It’s summertime, and with that comes a lot more skin on show for most of us. So, today we will be talking about body confidence, how to love yourself fully, and some exercises and tips to help you build up your confidence.
Before jumping into it, I want to point out that everyone experiences moments of body self-doubt (no matter how confident they may appear), and this is normal. However, it is important to learn how to kick negative self-talk when it happens.
Many of us autoimmune warriors have incredibly complex and beautiful bodies. Our bodies go through more than the average body, and so we should be immensely grateful for what they do. The way we talk to ourselves and treat our bodies matters! Regardless of the scars, stretch marks, bruises, and marks, we are all beautiful! Just remember that we are all human and all flawed in our own incredible and unique ways.
A little reminder before we jump into the tips. You are in luck because you already have all you need to have the bikini body of your dreams! A bikini and a body!!
1. Get to the Root
It is easy to say “love yourself, that is the key to confidence.” But, what does that really mean?
Lack of self-confidence usually stems from something. Whether that be from a childhood trauma, negative self-talk from a partner or friend, or anything in between. It is hard to get past your lack of self-confidence without first knowing the root of it.
So, I suggest that you take out your journal and take some time to think about some of your biggest body-confidence struggles. Ask yourself:
- Why don’t I like this part of my body?
- Does this stem from a past-trauma? (childhood, past relationships)
- Why do I believe these negative thoughts about my body to be true?
- Are there things or people in my environment that affect my perception of my body? (social media, friends, family)
Once you reflect and get all your thoughts out onto paper, these thoughts no longer control you. You have discovered the root of the problem and can now work to move past these struggles. This will not be an easy task, but if you work at it every day, you will be able to love yourself fully.
It is critical that you take the time to do this exercise. Without knowing the root, you will not be able to fully move past these problems. It will be like placing a band-aid on a cut that needs full-on stitches. Eventually, the band-aid will stop working.
2. Make a Thought Swap
Our thoughts and self-talk really matter. So, it is important to be aware of any negative thoughts and self-talk we have. The journaling exercise above is a great way to brainstorm and identify what some of these negative thoughts are for you. So, once you are aware it becomes easier to identify the thoughts and switch them with a new positive thought.
I encourage you to take a few minutes and write out some of your top negative body-thoughts. Once you do so, write down some ways to replace these thoughts with a positive. For example:
Instead of: “I hate my stomach because it is too round.”
Replace it with: “I love my stomach and how it helps me with digestion and gaining essential nutrients from my food.”
Once, you do this for all the parts of your body that you struggle with, you can use these replacement thoughts every time a negative thought pops up. This may seem weird at first, and it may seem fake. But, over time the positive thoughts will become more habitual and easier.
3. Wear What Makes You Feel Great
Your clothing has the ability to make or break your self-confidence. This is why it is so important to curate a wardrobe that makes YOU feel good. Every day make a conscious decision to pick out clothing that makes you feel confident and powerful. If you find that nothing in your closet makes you feel this way then it may be time for a refresher. Whether you go out and buy a whole bunch of new clothing, go thrifting, or just add a few new pieces, this can really help you with your confidence. Although body confidence should start from loving yourself on the inside, your clothing certainly does play a role.
When it comes to bathing suits, it is important to take the time to find one that fits your body shape and type. When you really invest some time into trying on different styles, you will find one that makes you feel amazing. It is also a great idea to have a few options in your closet that you can pick from based on your confidence level that day. Maybe you have some one-pieces or high wasted bottoms for days where you want to have less on display. Maybe you also invest in some cute cover ups or wraps to wear at the beach or by the pool. These are just a few examples.
The important thing to remember is to find a style that flatters your body type, and you will feel so much more confident in your clothing and bathing suit!
4. Focus on What You Can Change
It can be easy to get hung up on every inch of our body and just pick ourselves apart. But, it is very important to stop focusing on the things we cannot change about ourselves. Spending your time focusing on your bone structure and how you wish you didn’t have such wide hips will not do you any good, because that is a part of you.
However, focusing on your thoughts, or toning up your arms, is something totally doable and under YOUR CONTROL. There is nothing wrong with wanting to improve your body for the better. If your goal is to be stronger, then find some workouts to help with toning and strength. There is nothing wrong with wanting to improve certain aspects of your body. But, it is important to release what you cannot change and what is out of your control (bone structure, body type, etc.)
5. Stop Comparing To Others
How many times have you found yourself scrolling through Instagram or on social media and you see something that makes you feel bad about your body? We have all been there. No matter how much you try to curate your feed or watch your consumption.
So, this is your reminder to stop scrolling through Instagram and comparing your body to others’ highlight reel. Stop flicking through that magazine and comparing your bare face to a photoshopped model. Focusing on yourself and your life is vital for your mental health and self-esteem.
This may mean setting better limits for yourself surrounding social media and media consumption. But, this also means recognizing when the comparison happens and stopping yourself when it does.
6. Use Self-Love Practice
When it comes down to it, building greater self-confidence means having greater self-love. Just like anything else, this takes time and practice. So, a few of my favorite practices to generate more self-love and self-confidence include the following:
- Affirmations: I have a few affirmations written down and ready for whenever a wave of self-doubt hits me. I like to repeat these daily in the morning or whenever I need a little pick me up. One that I really love is “My body is strong and incredible.”
- Self-love Journaling: I love this practice to help me when I am feeling down. It helps me to dig deep and express what I really love about myself. The practice is simple. You grab a pen and your journal and make a long list of things you love about yourself. Try to go beyond surface-level details and really dig deep. List things you love about your appearance and your personality. This is also a great list to return back to whenever you feel down about yourself and need a reminder of how awesome you are.
- Time In Front of the Mirror: Something as simple as standing in front of the mirror can be a really daunting task for many. But, I encourage you to take some time, stand in front of the mirror, and repeat some loving words to yourself. This could be a great time to repeat some of the new positive thoughts and affirmations created in tip #2. If you want to take this up a notch, stand in front of the mirror naked and do this practice. The more times you do this, the more you will get comfortable with your body and see its beauty.
Overall, I hope that these tips and tricks serve you well and help you to cultivate more self-love and confidence in your life. Remember that your body is truly incredible, so give it some love.
If you want to learn a bit more about self-confidence and self-love you can read another blog post I wrote all about BUILDING GREATER SELF LOVE AND CONFIDENCE.