Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art…
It has no survival value;
rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.
C S Lewis
Once you decide to choose yourself and acknowledge your importance, you need to look at the ways you might be holding yourself back.
I’m not suggesting that you’re willingly holding yourself back (though that’s sometimes the case
But it’s important to understand the subtle ways you doubt your abilities, and more importantly – why you do it.
The simple answer?
We’re inundated with over 3,000 advertising messages every day, through television, websites, social media, billboards, magazines, and our daily mail.
We’re constantly told we can’t have it all… that if you want happy, thriving children, you’d better give up your career.
Or that if you hope for a passionate relationship, professional advancement has to take a backseat.
It’s no wonder that so many women don’t feel worthy –
we’re told we are failing if we don’t fit the picture society has drawn for us.
We’re fed standards every minute of every day that are impossible to live up to!
So if you’ve ever, at any point in your life,
you’re not alone.
We’ve all felt it.
Deep down, I think we all share similar desires…
What are these real desires?
The desire to be noticed.
The desire to walk into a room and be seen.
Not because you want to look like anybody else’s standard of beauty, but because you have something genuinely unique to offer the world.
“I’d get sick to my stomach when someone took a picture of me.
I’d try to cover my double chin with my hands, and pull my shirt down to cover my bulging belly..
When Victor died, we were making a video for his funeral.
I was so sad when I realized that there were no pictures of me to add to the video.
I had either refused to be photographed, or had destroyed every single picture of me.
I now make sure that when I am doing things with my kids, we have a picture to remember that moment with.
I think that at times we are all preoccupied with hesitations over your body image and whether you got your makeup right.
But honestly,most people won’t notice that.
They’ll look for the light in your eyes.
They’ll listen to the animation in your voice.
Other people are a lot more interested in what you have to offer than you might think.
But the hurdle is getting to the point where you understand and accept that.
That’s exactly why it’s so crucial you recognize where these low expectations are coming from.
Anytime you’ve ever felt thwarted self-confidence, or you’ve doubted yourself physically or mentally, it’s the result of programming.
So does that mean it’s bad to want to improve your body and look beautiful?
It’s just bad to want to look like someone else’s version of beautiful.
You’ve got to find and define your own.
That starts with breaking free from the programming that has steered you down the wrong path for years.
Breaking free may not happen overnight,
But it will happen quicker than you think when you follow a proven formula that guides you through it.
So if you’re really ready to shed that negative programming,
you need an outlet –
a way to share with those who support and appreciate you, and who are on a similar path.
So my next piece of advice is to supplement your efforts with a community of women who relate to your desire to feel accomplished and appreciated.
Does that mean you have to abandon your current network of friends and contacts?
Possibly, but not necessarily.
Look. As women, we often thrive on sameness and the ability to relate to one another.
If I tell you about something embarrassing that happened to me, and you share that the same thing happened to you, and we can commiserate about the shame or awkwardness that ensued…
that creates a connection between us.
If we’re neighbors or colleagues or acquaintances and we connect like that again and again and again, we’re likely to become friends.
And friends are an incredible resource.
So many of us women become close by sharing our war stories, our secret shames, and our frustrations with our home lives.
If you transform your life into what you truly want,
it almost feels like you’re betraying that friendship.
“I’ve lied to people about why I didn’t attend an event or party or even a meet-up because I was embarrassed with how I looked.
I’ve missed out on a great deal over the years because of my insecurities about my weight.
So two things need to happen.
First, you need to decide whether certain friends should remain part of your life, or whether they’ll pull you down.
True friends will applaud you as you work to improve yourself.
Some will even be open to joining you and changing their own “programmed” habits.
That brings us to the second thing you need to do, which is build up your own, personal, “fortress of support.”
The best way I’ve found to do this is to have a go-to community of women who support and nourish your quest for fulfillment.
They’ll drown out the voices of the naysayers who must remain in your life.
They’ll become your daily resource for inspiration, healing, connection, and guidance.
Most importantly, a supportive community of women who relate to your own quest for self-advancement will be right there for you as you reclaim your self-confidence, shape new ambitions, and learn to love the body you were born with.
They’ll be the ones who applaud you when things go right in your life, instead of grudgingly conceding you’ve done well.
They’ll also be the people who encourage you to uncover your deeper needs and acknowledge your most ambitious desires.
In short, a genuinely supportive community will help you achieve true transformation and empowerment, which starts with the ability to reclaim your worthiness and shed external programming.