The Struggle With Self Acceptance And Confidence

photo of woman looking at the mirror

I’ve been in a bit of a slump recently, possibly even spanning over a couple of weeks. I’m not really sure when it all started, I just know that I really started to feel it this week. I’ve been feeling a bit lost and confused and down on myself. In particular with my body image and self acceptance. Listen to this blog post on the podcast below or keep reading!

Before I sat down to write this, I did 2 self-love meditations to try and tune in to what was going on. Afterward, I did a self-reflection to figure out why I feel off and disappointed in myself. In order to do that I had to start backtracking through these feelings. When I do this I ask myself a question and try not to think too much about the answer and just say what comes to mind first. I encourage you do to this too any time you’re feeling lost and not sure how you ended up where you are.

Woman sitting on floor smiling.

Mindfulness Exercise

Here’s the process. You’re going to ask yourself a question and then ask your next question based off the previous answer to get to the bottom of all of it.

1st Question to myself: Why do I feel unhappy with my body and like I’ve gained weight?
Answer: I haven’t been eating well and all my clothes feel tight. I also haven’t been hydrating well.

Question: What have I been eating to feel this way?
Answer: Well, even though I’m vegan I’ve been relying too much on convenient, processedĀ  foods instead of whole foods. It’s both fortunate and unfortunate that so many food distributors have started making plant-based foods. My kids are also going through a weird stage right now where they’re not eating well. So I keep catching myself eating their leftovers so it doesn’t go to waste. That has not helped the situation.

Question: Why have I been relying on processed foods lately?
Answer: I’ve been extremely stressed and tired.

Question: Why have I been stressed and tired?
Answer: Somethings been weird and I’ve been running on adrenaline for weeks trying to fit in as much as humanly possible into every day. I haven’t been wanting to go to bed until 11:00 or midnight and I wake up at 5:45 every day to meditate before the kids wake up. Plus, the kids haven’t been sleeping well because they’ve been sick so not only am I going to bed late, I’m getting up in the middle of the night too.

AND THERE IT IS. The answer I’ve been looking for. I realized My husband and I were joking last week that we’re just waiting for me to crash and burn from this lack of sleep. We’ve had sick kids in our house for a few weeks so we assumed I’d get sick and crash and burn physically. But it was actually mentally that it happened, and I wasn’t paying attention to it gradually increasing its momentum in my mind.

Those self-love meditations that I did before trying to figure this out were game changers. They helped me to tune-in, slow my racing mind, and listen to myself and my body. Now I know what I need to do to get out of this slump. I need to get more sleep and get back on my normal schedule. Then I need to spend more time and energy nourishing my body the correct way. I have no doubt that my productivity will get back on track too with this shift. I’ll be able to be more productive during the day because my mind will be sharper rather than staying up until midnight scrambling to get stuff done.

Self Esteem, Self Love, and Self Confidence

So how does this all relate to self love andĀ  body acceptance? Well, next time you are a bit down about yourself and begin to criticize your body or how you look, remember this mindfulness exercise. Start to backtrack your thoughts about how you got to this point. Did someone say something to you to trigger this negative talk? Are you comparing yourself to others? Are old habits creeping back into your daily routine? Follow the path that got you to this mindset.

If you haven’t guessed, that’s going to be your mindful action for this week. Any time you catch yourself thinking negative thoughts about yourself, or criticizing yourself, try to figure out where that thought stems from. Then make the choice to take a step forward away from that thought. Change the negative thought into a loving thought about yourself.

So, in my case, I’m going to forgive myself for pushing myself so hard. I’m not going to dwell on it and think if only I’d don this, or if only I’d done that. It is what it is, it happened, and the best thing for me is to just get some sleep and gradually get back on track. You can’t change the past, but you can change the direction you were headed in.

You can’t change he past, but you can change the direction you were headed in.

Meditation For Self Esteem

[Meditation Script]

Begin to breath. Draw your shoulder blades slightly together to improve your posture. Allow the rest of your body to be heavy.  Let go of your clenched muscles, place your palms in your lap. Know that you are grounded. Know that you are supported. Meditation helps to quiet the negative self-talk, increase awareness of yourself, and helps you to find self-compassion. This is your moment. Embrace it.

Deep breath in. And long exhale out. Deep breath in. Long exhale out. Calm your body and your mind.

Notice what it feels like to slow down and stop for a moment. What it feels like to take an intentional pause in your busy day. Not just a mindless mental break, but an intentional break to focus on yourself and your wellness. Be proud of yourself for showing up to this moment.

Notice your breathing. Notice if your breath is different from normal with the changing of seasons. Do you feel a difference in your breath now that the weather is cooler and drier versus how you were breathing in the summer heat? Or are you sick or have allergies and have a completely different breathing pattern right now? Take a moment to notice any changes in your breath. 

Deep breath in. And long exhale out. Deep breath in. Long exhale out. Calm your body and your mind.

It is so easy to get caught up in the expectations of life. Our expectations drive us to constantly struggle with wanting to find the next best thing in life. They make us incapable of being happy with who we are and what we have in this single moment. This moment that is a gift. This moment right here, right now, is exactly where you need to be. You chose this moment for yourself.

Deep breath in. Long exhale out. Deep breath in. Long exhale out. Calm your body and your mind.

Thank you for joining me today. I hope you find some joy in today. Come back to this quiet moment whenever you need to.

Peace, Love, and Om my friends.

About The Author

Beth Backes

Podcast host and certified meditation teacher. Creator of the Mindful Living Made Easy stress management strategy. Meditating, tea drinking, yogi, mom.

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