Friday, September 29, 2014
I am about to go in and shoot my #BareCampaign for Women Enough.
I shared a bit in a video blog about my initial anxiety regarding this photoshoot…. but the reality is that it was only the beginning. When I originally got the email from the Women Enough founder about this opportunity, I didn’t think that I had much work to do around body image issues and didn’t think that I would have much come up emotionally during the process. Oy vey, was I wrong.
Two weeks passed between her email and the photoshoot. While it wasn’t top of mind for me on a regular basis, I feel like my subconscious was all over the place with it. Little by little memories began to pop up. Like that time I quit gymnastics because I felt fat in my leotard.
Or the phase I went through of wearing the baggiest clothes I could find to hide my body.
The week leading up to the shoot really opened the flood gates and revealed to me all sorts of limiting beliefs that I hold about myself. There were two in particular that really kicked me in the butt…. I found myself on my bedroom floor in the fetal position more than once. I burst into sobs while driving. My heart ached. For these beliefs are not silly little musings - they are beliefs that I hold about myself on a really deep core level. I can consciously acknowledge that they are nonsense, but the deeper part of me sees and labels them as truth.
So here goes - my confession of what I really see when I look in the mirror:
1. I do not consider myself attractive. To a certain point, I can recognize that people would think I’m good looking, but on a core level I do not identify myself as gorgeous or beautiful. Periodically there will be a photograph that I can say, “Wow! I look pretty!” But on a daily basis, I just see myself as normal. To an extent this affects such a multitude of aspects in my life. You know those times when you see a drop dead gorgeous man….. the first thought I have every single time is “But he’d never be interested in me. I wouldn’t be attractive enough to go out with him.” Or when I do go out with someone that is ridiculously attractive, I’m always waiting for the shoe to drop. Like one day he’ll look at me and say, “This was all just a hoax. You’re not good enough to date me.”
2. I do not think that I’m particularly inspiring. Funny, huh? The woman starting the Inspirational Woman Project movement doesn’t identify with being inspirational….. maybe that’s why it bothered me so much when the other women expressed this same sentiment. How am I supposed to be inspiring other women if I don’t see myself as inspirational? Plus who is going to believe me and want to join the movement of someone that is an impostor?
My goal with this photoshoot today is to release these two beliefs. I am choosing to write a new story for myself. One where I know in my deepest heart that I am beautiful and inspirational. One where I truly believe this in the deepest reaches of my soul, instead of just in my head. One where these are my reality, not my facade.
A wise man told me last night….. fearlessness is not about being free from fear. It’s about looking those fears in the eyes and moving forward despite them. That’s the path I now choose.
Thursday, September 25, 2014
It’s been a week since the photoshoot. I have had to include a few additional activities in my daily routine to make sure I’m supporting the release of my old believes and cementing my new reality in place.
One thing that has really helped is a tip I got from one of our inspirational women, Emily Greener.
“I want to share a challenge. I challenge the women reading this to wake up every morning and look at yourself in the mirror. Stare at yourself for longer than it might be comfortable until you start to see past your face, behind your eyes, and you begin to see who you really are. Then say the things out loud to yourself that you wish that others would say to you. Look at the parts of you wish you could change and say “thank you.” Share this love with yourself and see how the world around you changes.”
In addition to my daily affirmations, I have added some self-love affirmations that I say while looking in my eyes in the bathroom mirror. “I am beautiful. I am inspirational.” It may seem silly, but I swear to you that it helps. Call me crazy - but I believe that repeating something and redirecting the thoughts of the brain in a focused way creates a new understanding. Ask me again in three weeks……
You may be asking, what’s the purpose of Bri sharing all of this? Sympathy? No. The reality is that I have a HUGE and vast group of supporters and cheerleaders in my life. I would guess that the majority would be surprised by my admissions here. And these beliefs are despite the amount of love, support, empathy, and encouragement that anyone outside of me can express. The point of this post is that we ALL hold onto limiting beliefs. My hope is that by my vulnerability of sharing my darkest beliefs about myself….. that I can inspire YOU to delve into yours. So I ask you….. what beliefs are you holding onto that are keeping you from achieving greatness? What lies are you labeling in your head as truths? I encourage you to be fearless and let go of whatever this is for you. If I can do it, so can you.