Advertising
Advertising

9 Steps To A Better Body Image

9 Steps To A Better Body Image

The ideal image of female beauty was said to be Cleopatra. She was described as “Slim and nubile, with cunning hips and the mere hint of a belly. Her charms were of a jewel-like nature; there was nothing large and dowdy about her. All men desired her, because all men believed she had conquered the nature of the human body and made it bend to her will, and her will alone. Her beauty was of such a diaphanous nature as to make it seem the slightest desert breeze would blow her away, past the Pyramids and into the Nile. Thus all men wished to hold her and protect her.”

Today’s women are still struggling to achieve what Cleopatra so effortlessly possessed. They diet and exercise, only to binge and become couch potatoes. This see-saw frenzy, this delusional “fat chat,” is a pox on female existence.

No woman can live up to being another Cleopatra, but here are nine ways to end the insanity and begin restoring the image of your body as beautiful.

1. Don’t let body hatred rule your life

People suffering from obsession usually aren’t aware of it. They simply believe they are being “hard-headed” about it, dealing with it as it should be dealt with.

Try to take a step back from yourself and ask “why do I hate my body?” Has it tried to kill you or rob you? Probably not. Next, incorporate this one word into your psychic vocabulary: “Blemish.” Your body is not an abomination, hideous to behold. You merely have a blemish. And a blemish is completely normal and acceptable. If others cannot accept your blemish and treat you with respect and courtesy, then the problem is theirs, not yours.

Advertising

2. Love your body

You may get a new heart or lung or liver during your lifetime, but you’ll never get a new body transplant. For better or for worse, you have only one body. So learn to love it by learning to appreciate it.

As has been pointed out by countless gurus and physicians over the centuries, your body is a miracle of construction. It houses your spirit, allowing you mobility and passion to experience and enjoy the world you live in. It protects you and houses the organs of pleasure that can take you to heights that spirit alone may never reach.

Fall in love with yourself all over again, as you most likely did as a child. Taste. Touch. See. Smell. Take each sense and find how much pleasure you can wring from each one.

3. Accept yourself

You are absolutely unique. There is no one else on earth, never has been and never will be, who is exactly like you. So why would you want to waste time trying to turn yourself into someone else just because of their great body? Be yourself and damn the consequences!

4. Think your way to beauty

Find a photograph of Mother Theresa and tape it to your bathroom mirror. She is a homely woman, but her thoughts made her a saint. And her saintliness showed through every pore of her body until no one thought of her as anything but beautiful.

Advertising

You probably aren’t prepared to move to India to minister to the poor and needy, but push yourself to give a smile to a stranger, to share a compliment with a co-worker, give something you’ve been hoarding to your special someone. You can make yourself think beautiful, and, like Mother Theresa, you will become beautiful.

5. Take a personal inventory

Specifically, ask yourself “So, what has all this self-hate done for me lately?” You’ll not find one positive result from self-hate, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy to get rid of it.

Like any harmful addiction, the pain of self-hate becomes part of the process. And maybe you deserve that pain — just like any cartoon character deserves that anvil that falls on their head. Do you think of yourself as a cartoon character? Stop it. Think of yourself as mature and meaningful, and invite self-hate to take a hike.

6. Know that thin people are not happier than everyone else

Ebenezer Scrooge was thin. So was Hitler. Inside every thin person is… not very much. They are pretty insubstantial when it comes down to it (in terms of literal quantity, of course).

But joking aside, what makes you think that a thin person’s life lacks the challenges and adversities that you have faced and successfully overcome? Or that skinny people are automatically treated better than others? Thinness, in and of itself, guarantees neither happiness nor unhappiness, riches nor poverty, happiness nor misery. It’s about the same as having blue eyes instead of brown. When all is said and done, big deal — what’s the diff?

Advertising

7. Use thought control

The culture says to be thin, exercise like a maniac, eat little, and be beautiful — or else you are an awful slug.

These thoughts are hardwired, so they can’t be escaped. But they can be controlled. Wear a rubber band around your wrist. Every time you begin to be weighed down by a bad body thought, give the rubber band a snap. That will break your concentration on the negativity and help you guide your thoughts back to normal and productive thinking.

