breast cancer and the chemo took her hair and yet she was STILL working out and being a general BADASS and I thought: I am ridiculous. None of my petty insecurities are worth wasting precious time over. And I changed some habits and quit. It still comes up, but it’s better now. BTW: my friend beat cancer and is doing amazing!

Over to you! Have you ever struggled with FEELING truly beautiful even when everyone around you reminds you that you are? How do you overcome insecurity? 

pbr