As humans, there is a running dialogue in our minds more times in the day than not. That is normal. When the voice is more times a critic than a helpful friend, who puts limits on you and influences the way you live your life in a negative manner, is when it becomes something to look at more deeply.
- Limit your exposure to “perfect images”. How many hours a day do you spend in front of a screen being exposed to the beautiful, the super fit, the “perfect” Hollywood images…or even an indulging People, In Style, Vogue, magazine? Not saying that you can never watch television or see a movie or magazine again, but be aware and MINDFUL…these images are not reality. The images are airbrushed and perfected on a canvas, or created out of 100 motion picture takes in the perfect lighting that hides imperfections even when the model or celebrity has worked hours and hours to become desirable and super fit. Normal humans at the same time work at least 40 hours per week, and most of the rest of our days are spent taking care of others. Yet we constantly compare ourselves to celebrities who are gain their livelihood and spend most of their days achieving this beauty and image and if you want to call it “perfection.”
- Contact your feelings and thoughts while being exposed to these perfect images. How do you feel when you see red carpet’s Angelina Jolie’s long perfect hair, legs, and neck in a gown and jewels that most of us will never have or wear? Do you feel hopeless to never reach that perfection? Do you feel less than? Are you filing away what true beauty is, so that later while looking in the mirror you can judge yourself against her? A lifetime of looking at these pervasive images beginning at an early age while innocently looking at the Sears catalog, begin to influence the way we feel about ourselves.
- Practice kind gestures and affirmations to yourself. When looking in the mirror and you are tempted to be critical and judge yourself against the latest Hollywood beauty, REMEMBER your accomplishments. REMEMBER you are more than your thoughts. You are kind, you are giving, you are supportive, you are resourceful, you are LOVEABLE. Put your hand over your heart and say these things every single day. Whatever you are…you are more than what your inner critic voices. Visualize shewing him/her away, and believe social worker/shame researcher, Brene’ Brown’s words: “I am imperfect and I am enough.”
Wendy J Poole, Licensed Counselor, MS, MA
Email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call for an appointment.