Let me give you a little insight into my feelings about my looks.

I know it appears on the surface and through my attitude that I am super self confident. I'm not. When I look in the mirror, I see all of the bad. Even when I was young and supposedly at my best, I would pick myself apart and always wish I looked more like someone else and less like me. I saw the big, misshaped head, the short, stubby neck, the zits all over my chest and back, the hair that was curly, dry/oily and unmanageable, the premature wrinkled fingers, the belly fat, muffin top, and crooked teeth. Now that I'm older, I see all of those things only magnified and more prominent. I guess I had hoped that there would come a time when I would look at myself and NOT see all the bad, but that hasn't happened yet.

I will say that, in my older age, I don't obsess over how I look as much as I used to. My attitude is more of a, oh well...can't do anything about it now. I am what I am. But, I still don't like what I see unless I can hide it with make-up, long hair that is fixed just right and layers of clothes.

Growing up I heard phrases that my parents heard growing up, only this time the words were coming out of their mouths and directed at me. They were phrases that were carried down from generation to generation and repeated to girls and young women. They were meant to dominate, shame, and weaken. Phrases like, fix your hair, don't go out like that, put your lips on, don't call boy's wait for them to call you, always look good, girls don't do that, be more quiet, sit like a lady, don't be too sexy, you must remain a virgin, don't cuss and always act like a lady.

I don't blame my parents for this, it was what they thought they were supposed to say. The words had been engrained in their thoughts and views of how women should look and behave women.

Like other women, I constantly felt the pressure of being judged. Was I doing the 'girl' thing right?

I saw the video, Be A Lady They Said, last year, but i wanted to share it again. This video speaks volumes about the mixed messages and intense pressure that women endured growing up and they still endure today. We hear the messages all around us, but we also hear them in our own voice. We must stop our own negative, judging and shaming voice from hurting us too.

**WARNING - NSFW imagery and words**

Yes, as women, we hear those things everyday of our lives. But, you can't control what other people say to you, you can only control what YOU say.

Stop filling  your own head with this kind of negativity. If you want others to stop judging you and putting pressure on you to be perfect, stop doing it to yourself. Don't hate how you look or don't look, what you have done or what you need to do. Let the voice you hear the loudest, not be the voice of others, but be YOUR voice. The voice that should love you the most.

Those words in the video, get them out of your head. Stop using those phrases on yourself. We can't continue to blame others for the way we feel about ourselves. Yes, we have all heard these things said to us, the mixed messages, the judgment, the negativity, but YOU are in charge of what you let in and what effects you.

We are so lucky to live in a time that we can help each other grow and feel better about the world around us. The women before us didn't have the capability to share like we do.

Here are some great ways to STOP being your own worst enemy from Huffington Post -

  • Put negativity in a box - Every time you think something that isn't good for you, write it down, put it in the box and get rid of it. When the box gets full, you can burn all the negative thought. Really get rid of them.
  • Give your negative voice a well deserved name - It will allow you to call her out, verbally and vocally.
  • Ask yourself what your BFF would say - Hopefully your BFF is someone who helps build you up. (If any of your friends don't do this, get a new friend. She/he is not a good friend.) Talk you yourself like your BFF would talk to you. Would they tell you to post the pic because you are beautiful no matter what? YES THEY WOULD. That's one of the reasons I hit post with my makeup free selfie.

Find more HERE.

Morning Affirmations for self confidence from Mind Body Green,

  • I believe in myself.
  • I am a wonderful person.
  • My confidence and self-esteem are high.
  • I know my worth.
  • I love who I am.
  • The people in my life love and support me.
  • Every day I embody the best version of myself.
  • I am happy and healthy.
  • I am deserving of what I desire and I will achieve it.
  • I radiate confidence.
  • I make decisions that support my highest good.
  • I am courageous.

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