We all have an image in our head of what a “perfect” body looks like; maybe it’s the super model on the cover of a magazine or the fitness model in the Nike ad, but we see “perfect” and then look at ourselves as anything but. We only see everything that we’re lacking – hating our bodies even more.
So we decide to make a change. We finally hate what we see in the mirror enough to take on another diet and exercise program. But guess what… negative thoughts and negative energy cannot lead to positive change.
You must love yourself first – flaws and all – before you can see real lasting positive change.
Ugh I’m too….
I hate how my stomach looks today. Where did my abs go?
My legs are too big and need definition.
Seriously will my butt ever tone up? Will cellulite ever go away?
My shoulders are too big. My arms are too skinny.
This shirt makes me feel fat. I need to lose weight.
I am no stranger to negative self-talk. Over the years I’ve told myself all the above phrases and more! I fixated on my “flaws” and everything I need to “work on” letting the negativity take over making it impossible to appreciate my strengths.
It began innocently enough, with simply wanting to improve a body part here or there. I wanted to make my biceps pop a little more, so I included extra arm work in my workouts. But then it progressed and I began to compare myself to other women – weight, muscle definition and leanness. The negative self-talk increased in both frequency and criticality.
I just wasn’t good enough. And because that’s what I thought – it became my reality.
Stop the Dirty Talk!
Mirror mirror on the wall…. where are your eyes immediately drawn? Do you zoom in on something you don’t like about your body? Do you immediately make a negative comment about a feature?
If you’re like most people, chances are that the first thing you look at on your body is something you want to “fix” or improve. We look at ourselves and immediately focus on our flaws.
It’s time we break this habit for good! It’s time we replace negative self-descriptions such as “can’t,” “not good enough,” “flawed,” “ugly,” and “imperfect” with words such as “can,” “will,” “strong,” “powerful,” and “beautiful.”
This isn’t easy. It takes work to build confidence and to feel good in your own skin. By following my 5 steps below – you can start your journey to Love Yourself first.
Love Yourself – 5 Steps to talking yourself into a positive self image:
- Be Kind. It may seem obvious – but this is the probably the hardest one on the list. Make it a point to focus on a positive feature and give yourself at least one compliment per day.
- Fake it ‘til you make it. I know this whole “be positive and kind to yourself” thing may be easier said than done. In the beginning, you may have to fake it a bit and pay yourself the best compliments you can, even if you’re not actually feeling that good about yourself. Stick with it and be consistent.
- Empower Yourself. Choose to focus solely on what your body can do and on becoming the strongest version of yourself by setting positive, performance-oriented goals like increase push-up reps, perform unassisted pull-ups, hold a 5-min plank or improving your mile run time.
- Put it in the universe. Dedicate at least 5 minutes per day to visualize where you want to be in all areas of your life. What does your body look like, what are you wearing, what is your financial situation, what are your kids doing? Stay positive and paint the your picture of success.
- Lean on you BBC Family! Choose your social support carefully – it can be extremely helpful or hurtful. If your close friends also engage in negative self-talk, it could be rubbing off on you. Either encourage your friends to join you or surround yourself with individuals who are strong and confident. Your BBC family will always be there for you to provide positive energy and support.
Bottom line: Fuel yourself with positivity. Make words like “beautiful,” “smart,” “strong,” “determined,” “confident,” “awesome,” and “badass” staples in your daily vocabulary—especially when talking about yourself.
And please remember: Your thoughts are powerful. You can achieve whatever your mind believes.
Eat Clean – Train Dirty,