I get asked this question quite often so I thought why not create a podcast episode with the answer?!
What is confidence anyway?
Firstly it’s worth noting what confidence actually means.
Let’s start by looking at the definition of Confidence: “a belief that one is capable of successfully meeting the demands of a task.“
So how does this relate to body confidence specifically? It starts with what demands we think we need to meet in order to be body confident.
Because you and I have grown up in the same (or very similar) society, I’m going to state the demands that many of you may think you might need to meet in order to be body confident:
–Being a certain dress size
–Having a “bikini body”
–Being small, cute AND sexy – but not too short and not too cute, just the perfect amount of cute and sexy
-Being in proportion because God forbid if we don’t have an hourglass figure
-Having a small waist and a big bum (until the powers at be change it to heroin-chic again)
-Having perfectly smooth dimple free skin
-Being hairless from the eyebrows down
-Having no razor bumps, ingrown hairs, random long nipple hairs or toe hair
-And everything else that I might have missed because there’s definitely more…
I want to talk about the be-do -have model because this is really key in improving your body confidence (and anything in your life). You see most of us think we need to HAVE the ideal body in order to be able to DO the things we’ve been putting on hold until we have lost weight and then we’ll BE confident.
But that’s backward because it’s your beliefs that create your reality not the other way around. And so when – not if – you believe that you can be confident now – regardless of your body size or shape – then you can already DO the things a confident person would do and then you will HAVE confidence. You don’t need the ideal body in order to have something you want that will make your life a hella lot better.
You don’t need to put your life on hold waiting for some magical day that most likely will never come in order to BE confident in your body. And be happy in life. That’s a lie we’re told from the moment we’re born in order for us to keep searching, striving and purchasing things that we hope will bring us happiness.
It. will. never. be. enough.
Trust me. I was interviewed for the Independent newspaper recently to give my expert opinion on what I thought about buccal fat removal. I mean wtf is buccal fat?! Well, turns out it’s the fat on cheeks’ that people are having surgically removed in order to have a chiselled face… (I KNOW!!!!) WHEN IS IT EVER GOING TO STOP? WHAT THE FUCK WILL BE NEXT?!
It. will. never. be. enough.
So how the F do you just BE confident?
Great question my love!
I just shared that your beliefs shape your reality not the other way around.
What is reality? Reality is different for every single person. No two people share the exact same reality. Your reality is how you see the world. You see the world through the lenses of your conditioning and past experiences. You can remove these lenses when you are open to changing your beliefs. When you change your beliefs your reality changes. That’s why “When you change on the inside, everything outside changes”. And THIS is very exciting because it means you can literally change your whole life for the better by changing your beliefs! I’ll get to how you do that shortly.
I’d like to talk a bit more about these lenses… when you’re conceived (yes, I’ve not gone crazy, I am talking about you as a cell) you are wearing no lenses. You’re a pure soul that has not given anything a meaning.
You just are. God states “I am that I am” but that’s getting too deep for what I want to share here!
Picture this, you’re in your mother’s womb and things start to change. Your unconscious mind (which you have when you’re just a cell because the mind isn’t in the brain, it’s in every cell of your being) absorbs every single thing in its environment from the day you’re conceived.
Yes, It starts as early as this. And so let’s say when your mother was 3 months pregnant (with you) and she was called fat, you would have FELT her reaction to that which would have most likely been embarrassment and shame. POP – you have your first lens to see life through… “Being fat is bad.”
You consciously or unconsciously (remember your unconscious is ALWAYS listening) hear your Grandad being racist. POP – now you have a racist lens.
You see your mother’s friends reacting joyfully at your mother’s weight loss and you see your mother smiling. POP – another lens… “Losing weight is GOOD!”
You notice on TV or at school the “fat kid” being bullied and POP – another lens! “In order to be accepted, I MUST be slim”
Can you IMAGINE how many lenses you have?!
Imagine all sorts of things like that happening from the day you were conceived until you were around 7 years old. Up until around age 7 your brain waves are primarily in Theta which means you don’t yet possess full ‘consciousness’ — which is the ability to analyze, assess, think about, judge or reason any incoming information from the environment — all new information bypasses this conscious filtration, instead just going straight into the unbconscious mind.
Simply put: children, during the few years of their lives, are basically walking around in a constant state of hypnosis.
Meaning: unlike an adult who hears something & has the mental ability to analyze it, question it, judge it, or reject it, children don’t (instead rather just accepting it all). Critical thinking is absent.
Can you see (pun intended) why you feel the way you do about your body?
When you change your beliefs you’re removing one lens at a time with understanding and compassion and replacing it with rose-tinted ones…
You can also choose not to replace your lenses with any lens of course – which is deep spiritual work and will bring you peace (and emptynes) – but in my opinion it’s much more fun (and human) to choose to look at life through lenses that make you feel confident, happy, sexy etc.
This is a great read about how you childhood affect your life.
Changing your beliefs
And so I’ve shared that your beliefs create your relaity and not the other way around.
I’ve shared that when you change your beliefs your whole reality changes.
I’ve shared why you have the current beliefs and lenses that you have.
Now I’ll share how to change your beliefs in the best way I can in an article / podcast. Ideally, I’ll need to coach you through changing your beleifs, not because you pay me to coach, you but because it takes me asking you questions to uncover your limiting beliefs beneath the beliefs, me coaching you through that AND the support in between coaching sessions each day… but as I said, I’ll do my best.
In terms of body confidence lets go with “I can’t feel confident in my body unless I lose weight first.”
Let’s say out of all the lenses you’re wearing, the ones that influceded you the most equates to:
“You can only be confident if you look good otherwise people will make fun of you.”