8. Answer the question “Who do you think you are?”

Your body is not who you are. Feelings, thoughts, and relationships all go into forming who you really are — not your abs or bust size. To feel good about yourself is not to lie to yourself, but to take a self-inventory and honestly examine the good that you’ve done to yourself and to others. It may take some effort, and it may take more than a one-time effort — in fact, it should be an ongoing process, remembering and listing the positive aspects of your life.

Think of yourself as a work in progress: some of the floors are ready to be inhabited, but there are other spaces still under construction, needing your attention to turn them into beautiful suites where you’ll reside in future years.

9. Let the healing begin

Rome wasn’t built in a day. Your body image cannot be rebuilt in a day, either. But you should be taking steps each day to repair the damage that a bad body image may have wrought in your life.

Advertising

This may call for simple meditation and a slight mental adjustment. But you may want to consider further and deeper help. Try support groups, therapy, and/or counseling with your doctor or spiritual guide.

Since Cleopatra’s time, women have been slaves, more or less, to the image of perfect beauty in face and in form. Women today have paid a terrible price for this, in the form of mental depression and desperation, as well as physical torture from liposuction and botox injections. Pills, potions, and starvation are still so common among women seeking physical perfection that the late-night talk shows joke about them cruelly and consistently:

“Beauty’s only skin deep,” jokes Jimmy Kimmel, “but who wants to date a woman that’s been flayed alive?”

Recognizing the problem and seeking help are strengths. And whatever makes you stronger will make you more confident and beautiful.

Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

More by this author

Who’s at the Wheel? Technology Causing Distracted Driving and Other Stories of Multi-Tasking Is Your Website Costing You Sales? Staying Afloat: Why Kids Should Learn to Swim If You’re a Burned Out Entrepreneur There’s a Solution Common Signs and Symptoms of Depression in Parents

Trending in Beauty

1 Haircare 101: Hairstyling Tricks for Both Men and Women 2 18 Things You Need To Know Before You Get Your First Tattoo 3 3 Home Exercises To Fix Your Rounded Shoulders In One Month 4 What Your Poop Says About Your Health 5 10 Best Online Shopping Sites I Wish I Knew Earlier

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on February 18, 2019

13 Tips to Face Your Fears, Grow with It and Enjoy the Ride

13 Tips to Face Your Fears, Grow with It and Enjoy the Ride

Fear. I spend my life talking about fear — fighting fears, fixing fears and understanding fears. And yet I doubt I get 10 calls a year from people saying “Mandie can you help me fix my fear?”

Why is this so critically important to you?

The realization for me is that fear is not the fundamental driving force in your life it’s what regardless of whether I’m talking to a doctor, a teacher, a CEO’s, a senior citizens or teenager – every single one of those conversations has a direct correlation with your world.

Fear can range from the overwhelming desire to look away or stop in your tracks to literally fleeing your country and the life you knew. In this article, I will share you with 13 tips to face your fears and enjoy the ride.

1. Know That Fear Is Real, but Can Be Overcome

Right now around the world people are facing fear — real fear. Fear that I pray my children and I will never experience. Does that lessen my fears or your fears in your relativity safe 21st century life?

When I look at the world we all live in, I find that fear like so many other emotions can mean so many different things to so many different people:

  • The child who has to be physically dragged to their first day of school.
  • The man facing the judge.
  • The woman with her hand poised over the buttons over her phone because she has to walk down a dark corridor late at night alone.
  • The man as the surgeon says “count backwards from 10 Mr Smith.”
  • The woman that’s told “We are sorry, we can’t help you.”
  • The man that faces the empty circle of a gun and prays for his very existence.

These and a million more (Portrayed in every kind of movie, book or song you could imagine) are what make us human. We face fear and somehow move forward or are stopped in our tracks.

Like the rabbit in the headlights of the car that veers off through the field away from the tyres of the car or stays still praying for salvation. Like someone will save them. Sound familiar?

Fear is huge. Fear is everywhere and yet fear can be overcome, controlled and can even be a power for good.

