Essence // the most significant element, quality, or aspect of a thing or person; a characteristic or predominant quality; a person’s flavor
One morning I woke up and I felt different. I looked in the mirror and felt beautiful. Scratch that, I knew I was beautiful. Without the extra I felt it deep down in my soul. Yup, with the acne scars blazing or shall I call it my natural texture? Ha! No matter how strong you are, it’s easy to get caught up in the social media standard of beauty. And some of the unrealistic beauty standards can cause us to do ANYTHING to be embraced by others. We change the core of who we are to be accepted, even if that means hiding our authentic self. Let’s be clear, inner beauty is the move. I think you can work on the outside while cultivating your inner beauty. It goes hand in hand. Often the external is our focus, yet we are torn up inside. Ask me how I know? Both matter.
True beauty runs deep. It is the way we love ourselves. It is seen in how we take care of our own body and physical health. It is felt in how we practice kindness in a broken world. Beauty is more than what meets the eye. And as cliche as this sounds, it truly is in the eyes of the beholder. So what are you beholding? I hope these tips on how to embrace your unique beauty will be gems for your journey.
1. Digging deep.
I love journaling and think it’s a great way to process your thoughts without holding back. Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
- Where have I allowed societal standards to negatively impact how I feel about myself?
- What mindset did I adopt as a little girl that is no longer serving where I want to be?
- How do I feel about my physical appearance?
- What are my natural features?
- What are my unique features?
There is no right or wrong here. Don’t feel compelled to write out things that look good on paper. Get raw and real. No one will see it but you!
2. Take charge of your mental health
I’m a huge advocate of counseling. It has changed my world and I cannot stress enough how powerful it is. It is nice to get another perspective from someone who is licensed and trained. If you are experiencing an identity crisis or the natural life stage transitions, a counselor will be a great support. I learned through counseling that a negative few from self is deeper than body image issues. It might be deeper and rooted in childhood. Counseling will help to bring those things to light.
3. Cultivate your well-being/self care
There are many benefits that come with taking care of our physical bodies. When our foundation is good, we are able to see ourselves and embrace our own skin better. The mind-body-soul connection is a thing. This year I have amped up my overall wellness by changing up my workouts, baby-stepping my way into a healthy diet, and incorporating nutritious foods. This also includes getting enough sleep.
4. Reinvent YOUR look
You can love your true self AND want a new look. I am in a place where I really want to explore fashion a bit more. In college, I experimented more and I’m a bit jealous my fashion taste when I was younger. If you are like me, allow yourself to be open to changing up your style. This could stem from your hair, trying new makeup looks or researching different looks. Sometimes the good look is a NEW look. 🙂
I pulled some questions from www.styleyourwarddrobe.com that are helpful:
10 Simple Style Questions
- How would you describe your style right now?
- What makes you feel/think those words describe your style?
- Who’s style do you admire? Why? What are the core elements/principles of the style of others you admire?
- What do you want your style to say on your behalf?
- What is your current style saying on your behalf?
- How does your current style need to change to say more of what you want it to say, or to say it better?
- Has your style/look ever said exactly what you wanted it to say? Think of past experiences and events (no matter how far back you have to go)…
- What were the elements of your past/previous style, when it was saying what you wanted it to say?
- How did it feel, when your (past/previous) style represented you so perfectly? Connect with that feeling…
- How can you use those past/previous style elements to recreate the style you want now?
I am also linking an in-depth article and you can find it here 10 Questions That Will Help You Define Your Personal Style – Verily (verilymag.com)
5. Develop a positive mindset
What we meditate on will reflect externally. If you believe you are unworthy or not enough, more often than NOT it goes back to what you are reflecting on. As a believer, I constantly need God’s strength, perspective, and wisdom. He is my hiding place and the one I run to for ALLL my specific needs. I allow scripture to guide me when my thoughts get heavy. I also LOVE positive affirmations. Here are a few that I constantly tell myself:
- I am chosen
- I am loved by God
- My body is beautiful
- My curves are beautiful
- I am capable
Reciting good things over ourselves isn’t wu-wu. Studies show it changes our brain patterns, so get out of your own way and try it out.
6. Hang around good community
Who you surround yourself with matters and sometimes it reflects back to us what we think about ourselves. Positive people can change your life. They can also empower you when you might be feeling the worst of yourself. They also have the ability to bring out the BEST PARTS of who you are. Good people will do that for your soul. If you feel weighed down, burdened or anxious around the people in your life, you might need to do a heart check. Are these people good for my mental? Or do I leave their presence feeling insecure?
Please note: You can also be around good people, but the issues are an inner thing. Sometimes we feel bad about ourselves and it has nothing to do with others. I wanted to make sure that point was clear too.
The good news is WE get to define the beauty standards for ourselves. The most beautiful thing about a woman is beyond what the world sees. Beauty is only skin deep.
I am a proud holder of a Master’s degree in Public Health, where my focus was primarily on community health. My academic and professional journey has been deeply enriched by research in the field of stress management. This has not only broadened my understanding but also deeply influenced the insights and perspectives I share here. This blog is a testament to that journey, offering resources and guidance tailored to your personal journey of faith, wellness and self-care.