I have an admission to make. I've always felt pretty good about myself, I haven't given too much thought to how I looked, I've never particularly worried about getting older. But as I am moving into my forties, I've started to notice my body changing.
I've started to notice those wrinkles around my eyes.
I've started to notice my skin becoming less elastic and youthful.
I've started to notice how people are treating me as an older woman, rather than the girl I still feel I am in my mind.
And when my grey roots start to show (after less than two weeks of my hair being dyed!), I find myself feeling completely over the hill.
To tell you the truth, these noticeable signs of ageing have knocked me a bit. I've even found myself asking my husband if I look old! Seriously, this is not the usual me. I normally find it easy to tap into my confidence.
I wonder if you feel the same at all? Maybe it's not necessarily about ageing, maybe you don't feel happy with your weight, or your skin, or some other part of you? Maybe some recent event has knocked your confidence?
The thing is, I know that it's all a matter of mindset. We can choose to feel more confident. So, today I am writing to remind myself and any other women out there who are not feeling their best right now. Here is part one of my top ways to SPARKLE.
1. Once upon a time…
Can you remember a time when you felt super-special? Maybe your mind drifts back to your wedding day, a wonderful holiday or a social occasion when you totally rocked it. Allow one of those times to come to mind now (I'm sure you have lots to choose from).
As you think about that specific memory, make it as vivid as you possibly can. See what you can see, hear what you can hear (maybe there is a particular song playing?), notice what you are wearing (if anything!), notice who you are with, are there any smells or tastes you associate with the memory? How do you feel as your mind takes you back to that time?
Allow yourself to enjoy all aspects of that memory and as you do think of one word that sums up the experience. Say that word to yourself silently in your mind over and again.
As you do this you are creating an anchor to this past experience. Just as when you hear a particular song, it can immediately bring back the feelings you had when you first heard it, whenever you say this one word to yourself from now on, you will be reconnected with the confidence you felt during your chosen memory.
From now on, use your special sparkle word as often as possible. Strengthen that anchor, that connection back to your confident self.
2. Do something special
I wonder if you have a list of special things you want to do? Maybe you want to go to a fancy restaurant, see a particular show or visit a spa. But you keep putting these things off. You'll do them when you have a certain amount of money, on your next birthday, when you have more time, when you reach a certain weight, when you meet the right man.
Often we keep things we really want to do in the future. We tell ourselves we'll do them ‘someday'.
I've done this. I really wanted to go to a Michelin-starred restaurant which is local to me. I kept telling myself that I would take my husband there when I reached a particular monthly income level in my business. But I never quite reached my goal and each month, it got put back. My dream of visiting the restaurant was always just out of my grasp.
Then I thought to myself ‘hang on, why wait?' This year I have started to allocate a proportion of my income to a Play Fund, money to have fun with, to treat myself. So I thought, why the heck not take my fine self and Mr H out for dinner? And I did. Mission accomplished!
It felt so good to do something I thought was out of reach, something I was saving for some mythical time in the future. It felt good to do something special for me (and my husband), just for the heck of it.
So, what are you putting off? What would you LOVE to do? I challenge you to put it in the diary now. Book the restaurant, buy the show tickets, check out the spa packages.
You deserve to feel good now!
3. Be your own cheerleader
I talk about this a lot, but it's a biggie! What are you saying to yourself in your mind? Are you cheering yourself on, telling yourself you're gorgeous (because I know you are!) and giving yourself encouragement?
Or are you criticising yourself, saying you're not good enough and finding fault in the way you look?
I'm sure you have mixture of positive and negative self-talk, but I know that often we can err towards the critical stuff. I've certainly found myself doing the fault-finding thing much more lately.
The good news is that we get to choose our self-talk. You may not believe this, but you do have a choice.
For a moment, tune into that negative, critical voice in your head. Notice what it sounds like, perhaps it reminds you of someone? Notice how loud it is and where it is positioned. Is it to one side of you, right in front of you or behind?
Tell yourself, ‘I don't have to listen to this!' and imagine that you are turning the volume down on that voice, making it quieter and quieter. Perhaps it goes quite squeaky and cartoon-like as you turn it down?
As you do this, change the position of the voice. Move it to somewhere it doesn't get your attention. By doing all of this, you are taking control. You are showing yourself that you ARE in control of your thoughts. Oh yes!
The next step is to big-up your positive self-talk.
[Tweet “Let's install and make friends with your internal cheerleader!”]
Take a moment now to tune in to that encouraging, supportive voice in your head. How does she sound (again, does she remind you of anyone?) Where is she positioned and how loud is she?
Maybe a particular image comes to mind as you hear her speaking? What kind of things does she say? What would you like her to say?
Really get to know your cheerleader. Notice how you can turn the volume up for her and change her position so she's more prominent.
Take some time now to focus on what she's saying How does it feel to hear those supportive words?
Know from now on that you can tune into your cheerleader whenever you want to. Also know that whenever old grumpy-pants tries to chime in, you can turn the volume down and focus your attention back on Miss Sparkle.
So, that's part one of my top ‘get your sparkle back' tips.
Take Action Now: Which one of these tips resonated with you most? Comment below and let me know which one you will be taking action on first.
Look out next week for How to Get Your Sparkle Back – Part Two. In the meantime, if you want lots more tips on how to feel confident, click here to download a free copy of my Love Your Body ebook.