It doesn’t matter how it looks, it matters how it makes you feel.
I was standing in my bathroom a few weeks ago getting ready to head out to a family function. I had my black bra on with my tights. I can’t wear clothes while doing my hair and makeup for fear of the back sweats that inevitably pop up when I’m putting myself together.
As I was curling my hair, I recognized this feeling that has been becoming familiar. I felt so good and sexy…..In a bra and tights.
That feeling overwhelmed me and I began moving and grooving around the house. Damn. I felt good.
It didn’t matter how it looked because it made me feel something.
A feeling I relish in, a feeling I welcome, a feeling I don’t judge or criticize.
I did decide to look in the mirror, don’t we always. Does it look as good as it feels, so I mirror checked. Guess what. How it looked didn’t matter. I realized standing there that I didn’t care whether it looked good to even me, let alone someone else. Those tights and bra made me feel empowered, unstoppable and unbelievably sexy.
THAT’S what I was wearing.
I was wearing all those good vibes and feelings, and it felt damn good.
I encourage you to focus on the feeling, not the look!
Wear something that makes you feel good.
Walk out the door with those feelings on display.
When you do, you will be unstoppable!
You’ve heard me mention negative core beliefs a lot in my writings. This is something I work heavily on with both myself and my clients.
These beliefs about yourself are created through negative and hurtful experiences, from the most minor to the majorly significant. All the events you live through in life have the potential to build these beliefs.
Your trauma and pain – it creates beliefs about yourself.
Your depression and anger – it creates beliefs about yourself.
Your family and friend relationships – it creates beliefs about yourself.
Without even noticing, those beliefs become truths that you accept as fact about yourself. Yes, you believe them as truth but they are far from it. They are based in the false messages that your inner critic sends to you about how bad and unworthy you are.
You have to put forth the effort to first recognize these beliefs, identify some of the roots on where they developed, and begin to put some loving truth to them in order to see the reality of situations.
You essentially work to disprove these negative beliefs.
This is a critical step to quieting the hurtful inner voice, and you learn to trust your inner wisdom to help you see the truth of each and every situation. I have a whole section about this in my confidence course.
While most women have similar negative beliefs such as I am not enough, I am unworthy, I am a failure, there are some beliefs that are very specific to you and your lived experiences.
These are beliefs that you don’t often vocalized to others – it eats away at you internally, fearing judgement if you ever verbalize such things.
It’s extremely isolating, and it’s a lonely place to operate from.
Why am I sharing this with you. Well, a negative belief of mine has been rearing its ugly head over the past few months.
One of my negative beliefs (yes, one, because you have many … many you don’t even know you have without the proper reflection) is that PEOPLE ONLY LIKE ME FOR WHAT I CAN DO FOR THEM!
This belief leads me to think that others are always out for themselves and will throw me to the curb the second they have a chance to.
That they will take advantage of my kindness.
That they will use our relationship to get what they want for themselves.
They will ultimately want to push me down so they can elevate themselves.
And well, they feel it’s OK to hurt me, my feelings and will blatantly disrespect me.
This belief dictates how I feel the world perceives me, it dictates my relationships, it defines who I am … and not in a good way.
And everything that happens in my relationships simply proves this untruth to myself. My inner critic will say to me, “See, Maura. There it is. Remember, they only like you because they can get something from you. Told you so.”
Yup, it’s the little nag inside that says “TOLD YOU SO” after anything negative happens to me. It hurts, deeply.
I have to work, because let’s face it – nothing gets better in life without work, to understand what is happening with my thoughts while it is happening, take an eagle eye look at what transpired and choose a new story to tell myself. A story that has loving truth to it – love for myself, compassionate love for others, just love. It’s really hard to do because I feel so beat down, but I try. I can recognize when this happens, and while I may hurt for awhile, I will eventually be able to come around and see what transpired.
I can see what my thoughts did.
I can understand that old belief that exists in my life.
I know it’s root, I know it’s trigger.
I can tell myself that it no longer serves me.
I can begin to change the dialogue with myself.
I can build the foundation for a new belief.
And I can finally start to live a life built on that positive, encouraging and powerful belief.
That’s what I want to believe.
I want to live in that truth, not the falsehood I have created for myself.
I encourage you to challenge your thoughts, identify the falsehoods that hold you back, think about whether there is any basis for truth in them, and work to build your beliefs about yourself with a loving truth that is unmovable!
You are worthy.
You are lovable.
You are enough.
3 truths that serve me, and you too!
