Be Careful What You Believe About Yourself

Photo by Brit on Flickr

Recently I was shopping with a client and as we were talking in the dressing room, she made a comment on what a large derriere she had. With a glance, it was evident that this slender woman had a rather average size caboose. When I gently challenged this belief about herself, she countered, “No, my husband and friends told me I did!” to which I replied, “You can tell them your image consultant told you otherwise.”

The lesson from this?

Be careful what you believe about yourself.

It’s amazing how one comment, seemingly harmless, can be assimilated and stay with us for years, changing what we believe about ourselves. We are surrounded by people who are willing and eager share their two cents about us (some of which may not be true) and it is up to us to sort through it all, choose the best, and leave the rest.

The actress Kate Winslet was interviewed recently by the German magazine Brigitte about how she has come to accept her body. “When I was growing up there wasn’t one woman in my environment who I heard saying something positive about her body. Everything I heard was negative, negative, negative,” she said.

“I accept my body,” says Winslet. “I accept how I am and make the best of what I am given.”

My challenge to you is to take a few moments and examine some of these beliefs you have about your body. If they are serving you well, keep them. If you are dragging you down, identify which attitudes you would like to have and choose to believe them instead.

4 thoughts on “Be Careful What You Believe About Yourself

  1. There is pop-psychology saying that for every negative comment, we need 3 (some versions say up to 18) positive comments to keep us neutral.

  2. Jeanette, I\’ve heard that as well. If I remember correctly, the version I heard was that it\’s a 1:7 ratio — 7 positive affirmations for every negative thing. These days people are trying to control the amount of times their children hear no to help start that positive programming early. Kudos for these parents!

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