In all chaos there is a cosmos. In all disorder, a secret order.

Carl Jung

Did you know that the average guy spends 56 minutes looking at himself in the mirror?

In the course of a year, that’s 341 hours of staring at yourself.

When you spend that much time looking at yourself, how important would you consider – thinking good thoughts about what you see, or feeling great in your skin – to be?

With summer at our doorstep (if you’re in the northern hemisphere), more and more people are spending time thinking about looking good in a bathing suit or in less clothes than in the winter months. But if this thought brings anxiety, instead of peace and anticipation of warmer months, you’re in good hands.

How you feel in your skin is just as important as how much you value your worth; in fact, they’re intricately connected in so many ways.

Although self-esteem is not necessarily the same thing as confidence, increasing one invariably increases the other.

So when you don’t like what you see in the mirror, whether that’s due to physical details or what’s underneath, there are four things you must include on your agenda moving forward.

  1. Stop counting. Whether you’re counting the number on the scale, how many times you’ve worked out, or how many steps you’ve taken, just stop counting. When you begin counting, you inevitably condition yourself to believe what you’re doing is a task. You’re making movement a chore, when it’s actually a privilege. How many times do you ask yourself what your life would look like if you were paraplegic? How often do you compare the size of your waistline to someone who is bigger than you, or your bicep to someone who looks smaller? Life is never about what you see on paper. Trust me – it’s about where you feel aligned. If you’re not happy with yourself now with how you look, you won’t be even once you look like the person you keep comparing yourself to.
  2. Start appreciating. When you wake up, count your blessings – specific to what your body is capable of doing. Appreciate how strong you feel. Be thankful for the ability to roll out of bed. Express gratitude for your ability to breathe independent of any machines. Appreciate how much you can rely on your heart to keep beating. Be thankful for the miracle that you are – a breathing, beating, electromagnetic consciousness that can harness both pain and gain.
  3. Fill up your cup. Literally and figuratively. Literally speaking, drink 1.5x as much as water as you do now. Figuratively speaking, find what it is that you want to feel instead of [insert “negative” feelings here] and make it your mission to feel more of what you find. Literally: Nurturing your body with water moves stagnant toxins out of your body. Figuratively: Filling your cup of fulfillment flushes negative thoughts and patterns out of your experience… increasing the good stuff, the things that align with who you are and what makes you happy.
  4. Learn a new autobiography. Find someone you don’t know very well. Your mission: schedule a time to sit with them, and in that time, I challenge you to find out something about them to as much detail as possible – specifically, find out what their biggest struggle so far has been, and what they did to overcome it. We learn best through the journey of others. This is why we’re drawn to myths, legends, fiction, nonfiction, movies, books – they teach us something about life that we need now. Bonus! – in addition to learning from others’ stories, by making it your intention to hear about their successes, you create connections to others that feed your soul.

There’s a reason why these four things work best to overcome the feeling of not being comfortable, let alone, confident, in your skin. If it’s life’s greatest privilege to be the most true version of yourself, then what comes next is your responsibility to to align four things: body, mind, heart, and soul. When you do, your ego gets out of the way, taking with it its distractions and ineffective coping mechanisms like social comparisons, self-degredations, etc.

Want to feel good in your bathing suit this summer (even if it’s just in your backyard)? Do these four things, and see how much better you feel. Once you can see how much of a difference this makes, you wont be able to help yourself but do more of it.

If you like what you see here, and would like challenges, accountability, and connections to like-minded others, join me here.

Otherwise, share with us below where you see alignment being the most difficult!

Live with intention. Inspire with love.

Photo courtesy of @scottwebb.