There’s one thing that people miss when they give confidence advice and say “just love yourself”…
I mean if it was that easy, then we’d all be embracing our bodies at any size/shape/weight, not judging ourselves and others on appearance and not spending $90 BILLION USD on diet & beauty products (that’s actually the combined worth of those 2 industries ?).
The part that most people miss is the “just try to be okay with yourself” part.
We live in a society where everything is about “go, go, go! do, do, do! succeed, succeed, succeed!” And when we’re not going or doing or succeeding, it’s easy to thing that we’ve FAILED.
In reality, just being okay is OKAY. It’s actually quite helpful to focus on being okay and accepting yourself BEFORE jumping into being confident and loving yourself. ?
Some mini-mindset shifts to make:
✨ Being comfortable in my body is the first step to being confident in my body.
✨ Sometimes just being OKAY is enough because I am enough. ♥️
✨ Self-acceptance must come before self-LOVE.
But there are also a few specific tips you can make to help you begin to make the deeper mindsets towards feeling more comfortable in your skin. So if you’re ready to start feeling more comfortable with your body, read on…
1. Make sure your social media feed is filled with diverse bodies.
If you’re reading this blog, it’s pretty likely follow social media. You’re on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and others. Through these platforms you have likely been blasted with images of people and bodies that don’t look like yours. It happens to all of us! So switch that up! The first step is to fill your feeds with body diversity. Now I stress the idea of diversity because it takes more than just seeing your same body in order to embrace all bodies. Because here’s what happens…sometimes we follow people that look like us or they’re in our community or they have the same style and as a result we end up perpetuating this belief that only those who look like us are okay. But then what happens when you change? Like, if you gain some weight, like I did.
I gained nearly 50 pounds in one summer but my entire environment, my entire social media feed, all my friends, they were all in this fitness culture, the only people I followed on social media were fitness people. That’s not to say that they weren’t inspiring in the fitness sense, but when my body started changing and I didn’t see anyone else’s body changing on social media, it left me feeling that there was something wrong with me personally.
One thing I started doing when I was in recovery is I started following all different types of bodies. Now this doesn’t mean that I just followed bigger people. I followed everyone, all the races, genders, classes…I followed a different variety of people as a whole. Because it got me into finally believing that there’s more than one way to have a body, and there’s more than one way to live life.
It expanded not only my idea of beauty, but also my idea of what life should look like and what different lifestyles could look like. Because like I said before, I was in this fitness industry so I thought that if I wasn’t doing fitness, then I was a failure, then I was lazy, that I gave up on myself. But in reality there is more to life than fitness. There’s more to being motivated than fitness. There’s more to success than fitness!
I invite you to fill your social media with body diversity and lifestyle diversity in general. It’s going to help you feel more comfortable with where you’re at because you’ll see that everybody’s journey is different and there’s no right or wrong to have a body and there’s no right or wrong way to live your life!
2. Realize that your body is meant for more than just “looking good.” The body is not an image.
You weren’t put on this planet to lose weight, look good, suck air and die. There is just soooooo much more to your life! Your body is not an image. So even the term “body image” is kind of deceiving because it still traps us into thinking that there’s a certain way the body should look.
The body is actually an experience. It’s a vessel that allows us to experience life. Feelings, emotions, events. It lets us make a difference in this world. It lets us connect with people. There’s just so much more to us than our image. And I know that right now we hear this a lot, but I think it’s kind of true, we live in an image driven society. A lot of our life is spent looking at other people’s pictures, looking at what others are doing, looking at ourselves in the mirror and trying to manipulate or “fix” ourselves.
3. How can you experience yourself more?
Related to this, because of the focus on “body image” we are left feeling discontent with what we look like and where we’re at in life no matter what because there’s always going to be somebody who took a better Instagram photo and this prevents us from experiencing our body because we’re so busy looking at our body. So ask yourself, “how can I experience my body more?” One day, I went to the gym and took a dance class instead of my usual workout because I thought it would be a lot of fun to just dance and sweat and feel what it’s like to dance and sweat! So think about “how can you feel more things” instead of “how can I look better?” Or “how can I change how I look?”
4. Embrace self-expression: dancing, singing, art
The dance class I took really allowed me to not only feel my body but to express my body in a way I usually don’t. Things like singing, dance, art, writing…any time you’re pouring creative energy out into the world, you’ll find that the more you express yourself like that, the more you’ll feel comfortable in your skin, because you’re doing more than just looking good. You have so many gifts and talents to share with this world and you have to embrace them and express yourself.
When somebody can just express themselves fully and authentically and unapologetically that is what makes someone beautiful. And you’ll find that the more you embrace self-expression the more comfortable you’ll feel in your own skin because you’re going to feel truly fulfilled. So focus on the dancing and the singing and the writing and the enjoying your life emotionally and you’re going to feel more comfortable in your skin physically.
