As women, we’ve often been conditioned to compare ourselves with other women and to judge ourselves negatively based upon what we perceive. We look at the women around us or at those in the media and we decide that we’re not as good as they are. Whether it’s our weight, our clothes, our age, our lifestyle or our achievements which we’re comparing with others, it makes us feel inadequate and undermines our confidence.
When we compare ourselves with others, we’re basing our self-esteem on a foundation of shifting sand, because it’s based on something outside ourselves, rather than on our own selves. It means that our attention is in the wrong place because we’re meant to be focusing on our own lives and our unique individual gifts – and not on those of other people.
It is very freeing to call your attention back to your own life and attributes so that you can give yourself and the attention you need. It’s far better to be the best ‘you’ you can be than to try and be a poor copy of someone else.
To support you as you focus on fulfilling your own potential, why not try a formula from my Signature Range: ‘Realising my true self and life purpose’, ‘ Embodying self-belief, esteem and confidence’ or ‘Look, feel and be beautiful – My authentic personal style’ will all support you to make the most of yourself.
Order from The Remedy Shoppe – http://theremedyshoppe.co.za/
Growing up, Claire was told that she had to work extra hard with her studies because she wasn’t ‘as pretty’ as her sister. Thandi had bad acne and was teased by the children at her school. Luisa’s brother said she was ‘fat and ugly’ and no-one would ever want to go out with her.
Almost no-one comes out of adolescence unscathed and you probably have an equivalent story with painful memories that still affect you to this day. But, worse than the hurtful things that may have happened to you, is that you, yourself, keep the pattern going by continuing to criticise yourself in much the same way. If you’ve ever looked at yourself with dislike or remarked on your ‘huge thighs’, ‘flabby arms, ‘flat chest’, ‘blotchy/saggy skin’ or pronounced any part of your body to be ‘hideous’, you’re treating yourself just as badly as you ever were in the past. Isn’t it amazing that we say these horrible things about ourselves when we would never consider saying them to anyone else?
Saying these cruel things about yourself is a learned habit and, as such, can be unlearned. Your mind and body resonate to every word you say and the more you criticise yourself, the more you entrench and reinforce your lack of self-esteem. Putting yourself down can be a form of self-protection but you can learn to re-programme yourself so that you’re respectful and kind to yourself. Making the effort to change what you think, believe and say about yourself will have a deep and long-lasting impact on your life.
At the root of much of this self-criticism is the current definition of conventional beauty which is so narrow and limited that most women feel excluded. Because of the rise of the ‘celebrity culture’, many of us have been brainwashed to believe that if we don’t look like the airbrushed models we see in the media or the carefully groomed stars on the red carpet, we aren’t beautiful – or even acceptable. If you’ve ever compared yourself to someone famous – and felt yourself lacking – you’re putting your focus in the wrong place.
Reclaiming beauty is about taking beauty back from the very narrowly defined standard of beauty that exists in the media and expanding it to include every single one of us. Beauty is a universal attribute that’s meant to include everyone – not just the very slim and the very young – and the only way to change things is to change how we see ourselves.
The best way I know to transform this outdated and limiting pattern is to expand your idea of beauty so that you see it everywhere – and then to compliment it, if possible. It’s easy to see conventional beauty, but it takes a new attitude and a wider vision to see all the exquisite varieties and expressions of beauty in the world. Actively and consciously look beyond the obvious for the different, the unusual, the rare and the extra-ordinary. Try to see beauty where you haven’t been used to seeing it before.
Look for a perfectly round or an extra-wide face, a distinctive nose, narrow tapered fingers or large artistic hands, gorgeous almond Oriental eyes, blue-black skin or milk-white skin and see their beauty. Acknowledge it and appreciate the richness of the human tapestry. The unlimited variety of human looks, shapes and colours is part of the perfection and order of creation and should be a cause for celebration rather than discrimination.
Remember that you are a unique soul with a particular purpose and how you look is perfect for your life and who you’re meant to become, so it’s pointless to wish that you looked like anyone else because they look as they do to fulfill their own particular purpose. If you spend your time trying to look like anyone else, you may miss out on developing your own unique beauty and style. It’s fun to be inspired by ideas from others, but, ultimately, your greatest satisfaction comes from finding what works best for you. This is how you build a personal style that’s authentic, comfortable – and right for you.
