Having the freedom to rock lime green nail polish and a pencil skirt at the same time is a blessing…
…and clearly that’s just the tip of the iceberg (and my own strange taste). Girls have an uncanny ability to feel, express, and communicate. CNN has reported higher female college graduation rates for many years (we’re smarty pants) and, as shown by SNL and summer blockbusters, we are practically taking over comedy (we’re funny too!). Of course, those are just a few examples of our fabulous qualities. We excel in almost every facet of American culture, and every decade we make greater and greater strides to protect and expand our rights (basically…we’re awesome).
However, being a girl cannot be condensed to a shade of nail polish or Tina Fey (love ya girl). We have our challenges too, and this is where Blush wants to help. As girls, we seem to have various tendencies that we all must overcome in order to help our self-esteem. Our thought is that awareness of these negative habits will help us all get there faster. This list is for you to decide what challenges you the most, and to work on it for the New Year. Girls self-esteem might be challenged constantly in everyday life, but we’re here to remind you how awesome you are. Remember, you’re not alone. Blush is here to help you sort through any of the following challenges, because we’ve had to deal with them too!
1. Carnival Mirror Syndrome
No, your body is not misshaped. In fact, you look amazing. Own it.
Don’t worry–having a healthy body image is not the same thing as acting vane. In fact, they’re not even close! Vanity is superficial. It has no depth, and is incapable of seeing past the skin. On the contrary, body image is all encompassing. It’s an extension of loving ourselves on the inside. Better yet, it’s an understanding that our bodies are shells that honor our self-love. They transform our inner selves into a visual presentation for the world to see. We should absolutely find that beautiful, because it is.
I find that a lot of girls actually like who they are on the inside. We like our quirky senses of humor and our quick minds. It’s our shells we don’t like, and that is a major problem.
When girls look in the mirror, we naturally look at everything we don’t like. We hyper-focus on the negative and blur out the positive, as if we are looking at morphed versions of ourselves. Every time you focus on something negative in the mirror, remember what you are seeing. When you find yourself focusing on something you don’t like, shift your focus to something you do like.
Another comforting thought–Photoshop doesn’t exist in real time. So if you can’t erase your cellulite, neither can I, and neither can she! Yes, you can better yourself by exercising and eating right, but your body is already better than you think it is!
Interestingly enough, we don’t carry this same negative lens when we look at each other. When you are feeling insecure, remember that your friends are focusing on your pretty eyes, killer hair, or your long, long legs.
Mantra for the year? You look better than you think you do.
2. Impossible Perfectionism Fatigue.
You are not perfect, and you never will be (neither are we). That goes for our jokes, our legs, our singing voices, our clothes, and our test scores. Yes, I would love to be funny like Tina Fey, have legs like Gisele, sing like Adele, dress like Rachel Zoe, and have the IQ (and bank account) of Mark Zuckerberg. But I don’t. So whatever. No reason to feel bad about it!
We have all tried various things that didn’t work out, and it’s ok. Stumbling is apart of life, and it usually leads to something even better. Don’t beat yourself up; perfectionism is overrated. You cannot and will not be 100% accurate doing everything you attempt, and that’s great. Perfect people are boring. They don’t mess up, they don’t have funny stories, and they certainly aren’t relatable. Try playing “Never Have I Ever” with someone who has never slipped up in life. Uh…I’d rather just sleep.
Point is, just be you, and don’t apologize for it. Trying to be anyone else will just make you break down. And that’s never fun.
3. Chronic Guilt
Pleasing everybody is impossible. I know that, and you know that, so why do we keep this awful feeling of guilt with us constantly? Yes, occasionally we make that terrible, horrible mistake, and we hurt someone else’s feelings. We feel awful, apologize, and have major guilt for a few days. That is normal. But I’m talking about the kind of guilt we bring upon ourselves.
Maybe you chose to play sports instead of pursue cheerleading. Or decided to leave the city for a different job. Or grew out of a relationship. Or decided on a different direction in school. These decisions are healthy and normal, but I bet you can think of one person in each scenario that could have been “let down.” We have the amazing ability to beat ourselves up about any decision we make, and that’s toxic. In our mind we will always let someone down, fall short, or make a mistake. So, we must let go.
The one thing you ARE guilty of is not being completely confident in every choice you make—and that guilt will haunt you for as long as you will let it. It’s time to do away with it, and love the person you worked so hard to become.
Quote for the day—“The more you love your decisions, the less you need others to love them.”
4. Invisible Spotlight Syndrome
As girls, we think our imperfections are way more noticeable than reality. The fact is, very few people notice our annoying blemishes, because they’re focusing on their own annoying blemishes. Remember what we said above? We zero in on our horrible imperfections, and give others a pass. All of us are self-consumed; it’s human nature!
For every time you are obsessing over your frizzy hair, somebody else is fixating on the measly two pounds they gained over the weekend. News flash? Both of you look great and neither of you are obsessing over the other. Phew!
Fear-of-missing-out. Everyone has it, and it’s incredibly contagious. We feel like the world is ending when we can’t go out because of early mornings or irritating winter colds. But I’m telling you, it’s good to not be at every single social event. You deserve rest, and it’s nice when people miss your presence. Besides, over exposure can lead to burn-out. You get tired of going to the same places, seeing the same people, and doing the exact same things. Eventually you wind up needing a change…and the process starts all over again.
Balance is everything, and staying home with your mom or roommate can really make a difference in the way you feel. Pick your battles and don’t sweat it when you miss something fun! Sitting out on move night is no reason to cry into your pillow (well, depending on the movie). People will miss you and wish to catch up with you when you can make it next time!
6. Obsessive Comparison Disorder
Have you ever noticed that us girls check out each other more than we check out guys? No? Ok well just go to a yoga class and let me prove you wrong. Oh. My. Gosh. We look at each other’s EVERYTHING all the time. And we do it just to compare. How on earth is that supposed to make us feel good about ourselves? Hint: it doesn’t. Boo.
Someone else will always be prettier, will always be smarter, and will always maintain her balance for longer (trust me on this one). That will never change; there are a lot of talented humans on this planet. Focusing on someone else’s bigger and the better distracts you from your own amazing abilities. If you spend your energy developing yourself, these silly comparisons will just seem…silly.
Maybe you can’t run a marathon, or even a half marathon (guilty), but you recently signed up for an adult hip hop class! (Yay exercise!) Perhaps your social circle is a bit small right now, but you did just get promoted…and that’s pretty amazing. Not everyone can say that. Whatever it is that you have accomplished, do not let it be overshadowed by someone else. Be proud of yourself. You could be comparing yourself to someone else’s shining moment, and that’s just not fair to your motivation!
You have the power to find peace and confidence in your abilities, your style, your intelligence, your body, and yes, even your yoga. Think inward, and compliment yourself on what you have achieved today. Plus, as you can see, judging isn’t pretty. (By the way, cred to
Relevant Magazine Paul Angone for this amazing term.)
If you relate to 1, 2, or all 6 of these irritating plagues, don’t worry. We do too. The first step is understanding that this behavior is normal! We can work to change it by awareness and dedication. If you need an extra push to get started, the Blush Coaches are here help you along the way. Sign up here: