by Angela Clack, LPC ~
As women we are often comparing ourselves to the images of others. It’s hard to stand in line in the local grocery store without being bombarded with the images, visuals, stories , and pictures of celebrity superstars on the front of the current women’s fashion magazines; or the tons of fitness, style, and weight loss magazines that remind us how old we are, how out of shape we are, etc.
Imagine the billions of dollars spent on cosmetic surgery! Honestly, how many of us have wanted to be something other than who we are? Face it…we are a culture obsessed with how we look and when we don’t match up to those “superstars” we idolize, we often find ourselves depressed, anxious and binging on that next half gallon of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.
Statistics show that the average American woman spends approximately $600 a year on personal products. (Personally, that sounds like an underestimation). But often we are sadly disappointed by the false claims or wishful thinking that comes along with these “miracle” products. Seeing ourselves through the eyes of others is a dangerous thing. This means giving another person (s), group, even society the power to influence your self-worth, rendering you powerlessness and dis-empowered.
Learning to Love Ourselves from the Inside Out means nurturing our natural gifts and talents, loving who we are and accepting ourselves as we were designed by the grand designer himself. Embracing our imperfections does not mean accepting less than the best for ourselves; it does not mean accepting mediocrity; it is not an excuse to be in poor health or slovenly in our appearance and our self-image; it does not mean accepting your life circumstances as they are (at least not without a fight)!
Embracing our imperfections is about not obsessing about what we cannot have or what we cannot control but instead motivating ourselves to create our own path to discovering our purpose towards goal achievement and goal fulfillment. I have found the following tips quite helpful in motivating women to transition from feeling dis-empowered to confident.
- A change of feeling is a change of destiny. Change the way you see your world, yourself, and your future. Be who you are. If there are things you don’t like about yourself, avoid complaining and do something about it. (Join a gym, take a course, join a support group, etc.).
- State positive affirmations daily and live by those affirmations. I live my life fully and authentically. My worth is not determined by the opinions of others, I value, love, and respect myself. I
- ts discipline not desires that determines the outcome of our destiny. Ask yourself, “how bad do I want it and what am I willing to do to get it?”
- Learn to invest yourself and seek growth opportunities. Seek out books, magazines, programs, etc. to improve your life.
- Capitalize on your strengths. You may need to take an online survey or seek out a counselor to discover your strengths.
- Acknowledge moments of vulnerability and weakness, but don’t get stuck there. Confront your fears and feelings of inadequacy.
- Change requires a Shift in conscientious (refocus). Change requires a mental shift from defeating thoughts to self-affirming and validating thoughts.
- Let go of “bad press”. You can’t stop people from talking about you. Let you haters be your motivators.
- Learn to celebrate the success of others (not envy or jealousy): our success as women should not come at the expense of another’s failures. Pull from successful others.
- Do what makes you happy, not popular. Often we hold back sharing our dreams with others and shooting for the stars for fear that what we share may not be approved of or supported by others. Go for it! Failure is a dress rehearsal for success. Learn from your mistakes and move forward to successful goal achievement.
Angela R. Clack, PsyD, LPC, is Psychologist and Licensed Professional Counselor in private practice and an Empowerment Business Coach & Consultant in Sicklerville, New Jersey. She has expertise in treating adolescents and their families. Contact Dr. Clack at: [email protected] or on Facebook @ Dr. Angela Clack.