In Part 1, we considered the general impact of body image. Even if it seems that body image doesn’t have an impact on your day-to-day life, take a closer look and you’ll notice that it is an underlying element in virtually every area of your life.
Relationships with friends and family
While you’re focused on whether or not you look good enough, you could be missing out on the opportunity to build relationships and share a good time. For example, have you ever opted out of a dance party or a beach outing because you felt uncomfortable about how you look?
If you’re uncomfortable with how you look, you’re likely to create distance between you and your significant other, putting obstacles in the way of intimacy. You may also miss out on opportunities to make a romantic connection because you’re too uncomfortable to connect with new people.
Success at work
Although appearance is not directly connected to job performance, the way you feel about yourself and how you look does impact your self-esteem. Your ability to confidently present yourself and your ideas produces success; whereas, shrinking and hiding in your cubicle, no matter how hard you are plugging away, will not progress your career. You must be able to connect with others confidently.
Physical health and emotional wellbeing
When you are uncomfortable with something, it is a natural inclination to ignore it or move away from it. If you are not feeling good about yourself, you are more likely to neglect your self-care, which ultimately results in declining health and wellbeing. When was the last time you moved your body in a way that feels good to you in exercise or dance or with massage? When was the last time you had a wellness check-up with a doctor?
When you are feeling good about yourself, you are enlivened with the desire to reach out to others and connect. You’re more ready and able to help others and contribute to the greater good. This includes cultivating whatever spiritual practices nurture your soul.
A poor self-image is often reflected in how you care for your environment. Do you let clutter build up? Are there house repairs or cleaning that is way over due?
The first step in having self-esteem is to accept your body and your self as you are. You may like to change some things, but that doesn’t mean you can’t accept and love yourself today. Here is your beginning place.
Acknowledge how you feel in your skin right now. Acknowledge this is your body and your self. You are doing the best you can with the knowledge and skills you have. Hold your present self in a heart space and create a desired vision for your future self at the same time. In this way, you can support your own evolution.
Join me for Part 3 to learn specific ways to be comfortable in your own skin today while moving toward your vision of the future you.