Confidence, respect and acceptance (from others), first begins within ourselves.
In other words: We teach others how to treat us, based on our own self-confidence, self-respect and self-acceptance.
Unfortunately, more often than not, most of us do the opposite— we look FIRST to other people’s approval in order to feel more confident, respected and accepted in ourselves.
From the number of likes on our Instagram post, to the compliments we get (or don’t get) on our weight, to what our parents think we should do for our college major, we easily allow others’ opinions and beliefs shape our own about ourselves—especially the negative.
What happens if we receive a mean comment, “constructive criticism,” weird vibe, unresponsive text, or feel ignored? We dwell on the negative.
The same thing can be said about our “need” for approval from the scale, our jean’s size tag, or “hitting” our calorie or step total for the day.
We often to look to outside measures for our own acceptance and validation. For instance: If the scale is up, we hate on our body. If it’s down, we celebrate—but tighten up our diet even more. If our jeans feel just right, we have (short-lasting) confidence for the night, until we wash and dry them, and they feel tight again the next day.
True confidence, respect and acceptance only comes from within.
Think about Oprah—and her body image and weight journey.
Over her 40 year career, we’ve all known Oprah to have her ups and downs with her weight. She’s been heavier. She’s been lighter. She’s been on the cover of “Weight Watchers” magazine, and hidden her body from being on public display.
However, regardless of Oprah’s drastic change in weight over the years, who is she?
And when you think about Oprah, what comes to mind?
Just her body? Or is it the amazing, modern-day Mother Theresa that she is? She overcame sexual abuse from her own father. She managed to rise to the “top,” even though her original TV news station fired her. She gives away cars to one-hundred people in her student audience. She tells and celebrates other people’s amazing stories and journeys.
She IS Oprah, and the reason she IS Oprah—and not “that girl who is overweight” or “that girl who struggles with her weight” or an “average looking woman”—is because her own self-confidence, self-respect and self-acceptance demands our own respect and acceptance for the bad-ass that she is.
Be your own version of Oprah today—carry yourself with confidence, respect and acceptance that ONLY you have.
Want to know a secret to getting some awesome heads turn your way?
The power of pearly whites IS powerful. And it’s a human emotion ALL humans connect to. (In fact, did you know from the time we are born, we know how to smile? Smiling—happiness, and crying—dissatisfaction are the first two emotions we express as babies])
I love to conduct what I call “The Smile Experiment” at random.
Smile at at least 5 people in public today—be it the grocery store, the coffee shop, your kids’ school, the gas station.
Not in a flirty way. Simply in a kind, knowing, “I see you” way. Think about how often we walk around with our heads down, or ear buds in, or mind turned off to the rest of the world—stuck in our own little worlds?
For today’s project, simply smile…and change the world.