For centuries, bodies have been subjected to judgment and scrutiny. People who don’t know us feel they have the right to comment on how we look. What if we turned the tables? It is possible to learn how to feel more confident in your body.
The problem women face
We feel judged at the beach, at school, and at work. We are made to believe only certain body types are accepted and praised whereas every other body type is just not good enough. No matter what shape or size we are, we are told it isn’t good enough.
Women are constantly told to diet and lose weight and exercise. Women are told if they are too big, it is unhealthy. But if a woman is too petite she is gross and needs to get some meat on her bones. Some people praise those with curves while others drool over a slim body. We are told our skin should be smooth, hairless, free of dimples and cellulite.
With all of this, it is no wonder that women struggle so much with body positivity and confidence. We struggle to love our own bodies because we have been taught for ages that we should criticize others and ourselves. [Read: How to learn these 12 simple, daily self-love habits]
Why you deserve to feel more confident in your body
With all the criticism and photoshopping and advertising to make us think we should eat a certain way or dress a certain way or look a certain way, it’s hard not to believe it. We look in the mirror and focus on the things we wish we could change. We want clearer skin. And we want thinner thighs or a flatter stomach. We want bigger boobs or fuller hair.
All these things contribute to how we see ourselves through others’ eyes and how we see ourselves through our own eyes.
We judge ourselves for not being strict enough with our workouts. We look at indulging in cake as a failure, and we compete against other women. [Read: Self-concept – What it is and why it’s crucial to your happiness]
Not only is this unhealthy for society but also our mental and physical health. By believing we need to change our bodies from the majestic beings they are, we are being cruel to ourselves.
We starve ourselves and try skinny teas which give us stomach issues because we think we need it to look in the mirror and love what we see. We dress in loose clothes to hide our bodies or drab colors to pull attention away from ourselves.
[Read: How to be a happier person – these steps will change your life]
Because we don’t wear things we love, we don’t feel comfortable, or worse, think others will be uncomfortable. Women have been pushed back in society for so long. By insisting we change our physical appearance, we are only holding ourselves back even more.
Not only will we come farther and be happier and healthier if we could feel confident in our bodies the way we are, but we would give ourselves more credit.
We would empower ourselves and each other. We wouldn’t judge other women on how they look and then maybe others wouldn’t either. If we could look at ourselves in the mirror and focus on what we love instead of what we hate or want to change, we could be more productive.
We deserve to love ourselves exactly as we are. Warts, scars, acne, curves, bones, no matter what you’ve been told your imperfections are, they make you, you. And that is beautiful.
[Read: How to be pretty: The atypical secrets to be your beautiful you]
How to feel more confident in your body
I know that listening to inspirational words and changing how you see yourself is easier said than done. It is an ongoing journey of growth that takes time.
You won’t read this article and feel confident in your body tomorrow morning or next week or by the time it is bathing suit season. This is something that takes years to overcome because it took years to form in the first place.
Learning how to feel more confident in your body is hard. You still have to face the world and society and those who haven’t been able to do so. All these things push back at you and force you to give in to the feelings of inadequacy.
It takes practice, self-love, kindness, and strength to learn how to feel confident in your body the way it is. But, you can do it. Who is it that said nothing worth doing is ever easy?
#1 Compliment yourself daily. I know this seems silly! But complimenting yourself daily on something physical or not will remind you of what you have to offer the world and yourself. Look in the mirror and tell yourself your hair is amazing or your hips are killer. Tell yourself how smart you are.
Remind yourself you are worthy of compliments and these statements are true. [Read: How to change your self-deprecating attitude]
#2 Focus on health. Instead of looking at the inches off your waist or the weight on a scale, focus on your actual health. Drink plenty of water. Exercise enjoyably. Eat more fruits and vegetables. Indulge when you want, but focus on the foods that make you feel good.
#3 Appreciate all your body does for you. Thank your body for all it does. It keeps you alive. It cleans you out. It keeps you going and offers you joy and pleasure. It gives you the ability to hear music and see the sunset and taste chocolate.
Appreciate all the good your body does instead of focusing on what you can’t control.
#4 Don’t look for outside acceptance. Looking to Instagram comments or even the compliments of friends and family for validation will never offer what you truly seek. Outside validation is a momentary sense of joy. True confidence in your body comes from within. Until you are happy with your body, whatever anyone else says won’t be enough.
#5 Shop for yourself. Don’t shop for what the store or magazines say is your body type. Don’t follow fashion rules. You can wear horizontal stripes and white pants and large prints. Shop what you love and style it in a way that makes you admire yourself. [Read: How to change your life and give your life a dramatic makeover]
#6 Appreciate all your looks. Sure, makeup and a cute outfit offer confidence. They make us feel good, but learn to appreciate the lazy days too. If you want to understand how to feel more confident in your body, look at yourself in sweats and no makeup, and realize that this is still you and that is amazing.
#7 Compliment others without body talk. Releasing positivity into the world sends it back to you. Instead of telling others their bodies look amazing or that they lost weight and you’re proud, compliment them in other ways. Let them know that the color of their shirt brings out their eyes or that their outfit is amazing.
You can tell someone they look amazing without commenting on the size or shape of their body. Even when it is a compliment, any comment about someone’s body can be twisted.
#8 Do things for yourself. Don’t just tell yourself kind things. Do them. Take time for yourself. Cancel plans and do a face mask and have a glass of wine. Go get a massage or buy the dress you’ve been eyeing. Do things that make you feel good because you deserve them. [Read: How to feel good about yourself and kick ass in all aspects of life]
#9 Step outside your comfort zone. With so much criticism about our bodies, we overthink. We get nervous to wear certain things because of the looks or comments we could get. Try to take baby steps. Look in the mirror and if you love something, wear it.
Odds are that you will feel amazing in it and nothing anyone else says or does will matter. Dress for you, not anyone else. You don’t need a “standard” bikini body to wear a bikini. All bodies are bikini bodies. [Read: How to dress sexy by throwing away the frumpy and going for boom]
#10 Learn that size doesn’t matter. In case you haven’t noticed, there is no such thing as universal sizing. Whether you are normally a 0 or a 16, you go to another store and your size could be off by two or even three numbers. But there is nothing wrong with you, it is the clothes.
It isn’t you that doesn’t fit in the clothes, but the clothes that don’t fit you. Sure, the numbers are there as a guideline. If you were a 6 at the last store, you may pick up a 6 at this store but that is only a starting point. The numbers don’t define your worth, you define your worth. [Read: Here’s how to flaunt your body confidence this summer!]
#11 Believe what you’re saying. When you tell yourself you are worthy of confidence in your body believe it. Don’t just claim to love yourself, really take the steps to do it. Don’t just preach body positivity. Understand what it will do for you and an entire generation of women to actually feel proud of the bodies they have.
[Read: How to build self-confidence by realizing you are worth it]
Learning how to feel more confident in your body is a lifelong journey, but it is never too late to love yourself.
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