2. Accept Your Fear

Firstly if you aren’t facing the barrel of the gun, atrocities that make the news or impeding death, that’s a good start. However it doesn’t mean your fear is any less real.

We are quick to say “I can’t moan, my life is not as bad as X.” While in theory, that’s honorable your appreciation of Mr. or Mrs. X’s horrific life won’t change anything directly. So accept your fear is relative to you.

And here’s what can be done.

Advertising

3. Get Some Perspective

I found myself asking anyone that would answer “what is your worst fear”. The answer that intrigued me the most came from my daughter (15 years old and she usually has a copy of Fight the Fear – my book – in her school bag so she can help someone else be as positive and confident as her. No matter what life throws up.)

And her fear, surprised me — heights. I pointed out that we live in a sprawling bungalow (one storey) and the highest she goes is two storeys’ at school! She laughed but added, fear isn’t like that Mum. I know it’s not a real fear, but it’s like when you stand on a chair and feel unsafe.

That girl will go far. Because she truly gets fear.

We know something is scary and yet we still do it. Why? Because we have a perspective to the fear. When you lose perspective, it can feel too big, and too scary.

So look around you to get some perspective on your fear:

  • Are you really at risk?
  • Will this kill you?
  • Which leads us on to..
  • If the worse was to happen what would it be?

4. Hold a Hand

As a coach, it is my job to holds someone’s metaphorical hand and help them face a fear.

Like the child petrified of the thunder storm or the teen that can’t get back in a car again after failing their test, your job as a parent is to reassure, encourage, enable and motivate someone to face something that ideally they never would choose to again.

We know many of our fears aren’t real. However, it is only when someone guides us with love, respect, lack of judgement and safety are we able to get through fear. And trust me, you can get through your fears. I’ve seen it so many times.

Ask yourself:

  • If the worse were to happen, what would that be?
  • Could that really happen?
  • If the worse did happen, how would you recover?
  • If the worse were to happen, what would you need to do next?

By seeing fear as not the end destination but part of being human, you can see through it’s wily evil ways and move forward.

5. Know Whose Hand You Hold Either Physically or Emotionally

This helps with fears for the rest of your life.

Think of someone you can always rely on (and ideally you won’t just answer yourself because that adds a lot of pressure to your existence!) And you will find that you’ve already found a way to get through fear.

Advertising

The beauty of this is that it means that fear becomes part of life not something to be feared and shied away from.

It means you know you can turn to your friend, partner, colleague, parent, sibling and say “Right I need to deal with this, and I’m going to need you to help me.”

For one moment, think about it from the other person’s view point. When we get to help other people we feel valued, loved, respected and lots of other positive emotions and we get a good dose of positive chemicals setting off in our bodies too.

Your fear, and your determination to fight it, helped someone else too. Now that’s cool right?

6. Understand That There Are Some Things Fear Will Never Touch

I like to find role models in life — people who have faced heroism, history changing moments, war, atrocities, miracles, life saving inventions.

Not everyone was looking for greatness, however they all found it. And one of my favourite books to date is written about Alistair Urquhart, the forgotten highlander. If this doesn’t get turned into a film in the future, then no man’s story is likely to.

Alistair went through the most horrific experiences in the 2nd world war. If you think of one of the awful things that happened back then in our world, Alistair went through at least 3 of them! Asked afterwards how did you cope? He talked about how whatever they did to his body, no matter how they starved, tortured, threatened or mocked him, they couldn’t have his mind. In his mind he was free.

Of all the people’s voices I’ve heard in my head over the years, this is one of those statements that reminds me anything is possible if you have faith and hope.

Look for the things in life that fear can’t touch. They will create confidence and faith for the future, whatever you face. And they will give you a sense of why being you is awesome.

Of all the billions of people on this planet, no one will have an answer identical to yours!

7. Process Your Fears to Carry on with Life

Being brave is not about sticking your chest out and smiling regardless of what hell you endure. It is about finding a way to emotionally process your fears to be able to keep going.

I have a tool kit of things I can rely on – tools, strategies, techniques. They include people to hug or talk to, music. hobbies, walks on the beach and even my favourite food. It sounds mad but at the times where I have questioned “how will I get through this?” I’ve found immense joy in doing the most unlikely of thing that makes me smile.

