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Move from Self-Conscious to Self-Esteem, Even While Wearing a Bathing Suit
Posted: 6/5/2013 | Happiness Comments
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It’s swimsuit season and wow, what a trip for most women. Because most women don’t feel that good about how they look in a swimsuit. 

So what can you do to feel better about it?
When you notice that you’re judging yourself and comparing yourself to all sorts of folks, stop for a moment and take a deep breath. Remember that you’re much more than the shape of your body.  
Everyone, and I mean everyone, has things about their body they wish were different. Mainly because we believe the photo shopped pictures we see, and we compare ourselves to the people who have personal trainers, plastic surgery, and spend many hours sculpting themselves. Even if we want to have healthier stronger bodies, most of us don’t have the time, money, or inclination to do all they’re doing. 
So, when you notice those difficult thoughts and emotions arising in response to trying on a swimsuit or walking on the beach, take a moment to first forgive yourself for being human.  Then you might take a moment to observe the thoughts and feelings that you’re experiencing. What are the stories that you tell yourself? Are they true? 
Sometimes, through the lens of fear and judgment, our feelings, thoughts and beliefs seem entirely accurate and true, even when they’re not. Most of us have been experiencing the same patterns of thoughts and feelings, triggered by the same types of situations for most of our lives. So it can be tricky at first to spot them. But when you meet what’s arising with curiosity and compassion, you can begin to see that your reaction to the swimsuit image you see in the mirror, or to what you imagine others are thinking of you, are just coming from old programming and old stories. 
The good news is we aren’t stuck with this old negative programming. You can feel, process, and move through these feelings, thoughts, and beliefs about yourself and the world. When you observe one of your challenging thought patterns, breathe and remember you are not your thoughts. Begin to practice self-kindness. Counter those limiting thoughts and painful feelings with supportive and encouraging self-talk. Take a deep belly breath, feel your feet planted firmly on the ground, and say to yourself something like, “I’m more than who I see in the mirror and who I am in this moment is enough, imperfect body and all.”  
At times it’s not easy or comfortable to observe and let go of our habitual patterns. But as we work with them, these ingrained beliefs and feeling patterns will become lighter. As we practice being gentle and easy with ourselves, we allow ourselves a little more space in which to breathe, and we become a little more compassionate with others. Over time, we can build a foundation of healthy self-esteem that allows us to move through life, even in a swimsuit on the beach, with greater peace and deeper joy.

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