Swimsuit confidence is determined by more than just how we look – it’s about how we feel about ourselves inside and out. This post I wrote for the popular FitBottomed Girls website speaks to how we can embody swimsuit confidence no matter your size.
Swimsuit season is right around the corner. Build your confidence in a swimsuit and unlock your inner goddess by taking a closer look at how you feel and how you think about your body. Of course, I’m talking about body image.
How you feel about your body and self affects how you walk in the world – whether it’s in a bikini or a paper bag. So, take a moment and do a “health check” of your own body image. If you think it could use a boost, start with one (or all) of these five ways to shore up your overall confidence.
1. Say Shhhhhhhhhhh! To Your Critical Voice
Body image can take a nosedive from negative self-talk, so if yours is more deprecating than accepting, it’s time to change your mind – literally. Research shows that you can rewire your brain. Just like a muscle, you can strengthen neural pathways with attention or weaken them with inattention.
This is powerful information because it means you can consciously stop negative self-talk by quieting the original negative thought and reframing it to a more positive one.
So, if you often say to yourself “My thighs are too fat” – first interrupt the thought and then re-word it to: “My thighs are strong and enable me to swim” or to “My thighs are beautiful and strong.” Choose a thought that feels authentic, and in time, the original negative thought pattern will become background noise. Try it – it works!
Accepting and embracing compliments from others is just as important as monitoring and reframing your own self-talk. Downplaying what makes you special, amazing and unique isn’t a show of humility – it’s disempowering and fuels negative body image. Instead, own your strengths and positive qualities, and the uniqueness of YOU. Stop blowing off compliments and welcome them with grace. Commit to taking the positive in – you deserve it!
3. Move to Improve Self Image and Confidence
One of the best boosts for self-confidence is to move your body! I’m not talking about the type of exercise that is aimed at shaping it – but about daily movement that feels good and leaves you feeling energized, not drained. I’m sure you’ve experienced the difference. Think boot camp versus dancing or hiking. Don’t the latter two choices sound much more fun? Joyful movement boosts self-esteem, elevates mood, improves sleep patterns, sharpens memory and decreases anxiety, to name a few benefits. A happy, less stressed self tends to be a more confident self.
4. Honor Your Strengths
In a culture that obsessively values body size and air-brushed images, it’s easy to believe in what the media defines as beautiful. These external voices often become internalized and body image pays the price. Rise above the superficiality of what is deemed worthy by society. Remove yourself from weight-loss talk and try something different. Honor your strengths and focus on the physical or intrinsic qualities that you like about yourself. Try that on for size and a sense of inner confidence can begin to overshadow insecurities.
5. Let Go and Let Be
According to a global Gallup poll, a sense of well-being has everything to do with the quality of our experiences in life, not material or superficial gain. Next time you are at the pool or ocean, enjoy the company you are with, the conversations you are having, and the feel of the sun on your body. Let go, let be and savor the moment!