It’s now the end of July, and by now, most of us have needed to don a bathing suit, whether it’s because of a visit to the beach or community pool, or a hotel pool while on vacation (or the pool in your own backyard, if you have one!). It’s nice to think that we are all confident in our bathing suit bodies, but the reality is that many people are hesitant to put on a swimsuit, and when they do, are harsh on their appearance. Contributor, Kara Stout, shares five ways to feel more confident and comfortable this season so that you can totally rock that awesome swimsuit in your closet and leave the negative thoughts behind.
I recently read that, on average, we have about 70,000 thoughts per day. That was a bit shocking to me; that’s a lot of thoughts! It got me thinking, how many of us are having really positive thoughts about ourselves, our lives and our bodies? Or are we having too many self-defeating thoughts? Let’s look at this as 70,000 opportunities to talk positively to ourselves and love ourselves better.
Then, when it comes to our bodies or being in a bathing suit, I can’t imagine how many thoughts we have flying through our minds. We, sadly, can sometimes be ruthless with ourselves. I’m here to tell you that you are absolutely wonderful and so deserving of rocking that bathing suit and embracing and loving every bit of who you are. To encourage you, I’m sharing these five ways to feel confident in a bathing suit:
- Banish negative self-talk: It’s so easy to focus on our insecurities, but we have to put in the effort to switch that negativity and focus on the things we love or enjoy about ourselves. What do you love physically about yourself? What do you love about your personality? What are your strengths? What draws people to you? Are you killing it in your career or at school? Look at all of the areas that make you uniquely beautiful, and remind yourself of these things. It will take daily practice, but a quick activity you can do each morning is write down or think about three things you feel confident about or love about yourself.
- Take good care of your sweet self: Work out, rest and eat well. I am not encouraging this for vanity reasons, but for your overall health and an opportunity to really feel good and full of energy, vitality and life. This will inevitably boost your mood and confidence. I tell my clients this all of the time, to love yourself just as you are and look at this health journey as an opportunity to show your body more love and self-care.
- Purchase a cute bathing suit that’s flattering on you: We all have different body types, so find a bathing suit that fits your personality and your body type. It’s always fun to purchase something new that is flattering and unique just like you.
- Remember that others are focused on themselves: People are busy with their own lives and have their own insecurities, and therefore, are most likely not even thinking about how you look in a bathing suit. But, truly, as sad as it sounds, everyone seems to be acutely aware of their own insecurities, and they may be struggling with their confidence and self-doubt. And, if they are judging us, that’s their own problem and something they need to work through and improve upon. It is absolutely unkind to judge others and think negatively toward anyone. We need to lift each other up, be kind and encourage one another.
- Work through comparison: A friend of mine shared this quote on social media, and I absolutely loved it: “I asked you to be you, not her” – God. It may be hard at times, but I encourage you to really embrace who you are, all of who you are and own it. We miss out so much on life when we are too focused on what others are doing. We think their lives seem perfect, yet we have no idea what they are struggling with or what insecurities they have. Let’s stop comparing and start celebrating ourselves for who we are and others for who they are. Let’s embrace how we have been uniquely created and enjoy the moments spent in the sunshine or at the beach and time spent with family and friends. And, if you see a pretty girl in a cute bathing suit, and your first instinct is to feel badly about yourself, try and change that thinking and offer her a compliment. She probably could use it too, and may also be struggling. If it’s not her body, it could be something else going on in her life, and your sweet compliment could make her day.