Looking in the mirror and criticizing your body is second nature for many of us. However, harsh judgment crushes self-confidence, makes us feel unlovable and prevents us from reaching our highest potential.
Fortunately, you can retrain your brain to love your body as it is rather than, as you’d like it to be. This journaling exercise will help you release your limiting body beliefs and enable you to welcome confidence, happiness and success.
Step 1: Identify
Write down 10 habitual limiting body thoughts or beliefs that keep you from living happily in the body you have. For example, “When I lose weight someone will love me,” “I need to alter my body to feel better about myself,” or “My body is unattractive and I can’t trust it.”
Step 2: Question
Ask yourself: Is this belief really true? What evidence do I have to support my negative body belief? Write down what you realize and consider the truth about your body — it’s amazing.
Step 3: Reflect
Ask yourself: How do these thoughts and beliefs limit me?
Write down what you learn.
Step 4: Power-up
Turn each thought into an empowering affirmation. For example “When I lose weight someone will love me,” becomes “I love myself and deserve physical intimacy just as I am.” My body is unattractive and I can’t trust it” becomes “My body is the temple of my spirit. I trust it.”
Just as detoxifying your body can help you maintain vibrant health, cleansing yourself of limiting body beliefs generates vitality and self-confidence. When you drop negative core beliefs you can embrace new positive ones that better serve you.
What is the drive to be thinner, prettier, better dressed, other? Who exactly is this other and what does she look like beyond the jacket she’s wearing or food she’s not eating? What might we be doing, thinking, feeling about if we didn’t think about body image, ever? —Caroline Knapp