Are You Killing Your Self-Confidence with This Habit?

Whenever people tell me how they feel about their bodies – especially when it’s extremely critical – I get very sad.

I hurt for them, for the generations coming up behind them and for what we are doing to ourselves by being so disdainful.

We can be quite brutal.

And I understand this. I come from this very same culture.

To be self-critical and to see flaws in our physical body renders us self-conscious and full of self-loathing.

You know what it’s like to believe that how you look is what matters most. Whether it’s the shape of your belly or your thighs, you think your body can make or break your life.

Make or break your life?


A Way Out

It’s bad enough that we are in a society that places so much value on our size and how our various parts look.  

But must we perpetrate this on ourselves?

You know what I mean, I’m sure. You buy into the belief and reject yourself as if what “they” say is truth.

Where did that great rebellious teenager in you disappear to? The one that said, “I’m not going to be like that?” You need that adolescent back on the scene. Quickly.

The way out is to question the cultural norms and to know  that what is attractive about anyone – and that means you – is the energy that comes from you.

When you think hateful thoughts about any part of you – body, personality traits – that’s what gets accentuated. Hate gets amplified. Hate has vibrations. Hate, anger, all of those negative states are palpable.

If you carry heavy negativity around like Pigpen’s dirt storms, how attractive are you then?

The way out is to let go of the harmful and hateful words you use against yourself. It’s a bad and dangerous habit.

What makes you most attractive is when you bring a loving, positive and kind energy to your world, and it begins with you.

Beyond the Superficial 

Tfriendship lovehere are plenty of good people out there in the world. They are everywhere.

If you want to be loved and accepted for who you are, you will have to find people who are loving and accepting.

Chances are that these people are not looking for superficial relationships and don’t put as much stock into what you look like as you do.

You probably rarely reject people because of their physical appearance, though the habit of criticism may make you more critical and prone to see the imperfections rather than seeing the whole Being. 

Isn’t it remarkable that the thing you hate the most – being judged for your body alone – is what you have learned to do, too? Another ouch.

Look for sweet souls. Push back on petty values that are prevalent in the media and in institutions.

They are not “truth.” Don’t make them yours.  The people you are looking for push against that mainstream. Find them. 

Do not believe the lie. Make a life for yourself of people who are willing to look at you and see your heart and  soul.

Whether your thighs are hard or soft, they will have very little to do with your talents, your contributions or your ability to care about others.

[Tweet “Whether your thighs are hard or soft, they have very little to do with your talents “]

Apply a big dose of kindness and compassion, say Yes to your perfect body that carries you around, and find what is of most value about you. Love is the antidote to all ills. And it begins with you.

If you say that it is impossible for you to think or be different, it will be so. It’s a bad, habitual way of thinking and you’ve been doing it for a lifetime. Give new habits at least a few committed years to shift you. It begins with small, continual steps.

Say Yes to lovingkindness and your body will change before your eyes.

Your body longs for your love. Until you love it, it will not cooperate.

Your body is looking for acceptance in exactly the same way you wish others would accept and love you. The whole you.

Start small. Look into your eyes and see the light that is waiting for your recognition.

Over To You

No matter how you feel right now about yourself, I want you to find one part of your body that you can like. Acknowledge it and thank it.

Catch yourself when the hate comes on. Breathe deeply six times. Tell yourself, “I am changing how I see you. I appreciate you for being with me and being alive.”

What can you say and do for the next 21 days that will bring lovingkindness to your body?

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© Miriam Linderman 2014

Top Photo credit: rhinman / Foter / CC BY
All other photos are CC0 Public Domain
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  1. Hi Miriam.
    Once again, your words speed straight to the centre of my being. I equate that with uncovering hidden truths. Wisdom that was buried as a child and replaced with new teachings – to think too highly of oneself equalled conceit, pride, ego, vanity, self-importance. Thus began self-contempt.
    Yes, “brutal”. It alarms me to realize that the same understanding, care and respect we so willingly give to others is not given to our selves. My self. How could I be so hurtful to the body/mind/soul that gives me life. I don’t believe I did this consciously. And it’s about to change.
    In loving kindness,

  2. You are so right Donna. We are not conscious until we are. Sometimes waking is shocking. It helps to notice and see what we see without self-judgment or judgment of others. Notice with great curiosity and then with patience as you let each new way of being and doing take root. XO

  3. Oh, so true, Miriam!
    And the self-loathing both begins and is reinforced by the language, the words, the tone of voice (even in your head) that we use when we talk to and about ourselves.

    I’m glad I followed you home from Corrina’s 😉 !

  4. Hello Karen, I’m glad you followed me home too, and I look forward to deciphering that one. As to that inner voice and the way we speak to ourselves, it’s all about practice and catching the negative thinking and that tone. If it’s really bad in me, I will write it out and it quiets down. We all need lots of techniques to turn that around, don’t we?

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