Tag Archives: looks

Learning to Shake It Off

Everybody’s got a past. The past does not equal the future unless you live there.
– Tony Robbins

Point to Ponder:
What words from the past are you hanging on to and allowing to limit the way you live your life?

Action Item:
Make it a goal to overcome the negative and hurtful words of other people and start living an uninhibited life.

by Neissa Springmann

by Neissa Springmann

Last week, while talking with a group of friends about our goals, we realized we had one thing in common: we were hanging on to negative comments from the past and allowing them to affect our self-esteem. Let me explain.

When I was in the third grade, I was definitely a chubster. My parents never told me I was anything but perfect, so I really didn’t think much of it. However, my opinion of myself changed after our neighbor looked right at me and said, “Well aren’t you a little fat thing!”  Granted, this comment was 28 years ago, however I still vividly remember how hurtful it was. And, despite being told I was too thin at different times in my life, her words have always played in my head and I often times have to give myself a body image pep talk.

As for my friends, one of them hasn’t worn shorts since junior high because she was once called “thunder thighs,” while another is paranoid about her forehead because one time, many, many years ago, she was told she had a big forehead! After talking to my friends about our ridiculous, yet real insecurities, we realized that we were allowing the words of other people affect how we feel about ourselves and essentially limit the way we live our lives. Therefore, we decided that one of our goals would be to shake off the comments of the past so we can start living for the future.

So, in the event you are struggling to determine a goal to set for yourself between now and Christmas, maybe consider shaking off a negative comment that is haunting your spirit and preventing you to live a full and free life. Not only do you deserve it, but your family, friends, and community deserve to see and experience the very best and uninhibited you!

What do YOU think? Share your stories & join the discussion by leaving a comment 

 

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Mirror Mirror OFF the Wall

If you learn to love yourself and all the flaws, you can love other people so much better. And that makes you so happy.
– Kristin Chenoweth

Unfortunately, I cannot keep an organized office to save my life. I have all of the necessities that would allow me to do so; however, despite my ongoing efforts to make the office my official and inspirational space to work, I can’t seem to make it happen! Instead, my office has officially spilled over  into the closest room — our formal dining area. As a result of my disorganization, I am constantly shuffling through my piles trying to locate an important document, article, or reminder.

Last week and while in hot pursuit of finding a note, I saw a reminder on my bulletin board that I posted last fall. The note read, “No Mirrors/Negative Voices.” I immediately recalled the mind-blowing and introspective story I saw on 20/20. It featured Kjerstin Gruys, a 29-year-old PhD student in sociology and bride-to-be, who in an effort to boost her self-esteem and inspire others to stop focusing on external perfection, avoided her reflection for one whole year!

In the past, Kjerstin struggled with her body image and battled eating disorders. After reading the book Birth of Venus, she was inspired to “live life experiencing the world for itself instead of constantly reflecting on how you looked. It was a life where you could get away from yourself.” She also noted, “I kept coming back to this pattern of perfectionism and obsessing about my appearance, and I thought, if I can’t think myself out of this, then maybe I need to change something about my environment to force me to change. The project was to get rid of mirrors with the intention of focusing on everything else in my life.”

While many months have passed since seeing Kjerstin’s story, I vividly remember being more aware of how many times I looked at myself in the mirror, a reflection in a window, or in my rear-and side-view mirrors of my car. Honestly, the result was disturbing. I found myself being critical of my appearance, and when I acknowledged my truth, my truth told me that I was too concerned with the opinions and approval of others.

Do I think that avoiding mirrors and reflections for one whole year is extreme? Yes. But do I think we should care about our appearance? Of course. However, I think Kjerstin’s point is powerful and brings up the very important subject of self worth, self acceptance, and self love—despite our physicality or societal approval. Furthermore and regardless of age, I believe that the junior high girl in us all has the capacity to show her insecure face at any time, so it is important that we do what is necessary to suppress her — even if that means covering all mirrors. Not only do we owe the gift of high esteem and self-value to ourselves, but we owe this to our daughters, sisters, mothers, girlfriends, husbands and future generations.

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Point To Ponder:
Do you find yourself overly concerned or critical of your appearance and what others think?

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Action Item:
Look at yourself in the mirror and tell a friend or loved one (each day) at least one thing you like about yourself and that you are good at. Rotate the attributes so they include physical, mental, and personality characteristics and skill sets.

To Your Health,

Neissa

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