“You can always tell who the strong women are. They are the ones you see building each other up, instead of tearing each other down.” –unknown
I couldn’t agree more with this quote and have made it a priority to notice, acknowledge and compliment the strong, beautiful women that I cross paths with. A stranger in the store, waitress, flight attendant, friendly face at the gym, exotic woman on the beach on my vacation…any women who has made a positive impression on me, I will share my sincere compliments with them and I truly enjoy the impact it has on them. I know what I feel like when I receive a compliment from another woman; it brightens my day and makes me feel a little stronger, more confident and united with that woman. Have you tried this?
Sadly this was not always the case for me, it took 34 years and some life changing experiences to get to this point (and I am 38 next month!).
As a young, newly married woman I was insecure with my looks and my body, especially around beautiful, confident women. I didn’t share that with many people and I didn’t come across inferior or insecure, in fact most people thought I was a very confident person; I was confident in my talents and abilities but not so much in my own skin. I will admit that looking back at pictures, I was fit and looked pretty darn good, especially after having babies! Why do we do that to ourselves?
I will share my thoughts on why I struggled with self-confidence and how that affects others.
I felt that to be loved, accepted, wanted and needed I had to be perfect in every aspect. My hair, makeup, and especially my body had to look like the models or like the beautiful women I would run into daily that I envied for their slim, lean, “perfect” bodies. I compared my faults with their strengths. This only set me up for failure and unsatisfactory standards that I could never meet as well as jealousy toward others.
LACK OF MATURITY
Yes, I am calling myself immature and if you are reading this and have felt this post describes you then I guess I am calling you immature as well. What I mean is that I was so focused on myself and what I felt I should look like but also what I felt others thought I should look like. Most people are so focused on themselves that they don’t really care about me, they are doing the same thing comparing my strengths with their weakness. Exhausting. Having daughters of my own, facing trials and learning opportunities, my perspective changed and I began to realize that 1- life is too short to be so critical of myself and I began to be grateful for the things I could do and the things that I have. 2- I didn’t want my daughters feeling the same way about themselves so I had to change something. 3- Gaining a closer relationship with my Father in Heaven and realizing that I am blessed to be me and that WHO I am is much more important than what I look like. Don’t get me wrong, I still work on being fit and healthy but my insecurities have lessened drastically! Stages in life and experiences in life change our perspective and in my case helped me mature.
BEING IN THE WORLD NOT OF THE WORLD
I cared too much about what others thought of me more than I cared about what God (my Father in Heaven) thought of me. Our world focuses more on what we look like, what is “cool” or in style and what is socially acceptable more than how we treat others, our relationship with God, serving, loving and holding standards, morals and values. When I began to release emotions I was holding onto for years, implementing positive thoughts and words into my mind, applied the atonement of Christ and humbled myself to care more what God thought of me, I transformed and have become a different, better person and more confident in WHO I AM. This has created a confidence to be able to look at another woman and appreciate her beauty and be able to express positive comments instead of feelings of insecurity and feeling threatened.
Imagine what a strong community we as women can build when we are able to recognize someone else’s talents or beauty and compliment them rather than scowl, think negative thoughts and put down another. Women need to unite and be the example to the youth of how to build one another up instead of tear each other down. Start today with yourself by saying positive affirmations and then when you see a woman who may have different strengths than you, compliment her and mean it. We are powerful when we as woman unite!