Advertising

It may be a short lived moment of happiness. However, it reminded that nothing stays the same and I can find away.

One client told me that it was crazy when it felt like their world was falling around their ears to run a bath to the brim (you don’t waste water) get the best bath oils, light too many candles, lock the door and drink a glass of bubbly (champagne is only for special occasions.)

Did that moment fix the disaster that my clients life felt? No, however it gave them a moment of calm and the brain is far quicker to find solutions, resolve and motivation to keep going when you do that.

It may feel like madness to do something you love, however it can be a powerful way to help you find solutions to the fears you face in life.

8. Assume the Worse

If you read the statement from the client above. Notice how they assumed it was wrong to fill the bath up to the top? How bubbly is only for special occasions?

Think how naughty they felt to be doing something that was not allowed?

  • Think about what age it may have made them feel?
  • Think about how they feel about champagne?
  • What special moments it’s been a part of in their lives?

And you can see how the assumptions they made about their “right” to have these things was not healthy.

When I drag the assumptions out of people’s words for them to see, they are often struck by how negative the words make them feel.

Don’t assume your words aren’t impacting on you. You can go through fear and actually enjoy the ride when you take the time to understand how you are letting words get to you.

9. Take a Fear That Feels Insurmountable Right Now.

If you were to repeat it to me out loud, what would you say?

Would you have blame on yourself in there? Would you assume others can do it and it’s just you? Would you feel small, unsuccessful, useless, unworthy?

Usually, when you do this exercise, you are able to spot the untruths that run wild in your head convincing you that you are doomed. And rarely when we are faced with our assumptions is there is a lot of evidence to them.

Advertising

10. You Are Not Defined by Your Fear

One fear does not define your life – be mindful of that. It is likely to lead you to thinking of all the times you’ve succeeded and bring a moment of calm, confidence and faith back to you.

11. Go with Fear

When you learn to go with fear, you could find yourself actually having fun, no seriously – having fun.

I have a few amazing clients I’m working with right now who would describe themselves as life long worriers, or pessimists. In the past that has served them well, enabling them to keep safe, steer clear of risks and even develop strategies in the event of disasters. However, now they find it’s becoming hard to break the cycle and they really want to because it’s holding them back.

Notice how they’ve found their hidden fears and want to face them?

One client said “I knew this was going to be tough, and I knew I couldn’t fight it alone and I knew you would be the one to help me.” Before I sat an incredibly successful, confident, capable business owner with a family and a social life to die for.

However, I’ve learned that the most successful looking lives can hide things that impact on life, success, love, happiness and business.

We didn’t start with the fear that they felt was holding them back, we broke the fear down, and found lots of little obstacles that had been deemed as “life” and “unchangeable” and “that’s just the way it is” by developing awareness to the little steps on the road to their obstacles to happiness and success they were able to tackle them in a different way.

12. Discover Great Skills in Your Scary Moments

And in that clients words “I came here to work with you to grow my company, and my own personal skills. I didn’t expect to get the children to be cleaning up after themselves and my partner being more attentive! It all feels a little magic.”

The moral is that out of the scariest of moments, we can find great skills we didn’t know we had. Find better, healthier, happier ways to live and find ways to enjoy life more. (And have a bit of magic!)

What a great place to be in ready for the next fear that thinks it’s going to get in the way of you, right?

13. Own Your Fear

Think back over these tips and come up with at least one example for each one. Write them down. Put them on your phone. Turn them into a piece of art. Turn them into a poem. Frame them. Go for a fast walk across the fields, beach, down town and repeat these things in your head to the sound of your feet on the ground.

We rarely take the time to appreciate how far we have come, how much we can achieve or what we are capable of – by really owning the tips in this article you will have given your brain a big fat dose of “Damn right I can do this!” and the motivation and accountability to say “Let’s find a way” through any fear.

You can’t help but feel good when you see that can you? And fear doesn’t stand a chance, does it?

More Resources About Fighting Fear

Featured photo credit: Ben White via unsplash.com

Read Next