It’s hard to say where I’ve learnt this from as it feels so true to me. I guess knowing what I know now, I’ve learnt it from everywhere, tv, magazines, school, my parents, everywhere.”
If I had the inability to think that I can’t be confident unless I lost weight first then I would feel… free as if there’s a weight been lifted.
It would make space for me to be confident anyway in the body I have.
My life would be completely different because I’d do all the things I haven’t felt confident enough to do which I’ve been putting on hold until I lose weight.
It feels so true to me but I’m willing to work with this and let it go as I can’t be absolutely certain that it IS true… I’m sure there are people who are confident regardless of their body? This belief is definitely not serving me as it’s stopping me from truly living and I’m constantly failing diet after diet and feel worse about myself the more I do.
“I’d love to believe that I can be confident in the body I have now without losing weight first.”
“Other people with a similar body to me can be confident but I just can’t… I’m different.”
This is where you can coach yourself through this objection;
“Why can’t I?”
Meet every option with love and curiosity. This is where actual coaching is so helpful and transformative.
This is key! Act as if you are already confident. How would a confident person dress? act? walk? think? say? And do that.
You learnt all your limiting (and positive) beliefs through repetition since you were a child. You were modelled them over and over again through things you saw, experienced and heard either consciously or unconsciously. And so you CAN create new beliefs. Granted, you can’t be a child again with a different upbringing but you CAN believe new beliefs, rewire your brain, release stored trauma AND create your own reality.
And so repetition is super important to EMBODY the new belief and therefore create a new reality for yourself.
What I ask my clients before we start working together is:
- Are you willing to change your beliefs around food and body?
- Are you then willing to have different beliefs to most people?
If both answers are yes then I KNOW that client will be living in true food freedom and body love.
Acting as if
I really want to revisit this aspect of changing your beliefs because it’s the most part. Acting as if you are already confident.
“I’m not what I think I am. I’m not what you think I am. I’m what I think you think I am.”
- Charles Cooley
Remember what I said about the lenses? You can take all your lenses off and then you’ll be left with nothing meaning anything.
A tree is just a tree.
A flower is just a flower.
A dog is just a dog.
Chocolate is just chocolate.
A large body is just a large body.
A small body is just a small body.
No meaning positive or negative.
And remember the part where I said it’s much more fun to put lenses on that make life seem fun, happy and loving?
“There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle”-Albert Einstein
Nothing means anything until you give meaning to something and so whatever “story” you give to something is all BS anyway, so you may as well choose to tell yourself a story that makes you feel good…!
THAT’S the power of creating your own reality! Yes, we have a societal consensus that fat is bad and thin is good but that’s because we’re living in dogma.
Dogma is a belief or set of beliefs that is accepted by many without being questioned or doubted.
WE get to doubt those beliefs and create our own set of beliefs and start living in our own goddamn reality! A reality where we live as the authentic version of ourselves which is all based on self-love.
Confidence is a feeling and a choice. It is not a body size. The same goes for sexiness. Sexy is not a body size. It is a feeling that then emanates outward.
People often think they have to become “confident enough” until they can wear something or do something.
“I can’t go on a date, attend a party, or wear a bathing suit in public…because I don’t feel confident enough yet.”
Of course, I understand fully when I hear people say that – I used to say that – but it got me thinking…
If you think about it, in regard to the activities that most of us say we’re “not confident enough” to do, it doesn’t really make sense…
If we were to say “I’m not confident enough to do a presentation at work”, that would fit the definition of confidence IF we didn’t believe that we could present clearly or had the knowledge to share in the first place— which would be the demands of the task.
But putting on a bikini or going on a date states no demands.
To wear a bikini in public, you just need a body and a bikini.
To go on a date, you just need to show up to the date at the time and location and be yourself.
Any other story you’re telling yourself is just that – a story – that you have learnt via your upbringing and societal conditioning.
And those stories are keeping you from truly living.
And the truth is we don’t usually feel confident before we’ve done something anyway—
on the contrary, we become confident through the act of doing something.
I won’t feel confident in my job, for instance,
until I’ve done the job for a while.
I won’t feel confident in my driving skills
until I’ve spent some time behind the wheel.
I might not feel that I have a “good enough” body to wear a bathing suit,
until I’ve worn a bathing suit a few times (and noticed that I didn’t combust into flames when I did).
Waiting to feel “confident enough” to expose yourself in a way that you haven’t in a long time (if ever), is a waiting game that could go on for a while.
On the contrary, “feel the fear and do it anyway,”
be unconfident when you’re trying something new,
and see how your confidence is built through exposure and experience.
Body acceptance is the foundation
Once you fully accept yourself as you are, flaws and all, body confidence just becomes natural and easy.
Have you ever seen a woman in a body not seen as society’s “ideal” just totally oozing confidence and being fully comfortable in her own skin? It’s beautiful isnt it…?
Even if you have a judgment about her body, you’re still wishing you could have her confidence and self-assurance right…?
When you fully KNOW yourself and ACCEPT yourself exactly as you are, you will experience absolute freedom and liberation.
People can judge you for various reasons all they like – and they will – but it won’t hurt you because know who you are and own all of who you are. And that’s freaking powerful.
Not only will you be living a free and liberated life for yourself, but you’ll also be giving others permission to be the same. It’s a win-win.
So tell me, Queens, when you get up every morning and adjust your crown, what are you going to start doing now that you have been putting off until you felt “confident enough” to do it?
It’s time to truly start living!
If you’d like help stepping into the most confident version of you, I got you! Explore the different ways you can work with me.