We’re always striving for something, and those who’re struggling with body image, and self-worth may feel like this is a never-ending, up-hill battle.
It’s like the song we used to sing as kids. “This is the song that never ends, and it goes on and on my friends.”
But it’s the truth. Day after day fighting to feel comfortable in your own skin is exhausting! Striving is not a bad thing, working to better yourself, to grow, and look back this time next year and say ” yup, I’m not in the same place I was.” I say that every summer. Not sure why it happens then, but it does. For some people its New Years or Birthday’s.
When I’m sharing about the eating disorder recovery journey the topic of body image, and appearance are always addressed due to the nature of ED and how much it loves to deceive us into thinking “the struggle” is about our body size. With so much focus on improving our “health” as it’s related to size, striving to change our body so we’ll be a better person, have value, important, or successful, is a boat load of crap….which I’m no longer buying.
Here’s the thing they’re not going to tell you….
You’re already good enough, just the way you are. You don’t have to change anything about yourself to have value.
The body you have is already good enough. Embracing your body and embracing that realization breaks the cycle, breaks the wall of insecurity, crumbles the shame barrier.
Strength in your muscles, turn-out and technique will improve with hard work, but you’re starting from a place of acceptance, that is how you embrace the I am enough philosophy and apply it to your dancing.
I am enough just the way I am, is the affirmation I have to say everyday, sometimes many times a day, to remind myself of the truth because pressure is everywhere.
And with an eating disorder, the pressure also comes from the inside.
If you’re a dancer you have honed your skills of daily routines. I’m sure you’re very familiar with being persistent. Persistence pays off. Handwork pay’s off, and get’s you where you want to be, and that’s exactly what you’ll need to begin a mindset shift.
Here are few steps to get you started:
1.Use affirmations-which are really just you, telling you the truth about you.
Get it? And their yours to create. Write your own script. Some of mine are: you are good enough, you do enough, you are more than your illness. The more you stick those words in your brain the sooner they will start occurring naturally.
2. Remind yourself you DO enough.
We are a culture of doers. It’s true, connected on our devices, our jobs, our activities. Go, go, go, go. When are we NOT doing something? (besides sleeping) At the end of my day–because I can work like a pack-horse–taking an intentional big, deep breath, and a long exhale is the first step to getting off the DO train. I’ve done enough. Do you ever find yourself trying to DO more, because you’re trying to make yourself worth more?
The thought comes before the feeling. I don’t think I’m enough, so I’ve got to do more.
3. I’ve had enough.
It’s about getting sick and tired of being sick and tired. The “stop I wanna get off” switch flips.
The idea that you aren’t good enough the way you are has taken over your life, and there’s no more joy, no more peace. Striving. Striving. Striving.
So, stop. Take a deep breath. This is a process, these suggestions are to get you started thinking of ways to change your mind-set.
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