Webster’s dictionary defines self-esteem as a feeling of having respect for yourself and your abilities. For me this can be my worst foe or greatest friend. I bet a lot of you have the same relationship with self-esteem, as I think we all hold deep-rooted ideas about who we are and our value.
And now I’m going to be brutally honest and really open myself up to you.
There are many things I like about myself: my children, my work and my family are all very positive reflections of me. My Achilles heel, however, has always been my appearance. And it has two very sharp sides: how I think I look and how I feel others think I look. Both have me reaching for dark, baggy clothes in the morning. I just tell myself I’m being chic in head-to-toe black, but I’m really just hiding my insecurities.
It’s hard because I can wake up on the right side of self-esteem, but something as simple as trying on an outfit can change everything. In my head it was going to look amazing, but then I put it on and can’t see past the weight.
Or maybe I step on the scale, and instead of using it as a tool to judge whether I need to adjust my nutrition or activity goals, I use it as measure of self-worth.
So what do we do when our negative thoughts threaten our self-esteem? I have found that I can short-circuit and overcome some of my more prevalent doubts by doing something specific for myself every day. And for me, that’s moving. You’ll notice movement is a reoccurring theme in my journey, but I have realized that the majority of my personal progress roots back to this one thing. Getting active casts a whole different light on my day. It is actually what motivated me to create STRIVE with Janelle. I want to share that light with everyone, especially those who feel defeated by self-esteem.
When I take time to get my sweat on, I notice a huge influx in my confidence. I look at my body and see everything it is capable of and that makes me so proud. Plus I just feel better! This leads to a better body image overall and that directly changes how I feel about myself and the energy I put out into the world.
Yes, I still have days when dark and baggy clothes win. And yes, I sometimes struggle to stand in front of the mirror at the gym to double check my form. But when I’m done I see a woman stronger than when she started. I see a body empowered by a choice to get moving.
I believe that as you and I continue moving forward with STRIVE with Janelle, the empowerment will only intensify. We’ll have less “dark clothes” days as that light starts to build a permanent residence within us.
What role has self-esteem played in your successes or setbacks? What’s one thing you can do for yourself every day? Please share in the comments!