In a world filled with airbrushed bodies on magazine covers and filtered models on Instagram, it’s difficult not to compare. Looking at yourself in a mirror, you may nitpick at your reflection, wishing you had a smaller this or a bigger that to look more like the women you see in media. But with editing and retouching software more accessible than ever, it’s likely the person you admire doesn’t really have the body, face or skin you’re pining after.

Lacking self-confidence can fill you with self-doubt, put a strain on your relationships and cause you to place dreams on a shelf out of fear. Building a positive self-image can help combat these negative thoughts, but it doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time and work to learn to love yourself. 

So, if you’re ready to unapologetically accept yourself for who you are, here are a few places I recommend you start.


Turn negatives to positives

Train your brain to believe good things about yourself. When you start thinking negative thoughts, shut them down. Replace those thoughts with gentle, affirming phrases. It will take time and practice, but positive self-talk will eventually become second nature. More than that, you’ll start to believe in those positive attributes.


Dress for yourself

Forget about what’s “fashionable” or what other people are wearing. What do you feel most comfortable in? What can you wear that makes a hallway feel more like a runway? Choosing outfits that make you feel confident can help you believe in yourself and look good while doing it!


Do what you love

Seeking out activities that make you feel good, rather than focusing on what makes you look good, can help you develop a more positive outlook on life. Spend time doing exercises, helping others or discovering ways to appreciate yourself as a person.


Appreciate your body

If you can’t find the beauty of your body’s exterior, think of the functional beauty your body possesses. Every day, your body is working tirelessly to pump blood through your veins, deliver oxygen to your lungs and hold you upright as you take on the day. It’s an incredible thing and serves a much higher purpose than simply looking pretty.


Consider therapy

Working with a trusted therapist can be extremely beneficial for helping uncover the reasons behind poor body image. It can also provide avenues and practical tools for you to address those core issues and work through negative feelings. While working with a mental health professional can be a significant investment of time and money, it’s hard to put a price on feeling good about yourself.

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Enjoy encouraging, motivating, uplifting content created just for women like you, all from the health care name you trust: Franciscan Health.