“Pretty nails,” my friend’s four-year-old daughter told me as she ran a finger across my fingernails one night. My friend lives a lot closer to my office than I do, so I periodically spend the night at her house when I’m tired of driving so much.
“Next time I come I’ll bring some nail polish and paint your nails if you’d like,” I told her. She nodded with a grin.
The next time I stayed at their house I brought a few different bottles of nail polish with me–all in her favorite colors–and painted her nails.
“I’M SO PRETTY.”
The next morning she had an appointment at the preschool she’ll attend this fall. As everyone got ready, she spun around the house in the dress she was wearing for the day, staring down at her nails. “I’m so pretty!” I heard her repeat.
Yes, you are, I thought. Don’t ever stop telling yourself that.
It’s hard to hold onto that thought as we get older and start listening to the world’s influence. Society tells us what we should look like to be beautiful, but there’s no one size fits all when it comes to the billions of people that live on our planet. How can we say, “This is what beauty is” and have that definition apply to even a fraction of people?
Not only that, but we’re surrounded by voices that tell us how we can fix this feature and that feature. We’re told to focus on our “flaws” and the parts of ourselves we don’t like, instead of the features we do like. Is it any wonder that we have such a hard time looking in the mirror and saying, “I am beautiful.”
And this is still only skin deep. There is so much more to us than what appears on the outside. This little girl is not only beautiful on the outside, but she’s sweet and spunky. She loves her friends, lives life to the fullest, and isn’t afraid to stand up for herself–whether it’s her brother when he takes her coloring book during church, or her dog when he takes a piece of food off her plate.
“I’M GOING TO BE AWESOME!”
“Why don’t you wear your white sandals?” her mom suggested and pulled them out as we all prepared to leave the house.
She looked down at the array of little shoes on a mat by the door. “What shoes should I wear?”
“Choose whatever pair you’d like,” her mom said.
She looked up at me, “What shoes should I wear?”
“I like your white sandals,” I told her and she plopped down to put them on.
My arms were full when I reached the door, so she held it open for me, and the rest of her family came out of the house behind us. As I walked toward my car I heard her say, “I’m going to be awesome!”
I thought about that on my drive to work. I’ve always found ways to boost my confidence when I was off to an important appointment. For a while I always wore a necklace that I got while I was in Senegal to remind myself that I got through one experience that pushed me outside of my comfort zone and it was one of the greatest experiences ever. As I searched for my first job post-college my mantra for each interview was, “Mermaid confidence!” (Maybe a post on mermaid confidence should come soon?) Even now, I curl my hair, or wear a certain outfit, or do my makeup a certain way when I need an extra confidence boost.
One thing I’ve never tried is stating, “I’m going to be awesome!” If I did, I wouldn’t be able to say it with the confidence my little four-year-old friend had.
But what if I said that to myself as I walk out the door in the morning? Would it give me an extra boost to start my day? Would it drown out the negative voices that so often shout over the positive ones? Would I start to believe it? Would I one day be able to say that phrase with the confidence she did?
And what about: “I’m beautiful.” What if I told myself, “I’m beautiful” when I look at myself in the mirror in the morning instead of focusing on the redness in my cheeks or the little tuft of hair that never lays the way I want it to, even when I curl it.
What if you told yourself these things each day? Let’s channel this four-year-old girl and say them together: “I am beautiful and I’m going to be awesome.” Let’s say them together until we can say them with confidence.
“I am beautiful and I’m going to be awesome.”
And after you tell yourself that, tell a friend.
Because you know what?
You’re beautiful and you’re going to be awesome.
[Tweet “Hey you! You’re beautiful and you’re going to be awesome today.”]
I so believe at the “fake it until you make it” quote, you tell yourself something until you get convinced it is real, love that you do it with body positivity
I do, too! I think it can really help change our mindset if we keep telling ourselves something. 🙂
YES, let 4-years-old teach us these kind of thing, they are so pure I wish we wouldn’t loose that innocence, such a great reminder
They are! I always love hearing what young children have to say, because we can learn so much from them!
Positive self talk is something I definitely struggle with! I don’t necessarily tell myself “I’m ugly”, but I’m just “meh..” about it all. My hubby is very good about encouraging me and telling me I’m beautiful. For some reason, it’s hard for me to believe it myself! Thanks for the encouragement!
That’s how I tend to be, too. I don’t tell myself I’m ugly or anything like that, but i’m not always positive. I’m so glad to hear your husband is supportive and tells you you’re beautiful. You are! 🙂
Nowadays, we are more conscious of what people might say about us, that we often forget who we really are. It’s hard to self-talk, but I try to do that as much as I can. I just know that appearances shouldn’t matter much. Attitude is more important 🙂
Yes! That is so true! Attitude is the most important thing. We put so much emphasis on what someone looks like and we tend to see one look as beautiful, when really everyone is beautiful and unique.
I love the positivity of this post. So important to have healthy affirmations in our hearts…. we need them there to keep out the negative messages being pushed at us.
Yes! We hear so many negative messages, we need to hold onto these healthy, positive ones.
I love the positivivity. Great post, I’m sharing it on twitter too x
Thank you so much for sharing! I’m glad to hear you appreciated it!
Such a fantastic affirmation to start the day! I think I’ll start saying it too 😉
That’s great! I’ve been saying it, too, and a friend and I even say it to each other sometimes.
This is so beautiful, Crystal! I’m huge into affirming yourself even when you don’t feel like it. It’s always so helpful.
Thank you, Summer! I’m glad you appreciated it. I’m with you. It’s so helpful to affirm yourself, even if you don’t feel it 100%. Just like negative words can bring us down, positive words can build us up, so we need to keep repeating positive affirmations.
I want to tweak it to “I’m beautiful and I AM awesome!” Better to live in the present 🙂
Tweak away! I love that! 🙂
Love that affirming statement! So important to do this everyday!
It really is! I’m glad you appreciated it!
Great way to positive self talk to yourself or to someone else.
Yes! I think it’s so important to pass positive affirmations on so that we can build each other up. 🙂
OMG I lovelovelove this – what a beautiful reality check. And what a beautiful young soul! I AM GOING TO BE AWESOME TOO DANGIT!!!
You are awesome!!! She really is a beautiful, young soul. I’m so excited to hear about all the things your little girl says as she gets older!!!