[TW – this blog references content that you may find challenging in relation to body image; eating disorders & mental health challenges. Please exercise caution in reading this if it may be triggering for you].
With the so-called return of ‘heroin chic’, my blood is boiling a little right now
As a mindset coach, women come to me for help growing their business, finding more balance, setting healthy boundaries, and feeling confident enough to meet their own needs.
And yet, below the surface, sit so many stories, beliefs and struggles and many relate to self worth.
I can’t tell you how many women have wanted to set a goal around weight loss (alongside other business-related goals) which I refuse to do. A articular weight is never going to make you happy. Only feeling worthy will.
Being born in the early 70s and growing up in an era where ‘skinny’ was the pinnacle of success and desirability, I still have images of Kate Moss in her Calvins (Calvin Klein jeans) that spring to mind. I won’t be linking them here, because nobody needs that!
After recently being unable to exercise other than walking, I notice old beliefs and stories can pop up here and there. The ones that can accompany clothing that starts to feel a little tighter, or the way you critique your body when you contemplate putting bathers on. (Yes, it’s finally warmer here in Victoria (Australia) and the summer wardrobe is calling).
They are fleeting and 99% of the time I am so grateful and in awe of a body that is healthy and energised. The ones that has given me 2 beautiful children and been through numerous surgeries. I’m old enough to know that our health isn’t something to take for granted, and mostly I embody this with a wisdom that comes from being in my 50s now and knowing that not everyone makes it this far.
But those Kate Moss kind of thoughts remind me of how ingrained, deep and insidious these messages are, and how quickly they can trigger the old beliefs, stories and doubt, loathing, judgement or ‘not good enough’ thoughts (pick your ‘flavour’) that can rise to the surface so easily.
Tell me you *never* look in the mirror when you’re naked and don’t have certain critical or judgemental thoughts that pop up (no matter how brief)? Or some women never look in the mirror, full stop.
At the end of the day, mindset coaching is about building self worth. Feeling worthy enough to assert your boundaries confidently; raise your prices; communicate clearly with your clients and team; offer new services and programs without any certainty of how they’ll be received; overcome imposter syndrome and self doubt and judgement that can leave you feeling stuck.
- follow your passion; chase your dreams; keep showing up when it feels hard or your doubt your impact.
- navigate launches that flopped; sales that fell through; lumpy revenue and unsubscribes
- show your children what determination truly looks like; to overcome (or progress) your fear of being seen; to challenge your fear of failure (which is more often a fear of success).
- take off the mask and embrace being ALL of you in all your perfectly imperfect wholeness
Of course there are strategies and tools and all the business and leadership coaching as well, because all that is needed.
And the biggest block to getting where you want to go is mindset.
Because, usually? If it were purely logical you would have done it already. But you haven’t. Why? Due to:
- subconscious blocks creating resistance.
- limiting beliefs about why you can’t outsource, or why you don’t deserve to go on a holiday without a laptop; or why you ‘just need to take this call’ after hours when your kids are begging for your attention (and you promised you wouldn’t be working tonight).
- stories you unknowingly tell yourself about being selfless, and the importance of looking after others. Of how ‘good girls’ don’t rock the boat, and about how you have to work so hard to be successful (to your own detriment).
- of how you look when you’re doing video on socials or when you contemplate booking in brand photos (and potentially put them off for longer because [insert reason here]). Ask any brand photographer how often clients tell them that they need to lose weight before they can book a shoot, or to take flattering angles, or that they are terrified of the process of being ‘seen’.
We ALL have these limiting beliefs and stories, and often they influence our identity. Just like the thought that ‘I’m fat’ is an identity statement, ‘I’m a people pleaser’ is as well. When your identity is tied to how you have to be around other people, you are prioritising the needs of others ahead of yourself. Which leads to lax boundaries, resentment, exhaustion and low self esteem.
These beliefs, stories and your identity stems from your experiences growing up; your schooling; your network; your parents; ‘society’; media; religion and so on. Just like some nasty comment that Jenny Jacobs made about you in Year 7 can trigger particular feelings, the same can happen in business.
You find evidence all around you to support the beliefs and stories you’re telling yourself.
You’ll find yourself trotting out this inner dialogue (whether consciously or unknowingly) – for me, I’ve worked through the ‘I’m not good enough’ limiting belief about 2543 times (not even joking.. much) that logically I absolutely know is 1) is not true 2) does not serve me one iota, and 3) is a crock of sh$t, AND that doesn’t make it feel less real and it can still impact my behaviour if I don’t ‘sort it out’.
Equally, with each opportunity to shift this belief when the next iteration appears in my own coaching session (and I *almost* bang my head on my desk – I usually resort to profanity instead – out of sheer frustration that I need to take another look at this goddamn belief AGAIN, I know that I can:
- acknowledge it
- challenge it
- question it and
- replace it with a more empowering belief.
And wouldn’t you know it, suddenly things show up in my world that are evidence to support this *new* belief. And they were there all along, to be perfectly honest; just outside my focus.
While I feel an inner moderate rage at this new ‘trend’ appearing, I can also see the human behaviour code.
My whole self wants to protect my daughter from a world that (some) want to manipulate in the form of marketing, advertising and messaging of what a woman *should* look like.
Of course, that’s impossible as it’s everywhere. But I can help her to navigate it and support her in exploring this narrative in our home; in her beliefs and in the evidence she finds to support her emerging beliefs and stories of who she is.
While it may have triggered some memories and a visceral reminder of that time, mostly I see it through the lens of my almost-teenage daughter. As well as all those women who’ve been massively triggered in a damaging way. (One look at the comments section of Jameela’s instagram post (an offshoot of the statement linked at the start) is proof enough that for some, this is still real).
We are never a hostage to these internal programs that we’ve inadvertently adopted.
We always have a choice to shift them to create empowering, brave, bold, unique stories, beliefs and an identity that will help us to be whoever we choose.
Whether that’s in our businesses; leadership; relationship with ourselves and in our impact on not only those around us but on the world at large.
I invite you to:
1) focus on the rise of self worth when the media, social media and marketing machines may try to keep you small and doubting yourself.
2) whatever limiting belief is simmering on the surface for you at the moment, apply these 4 steps:
- Acknowledge it – it’s ok for you to have this belief. It’s part of your conditioning, and we all have conditioning. It’s not wrong or bad. Just ask if it’s serving you right now. If it is, great. If it isn’t, progress to the next step.
- Question it: is it true? (Hint – the answer is most definitely no, that’s why it’s called a ‘limiting’ belief)
- Replace it: what would an empowering belief sound like?
- Support it: find the evidence to prove to yourself that it’s true
PPS – if you want to make sure your socials feeds and internet searches don’t suddenly start showing you related content, here are my suggestions:
1) Use Brave as your search engine as it blocks ads and trackers that essentially stalk you.
2) Turn off your microphone on instagram and facebook from your phone settings as these listen to you. You do have to turn them back on to record video / reels / stories. Pain in the butt, but worth it IMO.Tags: Human Behaviour self worth selfcare