Body Confidence: How to Get It, and Why You Deserve it

Your body confidence is based primarily on how you feel about what you see when you look in the mirror. If you don’t like your features or your shape, your body confidence will fall, you’ll feel inadequate, and you will be less likely to draw attention to yourself in every arena of your life from work to romance. If you can learn to love your reflection, your body confidence will skyrocket, which means you’ll be more likely to pull the spotlight onto yourself and show the world how great you really are, inside and out. There are two ways to improve your body confidence; you can change how you look, or you can change how you feel about how you look. The first one is often fairly fruitless. Although losing some excess flab, or stacking some muscle onto your frame is a great idea because it will make you feel healthier, more energetic, and more in control, it won’t necessarily give you the movie-star appearance you may feel is necessary to have lots of body confidence. However, changing your attitude towards your appearance will help you have more body confidence no matter what “flaws” you see in the mirror. Read on to learn three easy steps to higher body confidence.

Reward Your Body
For just a moment, visualize that your body is your employee, and that you are its boss. It works hard every day, and it is responsible for supporting every single thing that you do, from walking to talking to clapping your hands at a concert. It is on the go twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, and even works to move nutrients and oxygen through your system while you sleep. That’s one heck of an employee! Now, think about how you reward this employee. If you don’t have much body confidence, you probably treat this employee pretty badly, ignoring all the hard work it does successfully and concentrating on a tiny list of its flaws. To boost your body confidence, try thanking your body for all the good work that it is constantly doing. Give it a good all-over stretch, a warm bath, or even a luxurious massage. Buy it a new outfit, or take it out for a walk in the park. If you don’t believe that your body is an incredible employee, try making a list of all the cool things your body is especially good at, like playing guitar, chopping an onion, dancing the hustle, or even typing. If you add just a few things every day, pretty soon you’ll have hundreds of reasons to have a lot of body confidence. When you recognize what’s great about your body, your body confidence will soar! For some ideas on how to reward your body, check out this Ivillage article on the Top 10 Affordable Ways To Pamper Yourself, online at http://www.ivillage.co.uk/money/community/lovemon/articles/0,,598812_606303,00.html

Put Down The Magazines
One of the most harmful activities for your body confidence is comparing your body to “better” bodies. One of the most efficient ways to surround yourself with the kinds of images that will drop your confidence is to read glossy magazines filled with airbrushed photos of fashion models. So, put down the magazines! When we see photographs of people with bodies of a certain (and uniform) type, and we know that those people are successful and adored for their bodies, we think that if we only had that kind of body, our lives would be better, and we feel cheated that we don’t have a body that will get us those kinds of rewards. That makes us hate the body that we do have, and our body confidence goes way down, and quickly. If you can’t bear to cancel your subscriptions, at least try to remember the fact that there are plenty of miserable models and movie stars whose “beauty” doesn’t help actually them feel happier or more satisfied. This will help your body confidence because it proves that it really isn’t how you look that determines your quality of life, or even your level of body confidence. Plenty of the “beautiful people” idolized in these magazines have little to no body confidence at all. That means its actually easy for you to feel more beautiful than a model or a movie star, just by boosting your body confidence. For one example of a “beautiful person” who suffered without body confidence, even as the whole world adored her for her appearance, check out this Oprah.com piece on Jane Fonda: http://www.oprah.com/presents/2006/celebrate/confidence/confidence_350_106.jhtml

See Your Gene Pool
Body confidence often falters if our genetic profile doesn’t match the culture’s pervasive beauty ideals. Maybe your genes make you short instead of tall. Maybe your genes make you likely to pack a little extra weight in the caboose. When we look in the mirror and don’t like what we see, the features that bother us are the result of genetic strains that have been passed down in our bloodlines through generations of ancestors. These genes made it through for a reason: they make biological sense, and help us survive in the world. Science tells us that the genes that make us look the way we do are strong genes that triumphed over weaker ones. That means that even the “flaws” that make our body confidence falter are actually strengths developed over centuries of natural selection. When you look in the mirror, you’re looking at the cream of the crop! So, although your appearance may not match your “ideal,” it matches nature’s ideal of powerful and strong, and that should cause you lots of body confidence. For a crash course in natural selection and genetics that will help you understand the science behind how you got to look the way you do, browse through WikiPedia’s entry on Natural Selection at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_selection

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