I recently saw a video by Oskar T. Brand about what we get from the Glossy Women’s Magazines. His examples were Cosmo and Elle. Neither of which I thought I had any problem with. I don’t buy them or that genre of media at all as my life is mainly online nowadays, but have enjoyed thumbing through in Hairdressers waiting rooms.

However, having seen the video, I was shocked to see just how detrimental to our self esteem as over 40’s ladies they are, and it’s “us” who’s buying them most!

Like moths to the flame we are drawn to their allure of “high fashion” and glamorous lives, and yet in reality they do very little other than demean us, and deliver a constant stream of unachievable and unrealistic (literally we are comparing our bodies to those generated by a computer!) standards that we can NEVER meet.

Why do we enjoy the slow torture we invite into our lives?

Choosing to view a stream of images of models who are; taller, slimmer, younger and more genetically “beautiful” than us, I can only conclude that even as mature, successful women we are still fighting a losing battle against low self esteem and low confidence.

Quite simply we don’t love ourselves enough, and are forever looking outside of ourselves to create happiness, when all the time it’s right here inside of us all.

I have those days where I’ve eaten well, I’ve exercised some self-control, I’ve got fantastic hair, and I’m wearing the sexiest bra and I think, “Look at me.  My boy came out of this belly and time has marched on, but I look amazing.  People half my age don’t look this good.”  And on the next day, “Oh my gut, my messy house, my skin, my sagging boobs, my short legs … “I can’t even imagine anyone finding me attractive because I hate how I look, how I am.”

We all have those days it’s completely normal and they’re sometimes associated with our hormones.

So many of us hide from ourselves and we don’t even know who we are. We don’t know what we feel, we don’t know what we want.

“It’s not selfish to love ourselves” 

Life is a voyage of self-discovery. To me, to be enlightened is to go within and to know who and what we really are, and to know that we have the ability to change for the better by loving and taking care of ourselves. It’s not selfish to love ourselves.

Unfortunately, many of us will not love ourselves until we lose the weight, or get the job, or get the raise, or the boyfriend, or whatever. We often put conditions on our love. But we can change.

We can stop looking at these magazines and work on our self esteem and self confidence in areas of our life where we are anxious or ego driven.

I will be talking about these 2 massive issues throughout the year, but in the meantime let’s start by sharing some (“real”) love, especially to our often neglected self.

“Accepting who we are is the number one step to self-love” 

These are my tips to begin your self-love journey :

  1. Overcome negative beliefs about yourself. Many of us have trouble letting go of negative thoughts that we have about ourselves. These negative thoughts often come from  people whose opinion we value and from whom we seek love and acceptance, but other people cannot dictate your beliefs, only you own that privilege.
  2. Avoid perfectionism. Some of us have trouble accepting anything less than perfection from ourselves. If you find yourself pursuing perfectionism and feeling negatively about yourself when you are less than perfect, take three simple steps. Stop your current line of thinking, then focus on the effort that will be required to work towards a goal, then steadily apply the required effort.
  3. Discard your negative filter. Focusing only on the negatives in your life is a bad habit. Excessive focus on negative or less favourable events in your life can make these events seem disproportionately important. If you find yourself complaining that everything that happens to you is bad, try to find a little evidence to the contrary; it is very unlikely that everything is really bad.
  4. List your positive attributes and reflect on them daily. This can be difficult for some of us who habitually think negatively of ourselves, but try to find one positive thing about yourself to add to the list once a week. At the end of each day, reflect on your entire list.
  5. Give yourself the gift of time. Do not feel guilty for spending time thinking about and reflecting on yourself and your own life. It is important to give yourself the time and permission for self-love. You will likely find that by doing so, you are more able to spend quality time helping others