It occurred to me recently, I am not very nice to myself at times.

The way I criticise myself, my body, characteristics and how I contribute to society can be just plain mean.

In my opinion I’m not ‘beautiful enough’ ‘strong enough’ ‘kind enough’. All this negative talk cementing my deep belief that ‘I am not enough’.image

Its a biggie and a belief I continue to challenge.

The way I treat my body when it doesn’t do what I want it to. Last year I attained some new injuries, my reaction was dismay. My action was to reject my vulnerable body parts. The language I used towards myself was abusive. ‘My bloody back is killing me!’. My hip is f**ked. Rather than accepting and nurturing…like a friend who is having a hard time of it.

All this negative association, rejecting the parts of ourselves we don’t like or the parts which don’t work as we would like. Labelling them as ‘bad’ or ‘malfunctioning’.

imageThis brings me on to my ‘hot topic’. How we as women relate to our bodies, especially the parts of ourselves we see as imperfect, ugly, malfunctioning, old…etc etc.

Many of us make a daily mantra of standing in front of a mirror assessing and scrutinising ourselves. Crushing our spirit and vibrancy every day! I am a prime suspect….it took me until the age of 34 to accept a compliment gracefully. If ever given one my response would be ‘shut up!’. I really felt that uncomfortable with it. For a while I had to fight against this knee jerk response but now I can actually accept it say thank you and let it sink in.

I have been noticing how my friends and fellow womenkind criticise ourselves on a daily basis. Our dimpled thighs, flabby arse, saggy neck…even fat fingers…fat fingers!!! Seriously! We all seem to have target areas on our body that we cannot connect with or just plain detest.

My hope for this blog is to shed some light on this topic. I’m fairly certain most of us use this negative language unconsciously.

So I ask you to try a few things…

1) Start to notice when you use this kind of negative language. Both internally and out loud. You would not use this abusive language towards another so why to yourself?

2) When you notice the usual ‘I hate my fat thighs’ (or whatever is your preferred area of disdain) come up, see if you can turn it around…how about your thighs being curvy, womanly, shapely. See if you can change your language just a little bit…step by step.

3) Think of 3 things you love about yourself….write them down…let them sink right in. Do this whenever you feel the need.

4) If accepting a compliment is tricky for you see if you can work on that…the next time you receive one wether it be for your physical beauty or otherwise. Accept it, say thank you and let it sink in.

We could begin the discussion of how and why we have these opinions of ourself. Societies pressure to be more than perfect and ageless. Our mothers own insecurities passed down to us. The possible list is long, so for now, regardless of the whys and hows Im trying to own this desire to put myself down. Own it and challenge it…daily.

If this resonates with you id love to hear your comments below.

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Photography by Barbara Suss Photography

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