Today, on Love Your Body Day, I wanted to write something. As a young woman, body image is clearly an issue that admittedly impacts my life. I got to thinking about how body image issues have impacted my success in my career and otherwise. I’d be lying if I claimed to be completely happy with the way I look. And I think this is normal.
I got some great advice from Amanda Guralski (Bizme.Biz) once when she asked me if I owned anything that made me feel powerful. When I said yes, she asked me whether or not I deserved to feel that way every single day. I hesitated. Did I deserve it? It’s sad that “Yes” wasn’t an immediate response! We all deserve to feel confident, sexy, beautiful, powerful, handsome, every single day. Confidence is half the battle in most career settings.
What we don’t often realize is that we carry so many things with us. Most of us remember the mean girl from sixth grade and feeling left out in high school (Unless, of course you were the mean girl). Those feelings don’t just go away. Honestly, how I feel about my body today was shaped in part by my childhood. I may be (almost) 30, but when I look in the mirror, sometimes I still see the 15-year-old me.
When you’re not feeling good about yourself, you’re more likely to find fault with others. Whether or not we like to admit it, we judge people. Society is more likely to comment on what we don’t like about the way another person looks than on what we do like. Cattiness can be a huge red flag to future employers. Life is too short to make enemies and not long enough to break your bad reputation. The quickest way to expose your own lack of confidence is by attacking someone else.
On 2011 Love Your Body Day, I’d like to issue a special challenge to young professionals.
Take a good look in the mirror today. That’s you. And you have to live with you for a very long time. Play up your strengths and focus on what you like about your body. Give yourself a compliment. Let go of that 15-year-old you.
Then, give someone else a compliment. The best way to feel better about yourself is making someone feel good about their self. This one is especially for the Starbucks Barista who complemented my outfit in the drive-through this morning…who probably had no idea that I needed a little pick me up. Leave the mean girl on the playground.