This is Day 8 of the 15-Day Affirmation Challenge where hundreds of participants around the world gather to practice positive affirmations for 15 days in July 2014. The challenge is now over, but you can do the tasks in your own time. Visit the overview page for all Affirmation Challenge tasks and posts.
Dear everyone, welcome to Day 8 of our 15-Day Affirmation Challenge! 😀
Here is the overview of all the posts for the challenge so far:
- Affirmation Challenge announcement and signup details: 15-Day Affirmation Challenge | Over 450 Participants!
- Affirmation Challenge Day 1 [New Beginning] | 73 Comments
- Affirmation Challenge Day 2 [Self-Love] | 77 Comments
- Affirmation Challenge Day 3 [Ability] | 80 Comments
- Affirmation Challenge Day 4 [Setbacks] | 52 Comments
- Affirmation Challenge Day 5 [Gratitude] | 53 Comments
- Affirmation Challenge Day 6 [Self-Worth] | 60 Comments
- Affirmation Challenge Day 7 [Opportunities] | 67 Comments
- Affirmation Challenge Week 1 Review | 20 Comments
Week 1 vs. Week 2 Affirmations
Now that we’ve completed Week 1’s affirmations, I’m excited to start on Week 2 with all of you! 😀
For those of you who have taken Live a Better Life in 30 Days Program, you may recall that Day 1 of the program is on assessing yourself via the life wheel. The life wheel is a tool used in life coaching to help coachees discover how they are doing in their core life areas. While the traditional life wheel has anywhere from five to eight areas, I use a custom life wheel that I created, with 10 areas that represent the key areas of our life:
Now, going into Week 2 of the challenge, I’ll be posting affirmations that tackle different areas of the life wheel, from career, to love, to relationships, to health, to finance, to physical looks (part of self-image). The reason I didn’t cover these Week 1 is deliberate — it’s more important that we address limiting beliefs about ourselves (e.g., self-imposed limitations, self-love, self-perceived ability, self-perceived barriers, and self-worth) and the world (e.g., feeling that the world is unfair, and self-perceived lack of opportunities) first, before branching out to the life areas.
After all, our self-thinking provides the foundation to our life’s success, and if your default self-thinking is negative, you’ll naturally see negative results in all life areas, irrespective of your affirmations in each area! For example, a career affirmation like “I’m very successful in my career” fails by default when your worldview is one where opportunities are scarce and you are not worthy of success. Likewise, as a romance affirmation like “I’m attracting my ideal partner” fails if your default thinking is one where you think you don’t deserve love!
However, the above doesn’t apply as we’ve already worked through our self-limiting beliefs in Week 1 (or at least, the key ones). Now, it’s time to tackle the limiting beliefs in our individual life areas and to practice our highest affirmations for them.
Are you ready? Well, I sure am! Now, let’s get started! 😀 Today’s affirmation is on…
Day 8: [Physical Looks]
Today’s affirmation: “I’m beautiful, just the way I am.”
Last week on Day 2, we practiced the affirmation, “I love myself unconditionally.” Many of you bravely shared your deepest self-hating (and in some cases self-disliking or non-self-loving) thoughts, most of which centered around physical looks:
My fats are ugly.
I feel like I cannot be happy in life until I lose weight.
I hate my butt, my feet and my oily pimpled face.
I hate the “eyes balls” of my feet.
I want a supermodel body… like so many other girls out there.
I’m short. Nobody likes a chump.
I love myself doubtfully… (Celes: Awww man! :/)
I hate my body type and the fact that even when I weighed 110 pounds, I had no neck.
On any given day, I’m constantly hearing a voice inside my head saying something like, “I hate my arms/stomach/butt/thighs! I am so fat.”
Does any of these ring true for you? Well, if they do, it’s not a surprise at all, because the media has always been great at projecting a fixed, narrow beauty ideal. While this ideal varies across countries, there are always commonalities. For females, this image tends to be a stick-thin, waify figure; big, deep-set eyes; smooth, dewy skin; and long, luxurious hair; for males, the image tends to be a tall frame; a strong and muscular build; six-pack abs; tanned skin (until Twilight series came along); large shoulders; a strong jawline; and muscular arms.
Personally, I’ve gone through the whole self-body-loathing and self-beauty-inferior phases, which I’ve shared openly in The Beauty of Self – Why I Used To Feel Inferior about My Looks and Why I No Longer Feel That Way and How I Began to Love My Body (series). (If you haven’t, you may want to read these articles first to better understand what I’m about to share next.) I’ve gone through the whole, “I hate my body and it sucks,” “I want to be thinner so I can be more beautiful,” and “I wish I had [X] feature (or I wish I don’t have [Y] feature) because I would look so much more beautiful if I did.”
The truth is that no matter how you, male or female, look right now — be it tall or short, fat or skinny, muscular or flabby, dark or fair, wrinkled or not — you ARE beautiful, as yourself.
Lest you think that I’m referring to the usual “Your inner beauty is more important than your outer beauty” and “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” shtick… I’m actually not. At least, not here.
Sure, your inner beauty is indeed more important than your outer because our personality is always going to shine more brightly than looks over time. Sure, your physical body, however it looks right now, will not last over time since physical looks are never permanent.
