When I ventured into a new career as a Personal Stylist, I knew I would first need to address some of my body confidence issues for myself before I could hope to guide my clients. What I’ve come to understand about myself and being confident is so much more than formulating the “perfect outfit.” Confidence is a mindset and attitude that can be taught. In this blog, I will challenge you to redefine how you view your body.
Step One: I am more than my body
Yeah, you’ve heard it all your life, “Beauty is on the inside,” “Beauty is only skin deep,” “It’s the inside that counts.” These statements become the tired consolation prize to the teen that lost yet another boyfriend or date to the prom.
It’s the sympathetic cliched quote for a girl that is overweight and underappreciated for her true value as a good person. These truisms appear to be the fallback bandaid for a larger wound; my appearance isn’t enough so I’d better rely on my personality.
As a teenager with deep insecurities, I already knew I was a good person; I just needed a way to feel confident in my skin. Unfortunately, I misaligned my true grasp of who I was with what I am.
“You don’t have a soul, you are a soul. You have a body, temporarily.” C.S. Lewis
Let that sink in for a minute. When I embraced that fact that my body is protecting my most valuable asset, it forever shifted how I viewed my physical form. My body is a host while I am granted time on this earth.
My first step to body confidence was seeing my wholeness as a soul and realizing the gift of protecting my body the best way I know how with the time I’ve been given. What I eat, what I wear, how I exercise, and the kindness I show my body is an indicator of how I view my greatest gift; my soul encased in a physical vessel.
Step Two: I am perfectly designed
While my overall package isn’t perfect, the design behind my body is. Have you ever stopped and thanked your body for every function it serves? Ok, you’re probably long past your high school class of biology and anatomy, but think back to all the intricacies of your brain, the digestive system, the reproductive system, and your heart. I’ve barely scratched the surface!
Each morning you are blessed to rise and shine, take time to reflect on the masterpiece of the human body. You are a masterpiece! Only when you are ill or forced to witness a loved one that struggles with a disease do you focus on how many moving parts are interlinked to the system of life.
I don’t tell myself to breathe or tell my heart to beat. Well, if you know my story that was a “glitch,” but you can hear about my death experience in this past video.
Here is the point. My body is the testimony to a Creator. Who am I to get hung up on my perceived imperfections when there are so many systems within that work and execute flawlessly day after day? I need to spend time in gratitude and awe with what I’ve been given.
Step Three: I put down the magnifying glass
Raise your hand if you have a magnifying mirror in your bathroom. Shatter it! Why do you want to 10X your pores and broken capillaries? So, you have a few rogue chin hairs and eyebrows that need taming. We all do! But are you able to forget the horror after you’ve stepped away?
Unfortunately, I carried my 10X view of myself into the full-length mirror in my closet. Thank goodness no one markets that! Somehow with every outfit, I instinctively zeroed in on my trouble spot and blew it up to 10X proportion. Even after my outfit was complete, I still focused on my “spot.”
The reality is this; no one focuses on your spot the way you do.
Think of a friend you admire. She wears her clothing just right, she has excellent accessories, she’s friendly and confident, and you feel good being around her. Did you think about her holistically with her overall effect? Yes! It’s the whole package you appreciate.
Confidence isn’t about being flawless; it’s about working with your assets and camouflaging the imperfections.
Step Four: I learned how to camouflage my imperfections
This girl has always struggled with fashion. It’s true. I never understood how to mix patterns and pull multiple colors into an outfit until I dove headfirst into the fashion world. I based my perfect wardrobe on what I saw other women around me wearing. Keeping up with the latest trends was not my thang!
Instead of learning how to work with my body, I tried to make my body fit the latest fashion.
After I discovered my style, I was able to cut out the distraction of the endless racks of clothing all vying for my attention. What my eyes used to focus on was the mass array of styles at my fingertips. Today, however, I can laser focus on my colors, my patterns, and my design lines.
My biggest takeaway is this; not every style that graces the latest fashion trends is my style.
As your Stylist, I can very affordably help you discover what is working for you in your closet. I can show you what design lines are the most flattering for your shape. Most importantly, I can show you how to cut down on the distraction when you step into a clothing store and therefore shop with a purpose.
Body confidence grows when you know how to dress your body!
Step Five: I learned how to fake it until I felt it
Although it sounds counter intuitive, our mind needs to be told how to feel. I talk to myself all the time. My language was not kind or supportive for much of my life. In my head space, I was brutal and demeaning. Through years of personal development in reading, courses, and conferences, I finally realize how important self-talk is to building confidence.
Merely wearing a fantastic outfit is not going to give you confidence. It has to come from your head first, but the co-star is your clothing.
When you are sad, do you further your spiral by listening to sad music and contemplating the ills of your life? Then that is where your headspace will remain in the sadness. Your only way out is to shift your thoughts and actions to things that are happy and positive. You intentionally fill your space with things to pull you out of a funk even though you are in a funk. You can try these mood lifters from last weeks blog.
Instead of confirming your lack of body confidence with clothes that don’t honor your Created masterpiece, fake how you feel by wearing colors or a new statement necklace. When you make a shift on your appearance, you headspace will start to shift along with it.
When you combine your appearance with the knowledge of what you indeed are, body confidence soon follows. You will never be 100% satisfied with your body; it’s a sad fact.
Today, embrace the fact that you are a soul protected by a designed physical body. Put down your magnifying glass and learn how to camouflage your imperfections. Even if you have to fake it til you feel it, you are beautiful!
Join me next week with 5 Tips for Finding Confidence in the Dressing Room!