We live in a world of expectations, competition, and comparison. And, frankly, this environment can take a toll on your self-esteem, relationships, and mental health. Additionally, as women, I feel that we endure the brunt of it on a daily basis through social and other forms of media. In some cases, this damaging climate can be present in our homes, workplaces, and social circles.
We may feel inadequate if we don’t look like others or live a life that resembles theirs. But really, are we any less important if we don’t have children or aren’t skinny with long, beautiful hair? Of course not! So why do some women dwell on their image and go to great lengths to change themselves to be like the crowd?
The answer lies in the emotional part of ourselves. We want to fit in and be loved. There is a strong voice, saying we aren’t good enough and need to change if we don’t look and act a certain way. Most of the time, we can dodge this voice, but, occasionally, it takes over and consumes our every thought. We’re off to the plastic surgeon, the salon, the mall or the gym to become better…or so we think.
Ultimately, living life like this on a regular basis damages confidence and hinders personal growth. Believing that you are enough just the way you are, on the other hand, is true freedom that takes you to the best version of yourself. Here are a few powerful reminders to help you see your real worth and know you are enough.
Realize that Most of What We See is an Illusion
Picture this: you’re joining a gym as a new member because you want to look like all the celebs in the magazines you see at the grocery every week. Though I would never tell anyone that being fit is bad, however, always consider your motivation before trying to change yourself in some way.
In this case, wanting to be like everyone else defeats the purpose and beauty of being YOU! Furthermore, what we see in those magazines and online social accounts isn’t always real. In fact, most of those women have either undergone cosmetic surgery or had extensive makeup applied to their faces and bodies before the photoshoots. That’s not even counting the photo edits and filters the magazines demand before publishing.
I recently saw an article about how a photographer took photos of celebrity icons like Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn and added the typical add ons they do today. These included fuller lips, perfectly drawn on eyebrows, thinned noses, and various filters. Honestly, they all looked horrible and the doctoring of the photos made them look fake and took away the natural beauty they were known for. So, whether we are doing this to photos or our actual faces, we are taking away from who we are.
There is No One Like YOU
One of the most devastating experiences to a woman’s self-esteem is to want to fit into a certain style of clothing but can’t because she is not the right shape or size. They end up blaming themselves for not being good enough and can end up in a downward spiral of self-doubt and pity. And, though, it’s OK to want to fit into cute, youthful clothing, some of it is never going to work for you…or me or anyone that isn’t a size 2 runway model.
Understand that we can all look and be our best by accepting who we are on the outside and inside. Of course, it’s OK to make improvements to ourselves, but don’t wait to feel good about who you are just because you aren’t where you want to be. Clothing is just that…clothing. It doesn’t have the power to define you or your worth. Choosing things that fit and flatter your body is the biggest confidence booster ever! Feel free to wear that plus size lingerie, those bright colors, and dresses that hug your beautiful figure. Above all else, BE YOU!
Nobody Compares to You
The worst thing you can do is forget your unique beauty and worth and gauge your value by ranking yourself against others. Stop comparing yourself to others…period. Know that comparisons are never black and white. You may be considering yourself at your worst and comparing that version to someone else’s best. There’s no way this is a fair process!
Additionally, this type of judgment often goes in the other direction, too. You may be wanting to be or see yourself as superior to others and end up judging them in the process. It’s a slippery slope you don’t want to be on.
All in all, it’s important to continually remind yourself that you are beautiful, loved and are enough. If you’ve been in a pattern of low self-esteem, know that it will take some time and focus to change. Start with simply looking at yourself in the mirror every morning and saying, “I love and accept you.” or “You’re beautiful just the way you are.” Even if you don’t believe these statements right away, you will begin to change your outlook. Be gentle and give yourself the love and credit you deserve.