A few weeks ago, I had a very bad week. Or did I? I was working with a woman who nicely asked me what I was having. As I looked at her with complete confusion, I realized that she was asking what gender my future baby was going to be. The only problem with this question is that I’m not pregnant. I’m fifty-four years old and apparently I look like a middle-aged pregnant woman. My intent here is not to shame the woman who asked, in that I do believe her intentions were good, but rather to comment on the start of my possibly very bad week.
I don’t know about all of you, but for most of my life I was led to believe that my value was in my appearance. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only woman in the world who feels this way in that most of us discuss our appearance ad nauseam and worry endlessly about how we look. A few years ago, I would have lost my mind for at least a few weeks if someone had suggested that I looked pregnant. Over the last few years, however, I decided to choose my own worth and it has absolutely nothing to do with my appearance.
This doesn’t mean that the pregnancy comment didn’t sting a bit, because it did. In fact, after it was said I went to the bathroom and allowed myself thirty seconds of pity and a few tears. Then I shrugged it off and moved on. The rest of my day was spent leading new coaches into the training they needed to be excellent and ready to coach others. If I do say so myself, I was fabulous, even with my pregnant looking belly. Apparently, one need not have a flat stomach to be a good trainer and leader to others.Life lesson: a flat stomach is not a prerequisite for leadership. #selfesteem #bodypositive #happiness Click To Tweet
Later that same week, I got all dressed up with my husband and off we went to the bar mitzvah of a dear friend’s son. I was feeling pretty fabulous in my non-maternity black dress and matching boots until I bit into a sweet potato fry and chipped my front tooth. I originally chipped my front tooth when I was sixteen and collided with a friend on a gymnastics mat. Since then, I’ve had to have the tooth repaired a number of times and the chip just gets bigger each time.
I felt the tooth chip as I bit into the soft potato and asked my girlfriend if I had lost part of my tooth. She looked at me with horror and said, “Oh my gosh. You look terrible. I can’t even look at you with that chip in your tooth.” Before you get mad at my friend, let me say that having friends who tell you the truth can be both a huge blessing and a slightly painful curse.
Off I went to the restroom to check out the damage. I was horrified at the gaping hole in the front of my rather large smile. Again, I decided to allow myself thirty seconds of self-pity, a few tears and a few judgy comments to myself. Despite all of my suggestions that my worth doesn’t lie in my appearance, those thirty seconds were rather painful in that I said to myself, “My gosh, you look like a middle aged pregnant woman with a dramatic tooth deficiency that makes you look mean and stupid. You must go hide in a dark room until the end of time. It’s the only reasonable reaction.”
Thirty seconds of that misery was all that I was going to allow. If I truly believe that my value isn’t in my appearance, then I have to live my life as if that were true. So what is a middle-aged, pregnant-looking woman, with a jagged front tooth to do when she’s at her friend’s son’s bar mitzvah and the dancing has just begun? Why dance, of course! And off I went with my big belly, chipped tooth, and outrageously confident attitude to have an outstanding night and an even better week.
Lisa Kaplin Psy. D. CPC
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Smart Women, Inspired Lives: How to Be Happy & Confident
by Dr. Lisa Kaplin
Do you long for more energy? Do you wish you could walk into any room and feel happy and confident? Do you simply want to enjoy your life more – personally and professionally? You can. Too many women today are doing more, but feeling less satisfied. Life doesn’t have to be that way. With small tweaks and simple strategies, you can enjoy a great life with soaring self-confidence, a good sense of well-being, and plenty of laughter. This easy-to-read yet profoundly impactful book will be all you need to join the tribe of smart women living inspired lives. Your life gets better right now.
About Lisa Kaplin, Psy. D, CPC
Certified Life Coach and Psychologist at Smart Women Inspired Lives.
I’m the proud owner of Smart Women Inspired Lives, where I help overwhelmed and exhausted women move from the feeling of being “stuck” into a life filled with calm, confidence, and joy. In addition to the posts and articles I write, I offer individual and group life coaching sessions, classes and speaking engagement opportunities.
Many women have either lost confidence in themselves or realize that they’ve never had it. They are afraid to ask for what they want, they don’t feel good about themselves physically or emotionally, and getting through the day is exhausting. Lisa’s unique self esteem coaching isn’t about superficial compliments to yourself but rather the deep, insightful work that will permanently change how you feel about yourself, how you approach the world, and how to take care of yourself in the healthiest possible way.
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