How do we describe beauty? It is such a vague subject; a fleeting ideal that is as subjective as whether your favorite ice cream flavor is Mint Chocolate Chip or Rocky Road. Everyone has a different idea of what is considered beautiful. It varies based on background, country, cultural cues, personal tastes…the list goes on and on!
The only thing that seems to be harder than defining the word “beautiful” is truly feeling beautiful. Ask yourself now, do I feel beautiful? Most of us would say no if we are being completely honest with ourselves. Feeling beautiful seems unattainable a good portion of the time. It’s a fickle emotion, characterized by inconsistency and usually strongly affected by our environment. One day we feel great about ourselves. The next day there’s a Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show and we’re back to body shaming and pointing out our flaws. This is a vicious cycle that needs to stop.
A bad hair day isn’t a bad YOU day.
Sure, there will be days when you aren’t as thrilled with your hairstyle as you’d like to be, but having those little things tied directly to our self-esteem is a big problem. When you’re having a bad hair day, call it that: a bad hair day. It doesn’t mean it’s a bad YOU day. You are you no matter what your hair looks like.
Even the most physically beautiful women in history expressed insecurity about their looks. They were constantly looking for things to change. Losing weight, getting a nose job, you name it. And when each thing failed to make them feel beautiful, they would simply move along to the next crash diet or carb-shattering workout.
Let’s face it, Selena Gomez really does have great hair.
There are tons of fun beauty products and tips and tricks out there to help us like what we see when we look in the mirror. That stuff is fine! It can be really fun to try out new makeup products or that conditioner that Selena Gomez uses. But buy it because you’re going for softer hair, not because you want to feel better about yourself as a person.
This is big issue in our world today. But it can be remedied slowly but surely if we just talk it out. So, what are we going to do about it? I say we start by deciding to look at beauty for what it is: a seed planted on the inside that eventually grows to be obvious on the outside. In other words, stop letting your self-esteem be defined by your reflection in the bathroom mirror. What ultimately makes you feel good about yourself is recognizing that you’re shiny and bright on the inside, too.
What is a balanced life? The term “balance” most likely means different things to different people. To some, it’s having enough time for hobbies alongside a work schedule. To others, it is being able to pursue multiple interests at once. And to still others, it is about making time for family, friends, and the occasional weekend brunch in the hectic noise of our busy lives.
Whatever it means to you, achieving balance really is possible.
I know it seems idealistic and unattainable. If you’re like me, you’re probably thinking about all of the things you should be making time for: reading that great book, cooking a fabulous dinner, and of course, creating that adorable craft you saw on Pinterest. Each of these activities is great, but beating yourself up because you didn’t get around to it is not worth it. Take a moment and ask yourself how you really want to be spending your time. What are your priorities? Do your daily activities line up with the things that you see as important in life? If not, keep reading and let us help.
One of the most powerful words you can use in life is, simply, “No.”
It’s okay to say no to things in order to focus on and make time for what is valuable to you. A trick of successful people is not overextending themselves. Be aware of your limits, embrace them, and do not criticize yourself for not doing enough. The problem with trying to do enough is that it’s impossible. As we learned from Mean Girls, the limit does not exist! It’s never enough. You’ll spend an infinite amount of time and energy trying to feel like you accomplished enough. Another problem is that our feelings can be fickle. One day they say, sure, Netflix is okay. The next they say, nope, must read or bake or craft because if I don’t, I’ll feel guilty. Avoiding guilt should never be your motivation. Do things because you want to do them, end of story!
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not advocating laziness.
I’m just reminding whoever is reading this that there are big benefits to designing your life in such a way that minimizes the pressure you put on yourself. Take a deep breath, remember that you already are enough and you already do enough. Your worth in this world is so much greater than how many workout classes you hit each week or how often you keep fresh flowers in the house. And finally, remember to say “No” to a few things in order to say “Yes” to the things that are really important to you.