Wellness | Confidence | The most beautiful thing a woman can wear
As women, we can confidently say that our looks play a role in our happiness. Whether we want to or not, we find ourselves trying to reach that unattainable goal of perfectionism. We hate to break it to you, but there is no perfect. This ideal woman that we seek, just simply doesn’t exist. Those women in the tabloids with zero body fat, straight teeth, luscious hair and seemingly always tanned skin are beautiful, but they are not perfect. Everyone has imperfections, everyone has flaws, and self-perception is one gateway to happiness. Confidence is the most beautiful thing that a woman can wear. So, why is that something we struggle with most?
Although it’s not considered a psychological disorder itself, perfectionism puts one at a higher risk for other mood related health issues. It promotes an all or nothing mindset and a serious fear of failure. Perfectionism can lead to a multitude of health problems including depression, anxiety and eating disorders. When dealing with this topic, it is important to consider different forms of perfectionism - the desire to excel and the desire to be perfect. Perfectionism can certainly aid in us attaining our goals and achieving success, but there is a fine line between it helping us and hurting us.
Three types of perfectionism:
This type of perfectionist is organized and conscientious. They set high standards for themselves, but are goal seekers. Self-oriented perfectionism is correlated with a higher rate of productivity and success.
Perfectionists of this type set high standards for others to be perfect. They are generally considered to be judgmental, close-minded and they lack acceptance.
This type of perfectionist is very self-critical and is consumed by the fear of disappointing or being judged by others. They are highly affected by social influence.
In an effort to be perfect, women (and men) will go as far as altering their face and body, experimenting with drugs that may promote weight loss and participate in extreme diet fads. Your stomach is your second brain, meaning our diet directly impacts how we feel. Just like how your car will stop running if you don’t put gas in it, our bodies need fuel to function properly. Skipping out on meals, or consuming an unbalanced diet is only making the negative effects of perfectionism that much worse. Depression and anxiety begin to build on top of an already unrealistic self-expectation.
And what is this coming from me? Well, for 4 years I was consumed in a land of perfectionism - its name was college. I myself am guilty of becoming a perfectionist, and not one that was trying to excel in reaching their goals. I sort of set this precedent for myself by joining a sorority at a school where the temperature never dropped below 70 degrees fahrenheit and eight months out of the year people walked around in their bathing suits. The gym was the number one form of entertainment and nutrition was never in consideration. It’s safe to say that I fully became a socially-prescribed perfectionist. It wasn’t until I returned home after a spring semester that I was overwhelmed by reactions from family and friends. I didn’t even realize that I had become the skinniest I’d ever been in my life.
This was quite an eye opening experience, and has shaped the way I view health and beauty. When I returned the following semester, I began participating in weekly workshops centered around positive self-talk. Where a group of women from all types of backgrounds gathered to discuss this idea of the “ideal woman.” That is where I learned that she doesn’t exist, and that true happiness isn’t about what’s on the outside, but comes from within.
Ways to promote self-confidence and rid yourself of perfectionism:
Visualisation. We tend to slip into the habit of viewing ourselves in a negative light, which can leave us feeling discouraged. Paint a picture of the best version of yourself, this will help promote positive self-acceptance.
Affirmation. Identify the positive aspects of your life and remind yourself of them everyday. We can all learn something from this little girl
Take risks. Putting yourself outside of your comfort zone may be uncomfortable at first, but the best way to combat fear is to stare it in the face. Don’t worry about making mistakes, that’s how we learn.
Question yourself. When a negative thought enters your mind, consider whether it’s worthy of your energy and if it isn’t throw it out.
Help others. Being selfless helps you gain a new perspective and can add value to the things you may take for granted
Think equality. Eliminate the thought that others are better or more worthy than you. They are no better or more deserving than you.
So, let’s honour our differences, embrace our flaws and rock our imperfections. There is only one you, there is only one me, and that thought is comforting.
Much love & light!
CCT Partnership & Wellness Curator
At the CCT women only retreats, we practice just this. We use socially conscious travel and empowerment to travel with purpose while strengthening the bond we share as women. Check out our upcoming retreats.