Let Me Introduce Sarah Nicole Landry - @TheBirdsPapaya
Before I get into the 5 steps, I want to introduce you to an amazing woman that is rocking her journey to self esteem. Sarah Nicole Landry is a mom of three, who has struggled most of her life with loving her self mostly because of the messages she received and internalized from our looks obsessed society.
Who of us hasn’t looked at the way women are featured in the media and felt “less-than”? I know I have. My forehead was too high, my nose not thin enough, lips too thin, skin not smooth enough, boobs too small, and on and on went my fight with my looks. So too, Sarah Nicole struggled with her ideal vision of how she should look. Even after losing 100 lbs, she still struggled with self esteem. This is when she realized that allowing societal views to shape her own self confidence was a losing battle. Today she advocates for loving yourself right where you are in your journey. She champions being grateful to our unique bodies for their amazing accomplishments; moving, loving, growing babies, breathing and carrying us through all of this life’s ups and downs. For weekly inspiration, you can follow this beautiful woman's "journal of life & love after massive change" on Instagram @thebirdspapaya , and her blog and podcast!!
Now Onto The 5 Steps To Boost Your Self Confidence - That Have Nothing To Do With Looks...
1. Celebrate Your Accomplishments
At times it’s difficult to see the positive things that we have truly accomplished in our lives. As women, we often overlook things that when put into perspective, are huge achievements.
Are you a mom? Then you actually grew another human in your body! How incredible is that??! And everyday, you guide another human in learning, growing and flourishing. Just wow!
Are you a supportive friend? You have added value by listening, laughing and giving support to another. You may not even know the depth of gratitude that they hold for your loyalty. You are a vital part of someone’s support network!
Are you a student? You have invested in learning, studying and committing to memory new concepts and ideas that many other people may not know. That takes commitment!
Write down your list and look deeply at the accomplishments that you have achieved. You may be surprised at how much you really have to offer the world!
2. Speak Kindly to Yourself
We wouldn’t think of telling our children that they were ugly, dumb or incapable! Yet that is exactly how we often speak to ourselves. I know I do. So, I’m committing to turn the negative talk around. If I catch myself saying something negative to myself, like “I’m not a capable – mother, artist, cook… etc.(fill in the blank)”, I will turn it around to something like, “I may not know how to parent, paint, or cook … (fill in the blank) the very best yet, but I am improving everyday, and that is forward movement.”
And I have to be honest with myself, because if I just say “I’m the best mom, artist, cook …(fill in the blank) ever!”, I won’t truly believe it and the exercise won’t work.
3. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
Okay, to be honest, this is the hardest challenge I face in my self confidence journey. I will look at how other moms parent, or another women’s beauty - whatever it is I feel “less than” about - and compare them to myself. What happens is I end up feeling like crap.
So rather than comparing to other people, I try to challenge myself to be a better version of myself each day. I also give myself permission to have off days, to be imperfect and to be human.
4. Focus on What You Can Change
My mom used to say that “99% of worry is needless”. In hindsight, I would have to say that she is right. We tend to worry about worst case scenarios, what others think, or what might go wrong. Even if the worst were to happen, worrying usually can’t avoid it from happening. Rather, it is best to focus on improving how we think, what positive actions we can take, and what you tell yourself about your capabilities.
5. Build a Group of Supportive People
We can make progress in building self esteem a whole lot faster if we have others that believe in us too. Friends will challenge us to do new things, they will see our strengths when we can’t see them ourselves, and they will remind us of our past accomplishments when we forget. Plus having someone to cry or laugh with when things go wrong, really helps keep rejection or failure in perspective.
But what if you don’t have a support system? Sometimes family isn’t there when we need them, friends disappoint, or communities abandon us when life gets messy. Sometimes we need to actively search for our community. It may even take longer than hoped. Eventually we will find a supportive friend, cousin, spouse, therapist or parent that will be the voice in our corner. Hold onto that one voice. Soon more will be found. Join groups, teams, or online communities. Offer support to others and slowly your support network will begin to grow.
Lift As We Climb!
Some days I rock my self confidence! Other days I feel like I'll never get the confidence I really need to truly feel like I even fit in this looks obsessed world.
The question is "What will I do about it?"
A wise woman recently reminded me that our growth journey is not a straight line upward. Rather there are hills and valleys, but as long as we remember that we are gradually ascending towards improvement, we can be satisfied in our forward movement. I will keep focusing on the important things in my life, and remembering the value that I have regardless of my looks on any given day. Just like Sarah Nicole Landry, I will keep lifting up other women, young and old, and encouraging them to see their value!
Let's always remember to lift others as we climb!