Some questions to consider and reflect upon:
- What critical things were said about me and to me that I still believe?
- What horrible things do I still believe and say about myself? Are they really true?
- What can I do to reclaim my own beauty?
The ‘Look, feel and be beautiful’ formula from my Signature Range will help you to remember and reclaim your own beauty.
Have a look at my full range of specially designed formulas
Order from The Remedy Shoppe – http://theremedyshoppe.co.za/
For some time I worked as a stewardess for an airline and, as there was no weight limit for crew bags, I developed some very undisciplined packing habits over the years. While I wasn’t like some crew members who routinely took their bicycles or sewing machines on long trips, I still sometimes feel restricted by having a finite luggage limit! The Core Wardrobe Plan is the perfect solution for easier packing, a clearer wardrobe – and a simpler life.
The Core Wardrobe Plan works for summer or winter wardrobes, for all lifestyles and budgets and to express your True Self Style Words© (see YOUR TRUE SELF STYLE WORDS© – BECOMING AN EXPERT ON
YOURSELF). It streamlines your wardrobe and ensures that all items of clothing mix and match. It consists of 20 items of clothing (Basic Pieces in Classic Colours) which, if you choose them correctly and accessorise well, will give you almost endless combinations of outfits, while still managing your budget(See ACCESSORIES – MAKING YOUR LOOK PERSONAL AND UNIQUE and BUDGETING FOR CLOTHES – HOW TO MANAGE YOUR FINANCIAL RESOURCES). Once you understand and apply this plan, you’ll never again have a wardrobe full of clothes but nothing to wear!
The Basic Pieces are jackets, trousers and tops in Classic Colours such as black, chocolate brown, camel, grey, taupe, white and cream. Start by choosing 2 – 4 Classic Colours that suit you and which combine well with one another. Try black, charcoal, grey and white or chocolate brown, camel, khaki and cream.
Look through your wardrobe and assemble Basic Pieces (2-5 jackets and/or jerseys/cardigans and 5 skirts and/or pairs of trousers) in the Classic Colours you’ve chosen. What you don’t have will go on your shopping list. (Conscious Shopping will be dealt with in a later article).
You can always add extra pieces later, as money allows, but these relatively few items are more than enough to keep you looking and feeling great. As your knowledge grows, you’ll buy more wisely in the future until you have a wardrobe of timeless clothes which are perfect for you and your lifestyle.
You’ll get much more wear out of Classic Colours as these mix and match better than colours and patterned items. A chocolate brown or taupe jacket or skirt will match with turquoise, lime green, yellow, lilac, red, black, purple, aqua, rust or pink while a red or brightly patterned jacket can be worn in fewer ways.
It’s better to invest more money in what you wear on your top half rather than on your bottom half. Let your trousers and skirts form the basis of your outfit and let your jackets and tops be the real interest. If you have lots of money you can buy skirts and trousers in fuchsia pink or wild patterns, but you won’t get as much mileage out of them.
Add about 10 shirts and/or tops in your Classic Colours and in colours and patterns to add interest, but make sure that the patterns match with the Classic Colours. For example, if grey is one of your Classic Colours, choose a blouse in a pattern of grey, white and black. This blouse can then be worn with your grey, black or white trousers as well as with your jeans and you can personalise these basic outfits by adding red pumps or a cool blue pashmina, silver sandals and lots of silver bracelets, a pale green handbag and a hint of green in your earrings or a lilac cardigan over your shoulders – use your creativity!
The idea is that you have fewer clothes but you wear them all. A wardrobe stuffed with clothes which you never wear is a waste of time and money because, if you never wear them, you may as well not have them. With the Core Wardrobe Plan, you have select items which you mix and match and then personalise with scarves, bags, shoes and jewellery so that you’re expressing your True Self Style Words© in your own personal individual style.
I include a chart for the Core Wardrobe Plan in my book Reclaiming Beauty – Look Like Your True Self as well as examples of what this looks like in practice. You can order from my website www.livingonpurpose.co.za or from www.loot.co.za.
Take some time to organise your own Core Wardobe Plan and you’ll really notice a difference in your life. And you’ll also probably find that it’s no longer necessary to take a Venter trailer away for a weekend to fit in all those extra pairs of shoes!