Most Americans will try to lose weight four to five times every year, according to ABC News. It’s only April, and I’ve already tried twice. How about you?
Every time we fail at losing weight, we decide that we’re not good enough and begin the negative self-talk. I call this my inner critic, and she’s a witch. We all have one, and for some reason we listen to them—no matter how mean they are. It’s time to silence that inner critic and love ourselves. Let’s tell that inner critic to get lost, and we’re going to use a mirror to do it.
If you’re unhappy with your looks, you might go to extremes to avoid mirrors. But the truth is, your mirror can be your best friend, helping you gain self-confidence whether you need to shed some pounds or just want to work on loving your inner self.
Read on for five ways to use your mirror to your advantage.
1. Embrace a mirror mantra.
Use lipstick or a sticky note and leave yourself an inspirational quote or words of encouragement. After your shower or while putting on your makeup, repeat the encouraging words to yourself. For example: ''Hello beautiful! Today is going to rock!''
The strategy works—in Central Oregon, these types of mirror messages were used in compact mirrors with seventh-grade girls to help build their self-esteem. If you’re looking for quotes, the Internet is full of them and you’ll find some inspiring ones right here from the SparkPeople community! Mix up your messages every few days to enjoy fresh inspiration.
2. Choose a high-quality mirror.
Have you ever noticed that some dressing room mirrors make you look bigger or possibly smaller? You’re not losing it—not all mirrors are created equal. When shopping for a mirror, I’ve learned that you want to look for flatness and thickness. A heavy mirror is a good indication that it will be flat, compared to lightweight mirrors that can bend during shipping. Spend some time actually looking at yourself in front of different mirrors to find a mirror without a distorted reflection.
A mirror with a poor reflection is not truly representing the beautiful person looking into it. I’ve personally had this happen to me with an old antique mirror I bought from a flea market. It’s great décor, but the reflection is distorted, so it’s not the mirror I use for building my self-confidence.
3. Work out in front of the mirror.
Everyone has a theory about gyms and mirrors. I’m not suggesting you stare at yourself while you bench press, but you should give yourself credit for how hard you’re working. Be your own cheerleader! Do your push-ups, sit-ups and squats in front of a floor-length mirror and watch how hard your body is working.
Turn the lights on and make sure you can see yourself—no hiding. There’s a reason gyms aren’t dark—you need to see the hard worker staring back at you in the mirror! So switch on your lights and open up the blinds so you can clearly see the sweat dripping down your face. Working out in the mirror always motivates me to try harder, and I love seeing the progress I’m making each time.
4. Improve your body language.
When we’re not feeling very self-confident and letting that inner critic talk us down, our body language shows it. Sometimes changing that is as simple as glancing in the mirror.
Sit or stand in front of your mirror and analyze your natural stance. How do you look when your arms are crossed? Is your back straight or slouched? What are you doing with your hands? Examine your body language, but be careful—don’t berate yourself. Just make simple changes, like uncrossing your arms and sitting up straight. Smile at yourself and see how you radiate. When you really recognize what your body looks like, you can make the necessary adjustments to speak more positively to others. Positivity Blog has 18 great suggestions on ways to improve your body language.
5. Look in the mirror with a friend or loved one.
This may feel awkward, but it can help to hear what someone close to you has to say. Ask a friend to stand with you in front of the mirror and share with you what they see. We see ourselves so differently than others see us. We judge ourselves and think our nose is too big or that our thighs are fat. But when a friend or loved ones see us, they don’t judge. Would you look at a friend and say her skin is dry, her butt is huge, and she needs to deep condition her hair? No! Let someone that loves you stand with you at a mirror and tell you how beautiful you are. You deserve it.
Hopefully these tips will help you on your path to gaining self-confidence. If all you do each morning is talk to your reflection and give yourself one positive affirmation for the day, you’re headed in the right direction! The most important thing is to make your mirror your friend, not your enemy. The enemy is that inner critic. Learn to love yourself, because you deserve it!
To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself. ~Thich Nhat Hanh
About the Author
Sommer Poquette is a popular mom blogger who writes on DIY and lifestyle topics for The Home Depot. She is also the creator of the website Green and Clean Mom. Check out Home Depot's wide selection of mirrors to put Sommer's tips to good use.
More From SparkPeople