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The Health Issue: 5 Steps To Better Our Self Image... (Because, we all could use a little help sometimes)

If you haven't watched this video, a part of Dove's real beauty campaign, then you must click on the video below, pronto. It is blowing up on the Internet right now, and all over social media mediums. I will be honest it brought tears to my eyes. It is poignantly accurate at pointing out how most people see themselves differently than others. Take a look.

So what can we do about this? All of the women in the video were beautiful, yet they all seemed to see themselves as corroded, run down, doppelgangers, of their true selves. One woman states, "my mom told me I have a big chin". Showing that this self-esteem issue can be started by not only "mean girls", but our own loved ones. During college I used to have a part time job at Pier 1, and my manager used to tell us this about marketing and customer service. He used to state that someone can have a wonderful experience shopping at the store, and maybe they'll tell one person, maybe it won't make that much of an impression at all. But if they have a terrible time, they will tell everyone. I feel this applies to our self-esteem as well. We can be told that we are beautiful by our parents, close friends, significant others and for some reason what they say, when it has to do with our beauty, doesn't mean anything. A compliment from them, like good service at any store, is expected. But, if one person says one negative thing about how we look, or we take it as a negative, we never forget it. We seem to place importance on that one negative remark, than the compliments we receive from the people who love us. This seems incredibly backwards to me; don't you think?

I tried to think about what I do when I am thinking negatively about myself, or I am picking myself apart in front of the mirror, so that I could share these tools with you. Dusk & Rubies is about helping women find success in their life no matter how minuscule or important the task is. I finally came up with my 5 steps to better my outlook, and they may sound ridiculous, and you may scoff reading them, but keep reading, and try it. You may be surprised at how powerful these steps can be.

Step 1: Fight the demon in the mirror. We all do this. We look into the mirror, and instead of feasting our eyes on our whole delicious selves we pick at that one, two, maybe three things that really bother us. Our eyes zero in on our insecurities and we have no peripheral vision for anything else. Once, while in the dressing room I heard a girl sigh and ask out loud, "Do I really have all this cellulite?". I smiled, because I was thinking the same thing. We both happened to walk out at the same time, and she was undeniably, beautifully thin.  It reminds me of the scene in Mean Girls where "the plastics" find even there cuticles imperfect. When I meet a woman who doesn't rip herself apart when looking in the mirror, and instead nods her head in approval I want to shake her hand because that's truly amazing.

My fix:  On a sticky note write the words "I accept myself unconditionally right now!" and stick it on a mirror that you see everyday. Twice a day, look yourself into your bright shining eyes and tell yourself this. I know what you're thinking, probably what I was thinking when I first heard of this technique from the documentary "Hungry For Change". I thought: I can't tell myself that; you have got to be kidding me; no way, no how, that won't help. One look at my derriere and my mind will revoke that statement and say NO YOU DON"T. But guess what? That's okay, let all those negative voices out. Let them out. Let them speak their peace, and then repeat what is on the sticky note again. The funny thing that will happen over time is that after a while you'll start to believe it. It is called positive self talk, and you're body can hear it, and eventually you'll believe it too. What do you have to lose?

Step 2: Stop weighing your worth by what you look like, or who you attract. Weigh your worth by who you are, and what you do. I cannot tell you how many of my friends weigh their self worth by how many men they attract, or who they don't attract. Or they think that the number on the scale, or their pant size is some insight into how much they are worth. No, no, and no.

My fix: I have always weighed my self-worth on who I am, and how I act. Everyone should do this, and this is how. Think about all your wonderful qualities. Think about what you do well, and create a list. It can be a long list; it can be two bullets long. Make a list. You don't even have to write it down. All you have to do is know it without a doubt. For me, I place a lot of my worth in the fact that I find myself intelligent, I find myself to be a loyal, and good-hearted friend, sister, daughter, cousin, person, and I know I have the ability to talk to anyone about anything. I place my worth in how I try my best to do right by others, to be fair to others, and to give everyone a chance to show me who they are, and accept them, and their beliefs, even if they are different than my own.

Think about what your self worth is made of, and see if they are made up of things that are ephemeral or adversely effect you like your: weight, sex appeal, or attractiveness, and replace those things with things that can stand the test of time.

Step 3: Don't surround yourself with negativity; change it. Compliment your friends, and compliment yourself. If we learn to compliment others, then we can better learn to compliment ourselves.

My fix: Girls love compliments. (As long as they're sincere). Challenge yourself to compliment five people during the day, and for every compliment you give to someone else think about one for yourself. Maybe you like the red pants you've incorporated into your outfit that day, maybe you spent extra time on your hair that morning, or maybe you were a superstar at work that day. I call it give five compliments, get five compliments. It is very possible that someone else may return the compliment too! Imagine that.

Step 4: Don't take anyone too seriously. There are going to be people out there who just don't like you. It may be the way you dress, it may be the way you walk, or talk. It may be because they're jealous, it may be because there is just something about you that peeves them. Repeat after me...who cares! That's right, I said it, who cares.

My fix: Don't even worry about there reasons as to why they feel the need to try to bring you down.  Don't respond. Don't  even give that person the time of day. Instead just keep smiling. There is no better way to beat the person who is trying to bring you down then by keeping a smile on your face.  A smile is contagious, people gravitate towards happy people. Why? Because people think that somehow that persons happiness will rub off on them. So remember the best weapon for "the haters" is a smile. Lock, load, and show those pearly whites.

Step 5: Remember you are your worst critic. We have to remind ourselves that half the things we think are wrong with us no one else notices!

My fix: I read this on twitter and I thought it was brilliant:

"It doesn't make sense to call ourselves ugly, because we don't really see ourselves. We don't watch ourselves sleeping in bed, curled up and silent with chests rising and falling with our own rhythm. We don't see ourselves reading a book, eyes fluttering and glowing. You don't see yourself looking at someone with love and care inside your heart. There's no mirror in your way when you're laughing and smiling and happiness is leaking out of you. You would know exactly how bright and beautiful you are if you saw yourself in the moments when you are truly yourself."

Don't forget you ARE lovely,
Editor, and Curator

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