What does mental wellness have to do with body confidence? The answer to that is EVERYTHING.
Your frame of mind, your headspace, what you think about yourself and the world around you – that actually comes first. To emphasize this, let me just quote a few wise souls here (you might recognize them)…
“A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.” – Mark Twain
“The most alluring thing a woman can have is confidence.” – Beyonce
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
“Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself.” – Coco Chanel
There are so many inspirational quotes out there about self-love and self-confidence! And they are great.
It’s easy to read these things and to tell someone, “Love yourself! It doesn’t matter what other people think. It only matters what you think about yourself and how you feel about yourself, so stop worrying!” That might help you (or help your friend, wife, daughter, sister, etc.), but that confidence can be more easily maintained and boosted with keeping in mind some other things.
First off, it starts with a decision to change your mind and to shift how you are viewing yourself. Coco Chanel was really onto something here.
Here’s an interesting thing to consider- how do you talk to someone you love?
Probably with compassion, encouragement, admiration. You probably won’t hear ill of them, you would probably sharply shut down anyone who would dare try to talk bad about that person to you.
Think about this.
How would you talk to your spouse, your best friend, your kids, your sister, or brother? Well, I don’t know why you would talk to yourself any differently.
After all, the only beauty and change you can bring to the world would only come from a healthy, happy, and supported you.
This is your starting line for your future, which will be as bright as you decide to make it.
This is the launchpad for all the things you want to do and be and change and then comes action.
But it starts with YOU and a decision. Which is actually pretty awesome, because you don’t have to consult anyone other than your twin in the mirror to get that ball rolling!
I mentioned this in my earlier blog post (on embracing your beauty now, regardless of your current shape and size), but I have personally found that there are certain things in my life and environment that help keep my headspace in a really good place.
And I have also discovered some things that do the opposite and have a really negative impact on my mental well-being.
The most significant game-changer in maintaining a strong self-confidence and wild, howling charge at your goals and life is…
My goodness, I can’t say enough about how important this is!
What I mean by this is pretty simple: get the toxic people out of your life. Seriously. You don’t need them.
I assure you that if they are a negative influence and they don’t bring you up, they probably need you more than you need them.
Listen, if you have dreams, goals, things you want to accomplish and get done, you need to surround yourself with people that have similar values to yours.
Or at the very least, ones that aren’t trying to tear yours down.
There are so many beautiful people out there and so few that are actually real bad apples, why waste your time with the minority?
This is something I apply strenuously to my own life.
I don’t hang out with or work for or with people that don’t add to my life.
I’m not saying I only have personal cheerleaders in my inner circle. But what I am saying is that I do not surround myself with people that are not “Team Amber”.
What I mean by this is that my people know who I am, what I stand for, what I believe in, what my goals are, etc. and they support these things. They back me up, believe in me, encourage me, champion me…
See what I mean?
In middle and high school, I had “friends” that would “joke around” at the expense of me and others. The type of kids that would yell out, “$1 to ride the sea-cow!” and point to my sister and I at the beach after Ariel and I hit puberty. As if we weren’t self-conscious enough as it was about our rapidly expanding thighs and ass!
Those so-called “friends” actually made me feel unworthy and uncomfortable in my own skin.
My mother had the same experience growing up, having negative people in her friend group. Because of this, my mom was always very aware if my sister or I became quiet at home, less communicative or seemed withdrawn.
Whenever this happened, she would sit us down and find out what was happening at school, with our friends, and specifically – what were other kids saying to us that was making us feel small.
And sure enough, every time she started digging around looking for this, we would always find that yes, someone was squashing us (even with little jabs and digs) and killing our self-confidence game.
So in this way, we were raised to be conscious and aware of the influence of others upon us and we were able to keep that type of personality away from us.
I know a girl who used to get into fights with her husband (now ex-husband) about whether or not she actually had Lipedema. She had not been formally diagnosed but she had all these obvious signs of Lipedema, including pain.
She was definitely uncomfortable with her body and looking for answers, so she was talking to my mother about it at the time (who had been diagnosed diagnosed and had already begun extensive research on how to be proactive about managing it).
This sparked a chain of fights with her husband, who refused to believe she had anything. He would argue that Lipedema wasn’t real and that she just needed to be better about her diet and exercise and stop looking for excuses as to why it was so hard to get back to pre-marriage weight…
Now, I don’t know about you, but I feel very black and white about that type of “support” for your wife – Oh hell nooooo.
My message to her: Get your man on board and having your back. Or find a new man. Compassion, empathy, care – these aren’t luxuries. They’re fundamentals in any relationship. You deserve better than that.
Maybe that would seem extreme to some. But that is a classic example of a toxic relationship!
That attitude he had didn’t foster her, make her stronger, make her better, more confident, happier. What is the point of being in a relationship with anyone that doesn’t bring at least ONE of those things to the table?
You don’t need friends like that and you certainly don’t need partners like that. That’s all I’m saying. This is my opinion.
I am just sharing that from my personal experience: my own mental, spiritual and physical growth has been fortified and greatly improved by the people around me.
They really are my tribe, my ride or dies, my people. They are my siblings, my parents, my husband, my friends and even my co-workers.
I have had this as a long-standing hard and fast rule for myself:
The people I most closely surround myself with are ones with similar values, that do not make less of me or others, that try to improve things around them, that offer positivity, that are caring and kind persons.
Like they are just good people!
And because of these GOOD PEOPLE in my life, I am actually better! And they are better, too. It’s a beautiful thing, because it’s mutual growth.
But this blog post is about YOU and your headspace, so we will stick to that aspect.
My life is better, my goals are easier to attain, my outlook on life is brighter, my ability to keep going and to achieve more is stronger and my confidence in myself is empowered by the people I choose to surround myself with.
I promise you, if you follow that mentality as well, yours will be too.