5. Accept compliments.
Let’s get real for a second here. When was the last time you accepted a compliment? Go ahead, think about it. Really. I don’t know what it is with us but sometimes I will give someone a compliment and they will automatically reject it. “No! That’s not true!” or “no you are, you’re pretty not me!” Or “oh no this old thing?! I just picked it up from the thrift store.” The point is we spend our whole lives rejecting the good things that people point out about us. Why don’t we just say thank you and receive the compliment? Start with the simple action of just receiving compliments. Just say thank you and appreciate it and acknowledge it.
And I’ll be honest with you, to the other person it’s so much more fulfilling to them when you can just say thank you and accept the compliment. Think about it…when you give your friend a compliment and she rejects it don’t you just want to scream at her, “just take the damn compliment!”? So you have to start taking compliments for yourself too and really believe that what the other person is telling you is actually true. Otherwise they wouldn’t be saying it. So next time you find yourself rejecting a compliment, remember that you are not doing anybody any favors by not receiving the compliment.
6. Spend more time naked with yourself
Okay, this is my favorite one. This has been the one that’s been the most transformative for me and for my private clients. Spend more time with yourself naked. Yes, you read that right. Spend more time with yourself naked.
I remember when I was rapidly gaining those 50 pounds I mentioned earlier, it completely destroyed my self-confidence, I would wake up in the morning, hate what I would see in the mirror, quickly get dressed and just avoid mirrors, avoid cameras, avoid any time I had to look at myself at all costs. Like, when I would take a shower, I would shower in the dark and I would just get out of the shower and just hop into my pajamas and go straight to bed so that I wouldn’t have to look at myself. And I thought that this was protecting myself, and in a sense it kind of was, because if I saw myself I would just get sad and then it would be a spiral. So I totally get that instinct to hide your body. But the downside to that was it got me very unfamiliar with my body.
Because I wasn’t seeing my body and I was gaining weight, the times that I did see myself in the mirror, I saw drastic, drastic changes. So looking at yourself in the mirror naked and just spending time with yourself naked is kind of like exposure therapy. It lets you feel more comfortable with your natural body because you are seeing it more. It’s kind of like the people who are close to us, we’re just familiar with them, we’re comfortable with them, because we see them a lot. We get to know them, they get to know us. In the same way you have to get to know your body. Seriously, if you can, spend more time with yourself naked.
I know it’s kind of a taboo subject, and I mean this in the most innocent sense, but hang out naked with yourself. Like, when was the last time that you got out of the shower and just looked at yourself. Just super objectively, without judgement, like “Wow, that’s my body! That’s the body I’ve been given and this is the only body that I’ll ever have.” And instead of avoiding those uncomfortable feelings, what would happen if we just faced them and if we just saw ourselves objectively, seeing ourselves from a different kind of zoomed out lens. Instead of zooming in and criticizing everything that we don’t like about ourselves, what if we just stepped into somebody else’s shoes or eyes and saw ourselves how other people see ourselves? Which is as a whole human!
So you have to spend more time naked and get familiar with your body. Did you know that studies prove that those who sleep naked have greater self-confidence? Like, seriously, try it. Sleep naked and just see how you feel. It goes with the idea of feeling your body and experiencing your body (as I talked about above). So I challenge you to spend more time naked with yourself in order to feel more comfortable in your own skin.
7. When in doubt, focus OUT.
Ok, last but not least, this one’s important. When in doubt, focus out. Make this your new mantra. Seriously when all else fails, focus out. But focus out in order to feel more comfortable in your own skin. Because sometimes we just get so caught up in our own heads.
Sometimes when I’m having a bad body image day or a low self-worth day, all I want to do is make sure that nobody else is feeling as bad as I am. So I’ll go and give someone else a compliment, I’ll just say, “Hey! You look beautiful today! If nobody has told you that today, I’m telling you right now, you are beautiful.” And by telling that person, not only are you uplifting other people, but you are also making yourself feel better.
We forget that being kind really is the most beautiful thing you can be. As cliché as it sounds, when we give to others…when we’re kind to others…that is beautiful. That is so much more beautiful than just having a flat stomach. A lot of being comfortable in your skin starts with being comfortable with yourself. Like, really being comfortable in who you are as a person. Are you a kind person? Are you intelligent? Do you have hopes and dreams? And by focusing out, by sharing that with the world, you will be able to see that there is more to life than just your body. So when in doubt, focus out. ❤️
So there you have it, my top 7 tips for feeling comfortable in your own skin. I hope this post has helped give you some practical tips for feeling more comfortable in your body. If it did, please leave a comment below as I always love hearing from you and your comment helps others feel not alone in this journey!
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