Sunday Edition #22: My Column in Yellow
At the beginning of the year, my resolution was one that many people make, which is to lose weight and now as we close out 2018, I find myself substantially lighter, feeling good about what I’ve accomplished, but still lacking some confidence; especially to go out there and start dating...How can I build up that confidence in this new body because I’m still the same me on the inside?
CONGRATULATIONS ... on making a goal and sticking with it! Any life change involving the breakdown of old habits is always a huge challenge. Well done!
Now that the weight is gone, the big question is… When do you gain confidence?
Many people who transform their bodies or lives end up disappointed when confidence doesn’t magically appear. We put so much expectation on the physical appearance as being the source when it really doesn’t have as big of an impact as we think it should.
Confidence lives in a place that can’t be seen in the reflection of a mirror.
With that being said, feeling good in your skin is one of the beginning stages of building confidence. You can start small by updating a few items in your closet now that many things you own don’t fit anymore. Make sure you are mindful of each purchase. Don’t buy anything that doesn’t feel right when on -- even if it is “cool” or “trendy.” You should only wear clothes that are true to who you are and make you feel good.
Now that we have the superficial part covered, we need to dive deeper.
First of all, I want to tell you that you are good enough. The concept of being enough is one many of us tend to forget regardless of what size pants we put on (I forget it all the time!). So, promise me you will wake up every morning and remind yourself of this fact.
You are enough and worthy of love.
This might sound cheesy but make a list of everything you love about yourself. Try to expand outside of the physical as much as possible. You can even ask close friends to contribute to the list because I’m sure they see things you might miss. Examples could be… I’m funny, I’m a loyal friend, I’m excellent in high pressure situations, etc. Be proud of your strengths. Keep this list somewhere so you can easily revisit it on days when you need a reminder of how incredible you really are.
These are also the things your future Lover(s) will adore about you.
Try to stop caring so much about what other people think of you. I realize this is easier said than done, but start giving it a try. Whenever you begin to feel the need for validation from others, stop and remind yourself what I wrote earlier… you are good enough. I’ve been guilty of walking away from a date so worried if the person liked me or accepted me. I catch myself being afraid to be authentic to myself because they might not like me if I am. This will only lead you down a dark path of feeling bad about who you are. Sometimes my self-defeating thoughts make me think, if I were different, someone would be able to love me. It isn’t about changing who you are, it is about meeting and connecting with someone who loves us completely as is.
Be kind to yourself. We are our own worst enemy. Find forgiveness of imperfections, things that don’t go as planned or bumps along the way. It is all part of being human and not a reflection on inadequacies. Don’t let shame ruin your confidence. It is just a mind game we all play with ourselves.
Never go into a date with a feeling of scarcity. The person sitting on the other side of the table is NOT your last chance at love. Don’t take on the blame if a connection isn’t made, just move onto the next dating opportunity with your head held high knowing the right person is out there and it is worth taking your time to find them. Everyone you meet and date prior to that person is practice and a lesson so when the right person arrives, you are ready.
You are so much more than the body you live within. It is just the shell holding the person you’ve always been and will continue to be.
And that person is amazing.
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My Life in Yellow is not a licensed psychologist or health care professional and the advice within this column does not replace the care of psychologists or other healthcare professionals. Before making any decision or taking any action, you should consult a health/medical professional. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking advice or treatment because of something you have read here.