Recently, I was teaching a group of wonderful women around the topic of women’s confidence and assertiveness. As part of the course, we interview another woman in the room with questions regarding the areas they feel successful and confident. One of the questions in the assignment is to ask the woman what she considers her best physical feature. I’m not a fan of the question in that I think women spend far too much time worried about their appearance. Yet I see why the question is asked, since so much of our confidence is tied into how we look.
Earlier that day, I had been looking at wedding pictures that my niece had sent me and my husband from her wonderful wedding in Brooklyn. Her note attached to the pictures was, “There are some great pictures of the two of you that I thought you might like.” There was one picture of me that I couldn’t stand. I took one look at that picture and said, “This is awful. I hope she doesn’t share this with anyone.” All I could see in that picture were my physical flaws. My stomach looked poochy, my arms too thick, my profile was terrible, and my hair . . . really? Yuck.
Back to my women’s confidence class…I was working with a wonderful younger woman and I asked her the “What’s your best feature?” question. She sat there for a moment and then looked at me and said, “It’s a picture of me when I was in Germany.” I asked her to explain to me what she meant and she went on, “In this picture, I can see how happy and content I am. My expression is both priceless and beautiful.” I was caught off guard when she said this. I felt a lump form in my throat as I affirmed her wise and mature evaluation of herself. We finished the assignment, yet I was shaken by her response.
Seeing Our Best Features from The Inside Out
At lunch, I found a quiet place to myself and pulled the picture of me and my husband up on my computer. I stared at that picture for a long time. I looked at it from a completely different angle and I saw a woman holding her husband’s hand, sitting next to her children, and looking as joyful and emotional as I’d ever seen her look. She was smiling at her incredible niece with pure pride and gratitude. This woman was content, proud, loved, and loving. And yes. She was beautiful!We must learn to look for beauty in the #confidence, #contentment, and #happiness our bodies express. #beauty Click To Tweet
How is it that I’ve never thought to look at pictures of myself to gauge my emotions in the moment? How could I not see pictures of me filled with love for my family, grateful for experiences, adventurous, curious, hilarious, and every other emotion in between? Why couldn’t I recognize the beauty of the experience versus the critique of the external aspect of myself? Why is it so hard for so many of us to do this?
I’m grateful for the insight of that woman in my class and how her comment helped me to change the lens on my glasses. Now I look in the mirror and look at myself from a completely different viewpoint. I look for happiness in my eyes, for contentment on my face, and the still strong twinkle of adventure in my whole being. The beauty has been there all along. I was just looking in all the wrong places.
Lisa Kaplin Psy. D. PCC
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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, PCC
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.
Gain the Confidence You’ve Always Wanted
Are you stuck in a place where you don’t feel good about yourself, feel stuck, and don’t feel happy or fulfilled? Whatever it is that keeps you from happiness can be solved. It’s true! And it can usually be solved within a short amount of time.
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, and they find that just getting through the day is exhausting.
Lisa’s unique coaching around happiness, fulfillment, and self-esteem is a deep dive into insightful, permanent changes in how you feel about yourself, how you approach life, and how to take care of yourself in the healthiest possible way.
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