Be yourself; Everyone else is already taken.— Oscar Wilde.
Do you have a “good” mirror? You know the one. For some reason, when you look in that mirror, you always feel you look a little better than when you look in any other mirror. It could be the way its angled, or the light, but whatever the reason, when you put on your fav outfit or need a little confidence boost, that’s where you head. This is your selfie mirror, your “hot date” mirror, your “job interview-feeling a little down-how-much-weight-have-I-lost” mirror.
Conversely, do you have “bad” mirrors? Mirrors you avoid at all costs? You know the ones……..yep…..those jerks. The one in ANY fitting room comes to mind immediately.
Side note: Retailers, do you NOT want to sell us your stuff? Why wouldn’t you source a “good” mirror and some nice lighting? The better we like what we see, the more likely we are to give you all our money. #Obvi #NotNews
The real issue with the “Good” or “Bad” mirror is really about how it effects our mood and the way we feel about ourselves. One glance in the GOOD mirror and we are beautiful unicorns, skipping through glitter coated clouds, nothing can stop us. Other people in a bad mood? Not us, we look AMAZING and feel amazing because we have a GOOD mirror that tells us so.
Ever had someone be a complete bitch to you for no damn reason? Easy: BAD MIRROR. Clearly homegirl has had a bad mirror experience and even if you gave her a dollar-sign-bag full of money, a mani pedi and a massage, she WILL END YOU if you speak to her, look at her or otherwise intersect in any way.
Can we talk about why this is? Why does the mirror, good or bad determine how we feel about ourselves? That is really pretty messed up if you think about it. A piece of reflective glass holds more power over us than our own knowledge of how awesome, intelligent and beautiful we truly are. Even the most confident, self-empowered and STRONG woman can get taken down by some shitty lighting and a fun house style mirror trying on a bikini in a fitting room.
Why? It really makes almost no sense. Except that looks matter, in a job interview, to the taxi driver, at the airport and everywhere else in our weird world. Judgements & first impressions are formed in less than 1/10th of a second and lasts. No matter what reality is, that first impression based on how someone looks, sticks.
This type of “first impression” can make or break the entire direction your day, and sometimes your life takes, be it a career change, a new relationship or who sits in power in our government. That is terrifying to think about. How can it not cause anxiety, worry and stress?
But those are outside forces and somewhat beyond our control. What we can control is how we feel about ourselves. What do you say to yourself when you look in the mirror? So many folks knock positive self-talk and personal development, but the truth is, your attitude and how you feel about yourself is mostly shaped by you. Garbage in, garbage out.
What kinds of things do you say to yourself when you look in the mirror?
“God, I look so fat.”
“Why is my ass so big, small, flat, round….?”
“I hate my nose”
“If I had bigger boobs, I would look so much better.”
“I look so UGLY.”
Would you allow ANYONE else to speak to you like this? If your best friend or significant other said these things to you, how would you respond?
So, WHY are you allowing yourself to say these things? Out loud or in your head, this barrage of insults is NOT good for you. It cuts deep, effects your confidence level and can really hurt your ability to make good decisions for yourself. It’s also killing your ability to stay healthy, manage your healthy weight and is probably causing you to feel guilt, shame, be depressed and more.
So how do we fix it? PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE. You’re going to need to work on this, Boo, kind of all the time. Negative self-talk is a habit, and just like anything else, it takes time and practice. But you can do it with a few tools.
1. Be Aware. Be conscious of what you are saying to yourself by paying attention to those Bad Mirror thoughts.
2. Write it down. Keep some Post-its and a pen by that bad mirror (or the good mirror too) anywhere you catch yourself being a mean girl to yourself. Then write it down in your journal. This might be tough at first, but you need to write it and then go back and read it so you can CHANGE IT.
3. Figure out why. Is this a fleeting feeling? Are you hangry? Period coming? Was your boss an asshole to you today? Think about, OWN, and really feel why you’re feeling this way. Really own it. It is ok to feel this way and sit with it, but only idle there, do NOT PARK. You’ve got shit to do, get moving.
4. Re-Write this as it should be. Take a few minutes to make what you’re saying positive, goal oriented, and direct. Are you working out more? What other things are you doing to achieve a goal you have? Starting listing those or, start writing out your path to do the things you want to change.
Need some more ideas?
Ultimately how you feel about you is one of your Super Powers, but you might not even know it. Once you’ve mastered that you can unleash the Beast-ess within and start kicking some ass. But first, you have to start working from the inside out.
Try it for one week, see what happens and then take some pics in ANY of your mirrors, tag me at @JenJaxon on IG and use the hashtags #InnerBeastess #UnleashYourSuperPower #LookOutWorldIGotThis #GoodMirrorChallenge
-Jen Jackson is a Personal Trainer, Group Fitness Instructor and Certified Master Nutrition Coach. She teaches and trains in Washington, DC and coaches online all over the world.