(Let me be clear: I love my job and am so fulfilled by helping women feel good from the inside out. This is vulnerability sharing this belief that I have been carrying with me since childhood….)
I was speaking with a client recently who had shared with me that she’d been fad dieting since she was 10. I was reflecting about my own journey as well (my first SlimFast drink at age 11), and I sat down after her photo shoot and wrote this.
I see you.
Wanting to love yourself but can’t let go of what you should look like.
Going on another diet hoping this time it’s the one that will work.
Trying a new exercise program thinking this is the secret.
You are convinced this time will be – must be – different but the doubt always creeps in.
Wondering if you’ll ever succeed, you’ll ever be happy, you’ll ever “get there.”
But where is “there?”
The finish line never seems to approach, so you let the shame, hurt and disappointment in yourself take over once again.
It’s a simple wish – to be comfortable in your own skin.
Depriving yourself of life’s joy by not participating in the things you want, by focusing on something insignificant.
Restricting yourself constantly, worried about what you ate, calories burned.
Do this, don’t do that.
Eat this, don’t eat that.
Constantly consumed with thoughts of food.
Constantly consumed with negative thoughts aimed at the failure you see in yourself.
Because you fail.
And, it’s always your fault.
Desperately wanting to “get it together” or “this time with be different”
“Why can’t you do this?”
You keep trying – one more diet, one more exercise routine, this procedure, that food – it might be the one thing.
But one thought prevails – when does it end?
Could, just for once, you look like the girls in the magazines.
Could you just have the body of your friends.
Seeing the success of others, only increasing the disgust you feel because you can’t do it.
The comparison never ends, neither does your failure.
So, you look to the past, trying to find answers and resolution.
Now looking at yourself with kinder eyes.
Wishing you could go back in time and love yourself just the way you were.
Wondering if it would have been possible to stop this madness that you hope doesn’t last your whole life.
Wondering, when or if, it will ever be enough.
Whether you will ever be enough.
You miss the you that didn’t care about this stuff.
The you that could peacefully exist.
The you that lived life without worry about what others think.
The you that danced in the rain, the you that ran around the yard, the you that wore whatever she wanted, the you that happily jumped in the water any time she could.
The you that lived freely.
Is that person still within?
But what if the only way to feel good about yourself, your body, the way you look is to change how you think.
Loving yourself and accepting your body, doesn’t mean you always need to change your body or the way you look.
You have a choice to say that right here and now it ends.
There is a more peaceful way to exist.
Your feelings about yourself should never be tied to the way you look.
This is what society wants us to believe, they want us to feel badly so they can sell us fixes to all our problems
Stop beating yourself up because you gained weight.
Stop beating yourself up when a new wrinkle appears.
Stop berating your body when your clothes don’t fit anymore.
PS – I always have to preface these kind of posts by saying that I don’t care what you do with your body. You have body autonomy to do what you wish. Your body is insignificant to me, it’s the least interesting thing about you – I like to focus on what makes you YOU, and that has nothing to do with how your body looks. <3
A note about rejection.
I was speaking with a client during her session recently and she shared with me how much she has been rejected as of late, particularly by romantic partners.
She was doing boudoir so that she can see and celebrate herself since she’s been so weighed down by this rejection.
She was talking about how devastating it is to be rejected so many times and how much it hurts her. How she feels like something is wrong with her. How nothing ever works out. I then said, “Do you feel like this rejection confirms all the negative thoughts you have about yourself?” She answered, “Yes.”
Never missing a chance to coach during my sessions, I had to share something with her.
You have to stop looking at rejection as a personal rejection. You have to stop internalizing it.
They didn’t reject YOU, they rejected a relationship.
When you internalize the rejection and you think something is wrong with you, you can sometimes start to want to change who you are to be accepted by another. That change could be physical, emotional, mentally. You can start to pretend to be someone different, say you like things you don’t, etc. And when you do that it pushes you further away from your authentic self.
People will never see the real you because you will do anything to avoid that rejection. You will play the game and be what they want you to be, not who you are.
When you internalize the rejection, you live or die by another’s acceptance of you.
You should only be looking to yourself for acceptance.
Again, they didn’t reject YOU, they rejected the relationship.
Looking at it this way allows you to remove yourself from the rejection. You don’t internalize it as much when you realize that they rejected someTHING not someONE.
I saw a shift in her in that moment as a light bulb went off. In my space, women open up to me, share super vulnerable things, they let me in. It’s not enough for me to just take their photos, I am there to listen to them, support them, guide them. This is more than “JUST” boudoir photos. This is why getting my self love life coach certification was so important to me. I use it in almost every session!