However, what I want to tell you here is that whoever you are, however you look right now — be it tall, fat, short, skinny, round, wrinkly, pimply, slitty-eyed, flabby, double-chinned, triple-chinned, dark, fair, or WHATEVER — you are beautiful, just the way you are. Like, exterior-beauty beautiful. Not more or less beautiful than another person. Not more or less beautiful than the supposedly godly-looking magazine models, fashion idols, and “supermodels.” Not more or less beautiful than your ideal beauty image, whatever it is. You are simply as beautiful as all of them. Not more or less.
Why? That’s because beauty comes in all forms, shapes, heights, colors, features, and sizes. Because beauty is the result of being a creation in this world, and that includes all of us right here, doing this challenge together right now. Because beauty is everywhere, and it is you as it is me. And the very reason why you can’t (or rather, couldn’t) see this before, is because you’ve been blocked by your staunch vision of what beauty should be — likely an ideal that was inculcated in you by the media, the society, or your family/friends since you were young. And you should no sooner let go of this beauty “ideal,” because frankly speaking it is a pile of cr*p.
Today, your task is to recognize the beauty that has always been in you, and to let go of all inner barriers that have been preventing you from seeing it.
Your Task Today
- Rate yourself in your physical looks on a scale of 1 to 10. What score do you give yourself?
- Is this score 10/10? Why not? For example, say you gave yourself a 2/10.Your reasons can be
- I don’t like my nose it has such a low nose bridge. I wish I had a higher nose bridge and sharper nose; it would make me look slimmer and more beautiful. (Celes: This is actually a common beauty belief in Asia among females.)
- I hate my flabby shoulders and double chin. They make me look fatter than I already am.
- I hate my fat thunder thighs. I want a thigh gap!
- I hate my current body weight. I’m not overweight but I’m heavier than my ideal weight by 15 lbs. I wish I can be thinner. I feel that I can only love my body when I’m at my ideal weight.
- Grab a handheld mirror now. Get a large one where you can see your entire face (including the top of your head, your ears, and your chin), as opposed to one where you can only see your eyes, nose and mouth.
Don’t have a large handheld mirror? No worries — bring your laptop to the largest mirror in your house before moving on to the next step. Alternatively you can load this post in your mobile and do this task as you stand before your mirror.
- Examine your reflection. Now, look at your reflection in the mirror. You see him/her every day, but have you ever spent time to properly look at him/her? I’d like you to examine every part of yourself in the mirror now. From your eyes, to your nose, to your ears, to your mouth, to your cheeks, to your hair, to your complexion, to your chin, to your neck (whether it’s visible or not), I want you to look at every one of your features and see it as it is. Take as long as you need to study each feature, to your own satisfaction.
- Recognize your beauty. Now, still looking into the mirror, I’d like you to keep looking at yourself until you recognize your true beauty. Don’t ask me how. Just keep looking at yourself. You’ll know when you do. It may take a minute, an hour, or a year, but you’ll see it soon enough, once you really start looking at the YOU that’s inside of the mirror (as opposed to your layered expectations of how he/she should look like). Do you see him/her? Do you see that hercules/goddess that has always been in you? He/she is waiting for you to recognize him/her. Are you ready to start seeing him/her and acknowledging his/her presence?
(Warning: It’s 100% normal to cry during this step, and in fact, the more you cry, the better. The tears reflect the release of repressed beliefs you’ve been living with about your physical looks, and the emergence of your real, nonjudgmental self about your looks.)
- Say today’s affirmation . Once you recognize your beauty, and once you recognize that you are beautiful as yourself (not more or less than anyone else, and certainly not less than any supermodel), you’re ready for today’s affirmation:
“I’m beautiful, just the way I am.”
(If you think it’s silly to say this out loud, you can say it silently in your heart.)
Note: Whether you are male or female, I’m using “beautiful” broadly to encompass male and female beauty. So for the males reading this, know that beautiful encompasses being handsome. If you prefer, you can exchange “beautiful” with “handsome,” though that’s not necessary.
I encourage you to write down today’s affirmation so that you can always see it and commit it to your heart. Repeat it every day to yourself, for as many times and as long as needed, until it becomes part of your default thinking.
Tidbit: The mirror exercise above is a very simplified version what I did in my Camera Confidence Workshop with Dove, where I worked with participants to break through their camera and beauty anxieties. While instructing via a website can never be the same as teaching and coaching via an all-day immersive and in-person workshop, I hope that today’s task will point you in the right direction and get you to start recognizing the beauty that has always been in you.
And here’s a special video, from me to all of you 🙂
(If you can’t see the video above, watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LjhCEhWiKXk.)
Affirmation Wallpaper: [Physical Looks]
Today’s affirmation wallpaper, for download:
- How I Began to Love My Body (series)
- The Beauty of Self – How I Used To Feel Inferior about My Looks and Why I No Longer Feel That Way
- How I Found My Place as a Female in Today’s World (series)
Share Your Results!
Share your results, check out other participants’ responses, and interact with each other in the comments section! Remember, this challenge is a community effort: by openly engaging in the discussion, not only will you help others, you’ll also help yourself.
If you think today’s affirmation has benefited you, do share it with your friends and family via Facebook, Twitter, G+, or email.
Once you’re done, proceed to Day 9 here: Affirmation Challenge, Day 9 [Relationships]