Friday 30th October
Rule #3 of 10 Be Kind to Myself – Pay Myself a Compliment When I Look In the Mirror
As promised I will be writing about each of my ten rules how they came about, evolved and the effect they had on my life. This one was phenomenal and following my experience this year this is what I believe is the key to everything. How we feel about ourselves determines how amazing we can feel about our lives.
t’s something I could talk and talk about, it’s something I do talk and talk about because in my own personal experience and in seeing the success of clients and friends who have worked on this - when you can truly love yourself everything else begins to fall into place.
Working on my relationship with myself was key to my remarkable recovery story and saying goodbye to the eating disorder and the negative self thoughts that were so ingrained in me that I didn't even realize they were there.
When I first created this rule in February the truth was I found it hard to look at myself without cringing but as the days passed by seeing myself smile in the mirror the cringing lessened and I began to notice positives about myself quicker than negatives and I also realized how hard I’d been on myself throughout the years.
This morning I was chatting to a friend about how far I’ve come in less than a year and how amazing it is to now feel truly content with myself. Sometimes I stand in front of the mirror and almost try and see if I can find something to criticize but even if I can't. I don’t want to because I love myself enough now to give myself a break and approve and accept myself as I am.
When you use the word eating disorder it immediately separates those people into a group away from everyone else, and of course yes there are behaviours that become extreme that lead to this diagnosis being made but I have yet to meet many people who don’t have an issue with their body image. Who don’t feel that somehow things would be better if they were different?
My friend asked me this morning had I never felt good about myself and my reflection even when I was dressed up for a night out. It made me think and yes I did sometimes like how I looked. With make-up, hair and tan done especially if I had a flattering outfit on externally I could feel good I didn’t think I was ugly yet a part of me felt a fraud. Like if people could really see how I looked underneath they would be horrified.
When I was a small child I loved to gaze at myself in the mirror and thought I was beautiful and that is what I am so passionate about instilling the importance of keeping that belief in children and teens. To keep on shining and sparkling.
I am talking in a school in a few weeks’ time and the topic will be “Don’t Dull Your Sparkle” – our sparkle -who we truly are it has no reflection. It is how we feel about ourselves, it is how we make others feel, it is love, kindness, laughter, gratitude and all good. Toddlers sparkle with all their might and it is life’s events that can begin to knock our confidence and take the shine away.
For me it was the realization that my eating disorder and negative body image weren’t actually the problem needing to be solved. They were a side effect of a deeper problem which was how I felt about myself and by focusing on that and beginning to see and appreciate who I really was- see my sparkle- then it because much easier to simply let go of all the negative thoughts and behaviours.
So no matter what challenges ad struggles you may be facing right now I guarantee that if you begin to look in the mirror and smile. If you replace a criticism with a compliment the results will be positive and the more you work at it the more they will grow.
I spent years thinking that if I had toned arms or a six pack that life would be better. Each time I saw an ad with someone in a bikini I would compare and think negatively about myself.
Well said Lisa Nichols - "Comparison is the thief of all joy" If you don't know who Lisa Nichols is check out the link she is someone I would LOVE to discuss this with along with the fabulous Oprah Winfrey!
Now aged 36 I realize that yes the fashion industry and how models look can have an effect on how we feel about ourselves but that effect is only negative if we already hold negative beliefs about ourselves.
Whether you diet all the time, whether you comfort eat in secret or whether you have a way of being hard on yourself that has nothing to do with food or your body you don’t need to. True happiness doesn’t come when you reach a goal or look a certain way it is available to you right now when you allow yourself to have it.
I want to help and inspire people to not only have a positive body image about a positive “image” about themselves. Every part- to be able to see all the good in themselves. To take away the mirror and look inside to see their sparkle because that is the part that truly matters now and in the end.
We are all so different and we all deserve to feel good and excited about life.
Love yourself and you will love your life.
“How we feel determines how we feel about our lives but it is how we feel about ourselves that determines how amazing our lives will be.” – Hannah Lilly