It's easy to focus on and amplify the memories of those who have given your self-esteem and/or body image a kicking. Family members remarking on sturdy thighs, teachers pointing out chubbiness (so professional), or girls who called you a "red-headed slut" in high school. Despite having red hair themselves.
(Actually that last one made me chortle at the time and still does two decades later!)
But let’s talk instead about the quiet heroes of your self-esteem. Who in your life makes you feel gorgeous, powerful, perfect? Which friends and family members are quick with a compliment, or eager to re-route the conversation when you start tearing yourself down?
Such a cool idea. Here's my list – incomplete for sure, but it's been awhile since posts. No time for dilly-dallying!
- Colin the Kickboxing Coach – I wrote previously that he deserves a knighthood for services to self esteem. He makes everyone in the team feel welcome, from prize fighter to prize wussbag. Whenever I'm about to punch myself in the noggin with frustration he'll pop up and say, "nice kick" or "good work, keep going!" and that you suck! voice is sent back in its box.
- Kellie the Zumba Lass – I'm an anonymous number in an insanely crowded classes – she wouldn't know me if she tripped over my beet-faced sweat-basted semi-conscious body. But her classes make me feel so freakin' alive – I'm always there, fully present with shaking booty. Afterward I'm giddy and can't shut up about it all day.
- Sister Rhi – We dissect our lives in a weekly phone debrief, lifting each other up and laughing at ourselves and our misadventures.
- Carla – Our podcast calls leave me buzzing and determined to make the most out of my days. Carla makes me see how important it is to be passionate about what you do and not let other's opinions stop you.
- Dr G – He is very economical with his words – a man of action to my slug with verbal diarrhea.
"Your eyes look especially blue today" I'll say.
"Yeah," comes the reply, "Blue EYE BAGS!".
Or: "You're looking very tan lately, Doc!"
"It's just dirt!"
But he makes me feel loved and happy to be alive by making me laugh – half the time he doesn't even realise he's said something funny, which makes it even better. He also knows when to give a hug and can tell the difference between carefree joke and joke-to-disguise-inner turmoil.
He also always remembers when it's Haircut Day so he can say, "I like your 'do!" when I arrive home even though he can't really see a difference.
How about you?