I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching these days, trying to figure out my purpose on this blog and, you know, on earth. Just some light, casual thinking.
But really, I want to use this platform to empower women to create their own health and confidence. It’s so easy to feel victim to circumstance in these two areas of life. (And my personal experience has shown that they’re intrinsically linked to one another.) But with some intentionality and a little fascination with the self-experiment, I believe it’s totally possible to make your own best version of health and, in turn, feel really awesome about yourself.
So, strong feeling of purpose? Check. How to best act upon that purpose? Still in progress. But I figure I can start by sharing what’s worked for me, and more of my story. There’s so much to be gained from vulnerability, and hearing something you recognize personally in someone else’s experience.
That all being said, let’s get into today’s post. These are 5 practices I’ve put into play as part of my confidence regimen. I say regimen because it really is an active practice. Like I said in my body positivity post, self-acceptance ebbs and flows. But putting in the work pays off in spades. If this sounds at all good to you, here are some ways to start.
Unfollow people who make you feel like sh*t.
If you’re a human being who’s alive & breathing in the year 2018, there’s a good chance you spend a lot of your time on social media. It can be a great source of inspiration, education, and connection with your peeps, but it can also do a lot of damage. Scrolling through the highlight reel of other people’s lives can make us feel like our own existence is less than.
The 5 star vacation FOMO sets in, or you compare your relationship to the girl from high school who “can’t wait to marry her best friend,” or you look down in disgust at your thighs that look nothing like the Instagram fitness model’s. (For the record, with some help from Facetune, it’s possible that her thighs don’t even look like her thighs. And she’s probably comparing herself to some other social media model, and so on.)
If reading any of this sounds familiar, try approaching your social media habit with some extra intentionality. And by that I mean unfollow people who make you feel like sh*t. It’s just not worth it.
Hang out with people who lift you up.
So if you’re going to unfollow people who have a toxic effect on your self esteem, it’s probably wise that you don’t hang with them IRL either. Do an audit of the people you spend your time with. Do they support your goals? Do they inspire you to be better through their own actions? Do they let you vent when you’ve had a bad day, offering constructive feedback or maybe just an open ear? Do they celebrate your accomplishments without envy? Do they listen to you without commandeering the conversation to talk about themselves? Fill your life and spend your time with awesome people who check the “yes” box to all of those questions.
Find a form of physical activity you enjoy.
This is a big one for me. I’m not naturally inclined toward physical activity, but when I allow myself too much “off” time, I’ve found that I become more self conscious. Even if I don’t actually look any different, I start to feel like my body is this soft, flawed “other,” instead of the perfectly imperfect machine that carries me through life.
I feel much more connected to & appreciative of my own body when I’m regularly engaging in exercise that I actually enjoy. (Yeah, none of that exercise as punishment stuff here.) These days, this looks like a lot of yoga with an occasional strength training session because it’s what my mind & body crave, and what makes me feel at home in my physical self.
…And do it in a sports bra.
I talked about this in my body positivity post, but it bears repeating. There’s something magic that happens when you can actually see your body working. I care less about the way my arms looked in that photo on Facebook when I can see my triceps working to lower me from high to low plank. My stomach rolls don’t offend me when my abs & obliques are working toward a perfect prayer twist.
Move your scale out of your bathroom.
This small act can be a major move for self-care. There have been times in my life where I weighed myself multiple times a day, and the number that stared up at me would determine whether or not I had a good day. Nevermind if I killed it at a work presentation or had a great night out with my best friends. If my scale told me I was two pounds heavier than I was yesterday, there would still be a lingering feeling of failure in the back of my mind.
One way to diminish the power of the scale is to simply move it out of your everyday sight. When I was in my 1BR apartment, I slid mine into the linen closet. When I moved to my house, the scale found its new home in my guest bathroom. Now I check in a couple times a month, but for the most part, I let my clothes and the way I feel in my body tell me how I’m doing.
What’s in YOUR confidence regimen? Let me know in a comment below! Always need to add to the repertoire.