The other day I was at the gym and I saw a beautiful woman walk in the front doors. Beautiful, like the kind of beauty other woman turn and notice thinking, “wow, she’s lovely.” She greeted the front desk staff as they obviously knew each other. I was waiting for my class to start so I could hear their conversation.
Front Desk Girl: “Hi! Wow, you look GREAT”
Beautiful Woman: (Looks down at herself in disgust) “Oh my GAWD, I look AWFUL. I can’t get rid of this flab on my stomach and look at this zit on my chin and my hair is a mess cuz I need to get my roots done…..”
Me: (Thoughts in my head) “Holy s***, what a nightmare, she can’t take a compliment. What a turn off. Makes her sound like a big baby. Wait, that must be what I sound like when someone says something nice to me….(gulp, reality hits)…oh crap.”
Sometimes it takes hearing someone else put themselves down to make you realize how CRINGE WORTHY it is.
Listen, I know we all have our self-doubts and parts of our body and or personalities that we don’t particularly like. But when you say it OUT LOUD you’re killing yourself. I think this self-depreciating quality has been taken too far in the past few years. Yes, it’s funny to make fun of yourself. But for the love of humanity take an effing compliment.
Taking a compliment is hard for many of us. But really, all you have to do is ACTIVELY stop yourself from letting that nasty inner voice out and simply say, “Thank you.” That’s it. Don’t say another effing word. Don’t say you need to work on this or that or that you’re still 10 pounds up or that you can’t fit into your old jeans. Just say THANK YOU.
You see, you look in the mirror and you see your faults. However, when others look at you, they see your attributes. Case in point, the lovely lady at the beginning of my story. What we all have to start doing is looking at ourselves they way others see us and not the skewed way we see ourselves. The way to do that is…(yes, it’s gonna be cheesy)…to PRACTICE .
Here are a few ways you can instantly turn your negative thoughts inside out:
1. Write yourself a prescription on a yellow sticky note. Paste said note on your bathroom mirror. RX says; “I am beautiful just the way I am. Repeat daily.”
2. If your clothes don’t fit…FORGIVE yourself and go invest in some inexpensive new key pieces at Kmart or Walmart. Believe it or not, both stores have adorable, cheap, fashionable clothes for ALL SIZES. You will feel good about yourself when you look trendy and cute again. And when you feel good, you are more productive and motivated. If those new clothes are only temporary, great. If they’re permanent , SO WHAT!
3. Put some motivating quote apps on your smart phone. Read them daily. Download Pharrell’s song, “Happy” and play it repeatedly. Make it your ringtone. It’s happiness in a bottle!
4. Move. Without a doubt, the absolute BEST EXERCISE is the one that YOU’LL DO. So if that’s walking, do it. If it’s lifting a broomstick instead of weights…fine. Move the body and the mind will follow. In other words, if you get some exercise, any exercise, you will instantly improve your mood.
5. Smile. Yep, the old stand-by. Forcing yourself to smile when you’re sad makes it damn near impossible for you to remain pissed.
6. Just say THANK YOU when someone pays you a compliment. Don’t over-think it. You are being showered with affection. Take it with a smile.
7. Stop comparing yourself to others. This is the classic bulls**t that many of us fall for. First of all, you know NOTHING about what that person is really like behind closed doors. I’ll bet if you REALLY knew them you WOULDN’T want to be ANYTHING like them.
8. Give yourself some ‘me’ time. Everyone says that for a reason and that’s because it works.
9. When you’re ready to make a positive change, come up with a plan and follow it. Most plans of action work IF YOU FOLLOW THEM. Things like getting out of debt and exercising more or training for a race or whatever. You can achieve those goals but not without a plan.
10. Be your own best friend. It may sound corny, but you more than anyone deserve your belief and motivation.
Look, there is nothing MORE UNATTRACTIVE than someone who CONSTANTLY puts themselves down. And that’s a recipe for disaster. I remember reading an article in some men’s magazine once while in a doctor’s waiting room. Basically, the article said that this guy was dating a SUPER HAWT chick. But every day she would belittle herself and point out her flaws. Now, the guy hadn’t noticed any of those flaws…but the more she yammered on about them, the more obvious they also became to him. Pretty soon, he dumped her ass because he just couldn’t take the incessant zeroing in on all her both real and mostly imagined flaws.
Remember, as they say on every single airline as part of their safety instructions, “In the event of a loss in cabin pressure, secure YOUR OWN oxygen mask first, then help the person next to you.” Translation, if you’re not taking care of yourself, how on earth can you possibly give your loved ones your best?
So throw those shoulders back, show off that beautiful smile, and start being nicer to yourself today. You’ll find believing in yourself comes much easier after that.