Friday, 4 March 2016

LIFE: #WomanKind

I recently had my appraisal at work.

Usually they're a box ticking exercise, but this time, thankfully, my new manager went through all the questions thoroughly. I'm going for promotion at the moment so I asked what he thought I could work on to get there - to give me a goal or two.

His only answer: confidence.

I am competent at my job. I've completed all the work related courses, passed all the tests, know the paperwork and processes like the back of my hand. But, I lack confidence in my decisions - though it's not that I'm indecisive. It's that I'd have more trust in someone else's opinion than my own. I would rather someone else took the credit for my actions because I don't think I deserve it.

It's not only at work - at home I look at all the beautiful girls on YouTube and Instagram and think maybe I should wear my hair like that or maybe I should get a boob job because she looks so awesome in that dress, or maybe I should take tanning seriously.

It's actually hard for me to admit that because it's so pathetic.

Cue #WomanKind.

The WeightWatchers #WomanKind campaign is about women embracing and reinforcing a positive relationship with themselves. I love this. Apparently 85% of women wish they could be kinder to themselves. Well I am one of those women. And since I want 2016 to be the year I feel like I can conquer the world (and get that promotion) here are my tips to myself and, if you want to join me, you too to feeling more confident about myself.

1. Pretend you're a stranger to yourself.
Say you'd swapped bodies with Pam from the IT department and you saw your old body walk into the office wearing your favourite skirt and a blouse, what would you say to her? 89% of women would never complement themselves the same way they complement others so really look at yourself now and think about what you would say if another women was wearing your body. I'll bet it wouldn't be 'urgh, girl your legs are dis-gus-tiiiing.'

2. Trust your gut.
#WomanKind isn't just about body image, it's about self image on the whole. For confidence to show on the outside, we all need to find it on the inside. Being true to yourself and loving yourself for it isn't as indulgent as we think it is - it's actually reassuring and you will half that burden of worries you carry around on your shoulders immediately. I really need to take my own advice on this one.

3. Small changes can be amazing.
Even small changes can be epic - whether that's choosing to eat granola instead of cookie crisp for breakfast, or starting to paint your toenails regularly, or lighting a candle whilst you have a relaxing bath. Sometimes the smaller the change, the better the outcome. All those little things add up to big things.

4. What would happen if you lost a part of yourself?
My hands are really dry and crack in the winter. For years I've always looked at my hands and resented them. But, if I happened to lose my hands for whatever reason, my life would be completely changed. I need my hands. I'm grateful I have hands that work perfectly, that aren't broken or malformed, that don't require too much looking after. That little bit of time I spend everyday applying cream is priceless compared to the use I get out of my hands. So whether you resent your legs, or your arms, or your hair, or the way you talk - just think about what you and your life would be like if you didn't have those things. Really appreciate what you have. A quote I live my life by is 'There is always someone in this world who is happy with less than you have.'

5. Surround yourself with the best kind of people.
I went out for a Chinese with my best friend the other night. She wore a blue knitted woollen men's jumper and some over sized forest green corduroy trousers with not a scrap of makeup on and her hair big and wild and curly. She looked like a crazy woman and I loved her for it. When I visit her, there are no judgements, no negativity, no fear of being frowned upon. She accepts everyone as they are and you can see when she speaks to strangers that her positivity and obliviousness to imperfection spreads like a virus. No one looked at her like a crazy woman, they looked and spoke to her as though she was an old friend. It's strange how such childish acceptance can be so uplifting, but if you can find yourself someone or become that kind of person, nothing in the world would be impossible.

I would absolutely love to hear your thoughts on what being #WomanKind means to you! What tips would you add to my list? What things should all women do to feel happier with themselves?


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