It’s time to move on – beyond body confidence

Moving beyond body confidence

In this post, I explore what it means to move beyond body confidence, PLUS I’ve got an important announcement about Heart Your Body.

Listen or read below:

This post is going to be a bit different from my usual posts. Well, actually, quite a lot different!

I want to talk about moving beyond body confidence – what that means to me personally and professionally, and what it might mean for you.

For me, moving beyond body confidence means no longer striving to be confident in your body and being okay with that.

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that I talk about how to be neutral about or accepting in your body, rather than feeling confident in it.

That’s because, I think the idea of body confidence, although possible for some, can feel like another unattainable ideal to achieve.

You can put too much pressure on yourself to feel confident when you don’t need to to live a fulfilling life.

When you move beyond body confidence, it’s as an acceptance that 24-7 body confidence isn’t achievable, and relentlessly pursuing it only makes you feel worse about yourself.

So, instead, you take the focus off your body and onto meaningful activities aligned with your values.

If you feel neutral in your body, don’t think about it much, or can make peace with it, it allows you time and space to pursue things that are important to you.

Being beyond body confidence is knowing you have value regardless of how you look or whether you’re confident in your body or not.

I’ve done my best to share tools, strategies and perspectives to help you experience peace and ease in your body, without feeling you have to love your body or feel confident in it to live a meaningful life.

Personally, I’m beyond body confidence – I no longer worry about feeling body confident. It’s not something I strive for anymore – and I’ve come a long way over the last 10 years.

Looking back – 10 years as a body image coach

When I first became a body image coach 10 years ago, I no longer hated how I looked, but I certainly didn’t feel confident when I looked in the mirror.

In my childhood and well into my thirties, I had a complicated relationship with my body. I thought that I looked ‘weird’, and that I needed to work on my appearance to be acceptable to others.

When I became a coach in the early 2000’s I started to unpick my beliefs about how I looked.

I used the coaching tools and techniques I learned to help with my body image, confidence, and self-esteem.

And they made a difference – I started to feel less conscious of my body, more grateful and accepting of it.

Yet, there was still this nagging feeling of being different, not fitting in, not being enough, not having as much worth as others, even though I felt more at ease in my body.

It occurred to me that maybe my body was never the issue; but trying to fix it had become a way of coping with more complex and deep-rooted emotions.

Looking back, I spent much of my life trying to prove my worth through academic achievements, jobs, status and appearance.

Even when I felt neutral in my body, feelings of unworthiness popped up in other ways. I’d feel a failure in my business, my friendships, or my relationship with my family.

I knew that unless I dealt with whatever was behind the feelings of unworthiness or not enough-ness, they’d just keep popping up.

Working with at therapist

To help me deal with those feelings of unworthiness, I went into therapy to explore what else was going on behind the scenes.

And over the last 6 years, some big things have unfolded in my life. This isn’t the place to go into all the detail, but I’ll give you the highlights.

I was adopted as a baby, but never knew who my birth parents were. In 2018, I found my birth mother along with other biological family members and was reunited with them in 2019.

This was huge for me and brought up all kinds of emotions. Overwhelmed with what I was feeling, I went in search of knowledge (always my go-to!). I started by googling the psychology of adoption. What I found opened up a whole new world to me.

Having spent years believing that being adopted had no psychological impact on me (because, frankly, that’s the dominant narrative in society), I suddenly appreciated that it did.

Those feelings of unworthiness, not feeling good enough, fearing abandonment, struggling with my own sense of identity, thinking I looked weird, finally made sense.

In the adoptee community, it’s called ‘Coming out of the fog’. That moment when you realise the impact of being separated from your birth mother.

Today, it’s more widely accepted, (although by no means universally), that adoption is trauma, with lifelong consequences for the adoptee.

A new direction

As I learn more about the impact of adoption and work through my trauma, I feel a call to share my experience with other adoptees to help them feel less alone.

And this brings me back to being beyond body confidence.

Personally, as I value myself more, I care less about how I look or whether I feel confident in my body or not.

And, professionally, I’m beyond body confidence, because I’m ready to put my heart and soul into different work that reflects the journey I’m now on.

Working with body image has been an important part of my journey as a woman, coach and author.

Today I’ve (mostly) made peace (of course not always) with my body.

The final piece of my body acceptance jigsaw dropped into place when I saw myself in another person – my birth mother.

Because adoptees lack a ‘genetic mirror’ growing up, they can struggle with their body image and identity.

I’ve loved working with clients on their body image, but the time has come to focus on a new calling.

Honestly, I don’t 100% know how things will unfold. I’m currently working on a new book about my experience of being an adoptee and healing from trauma. Beyond that, I’m not sure!

What’s happening to Heart Your Body

It’s sad for me to say this, but this is my last blog post for Heart Your Body.

At the end of July 2024, the Heart Your Body website will come down, although my You Tube Channel will stay up (with over 200+ of my blog posts in video/audio format).

If you want to get access to anything on my site before then, do it before the end of July 2024.

Although you’ll still have access to my free resources and a number of low-cost mini courses and guides via my online shop at least until the end of 2024.

If you’re interested to follow what I’m up to (and I appreciate that learning about my experience of being an adoptee may not be relevant to you!), check out my evolving Substack blog, My Adopted Self, and Instagram account of the same name @myadoptedself.

I want to thank you for reading, listening, following me, and I really hope you’ve got some value from what I’ve shared over the years.

And even though this is my last post, I want to leave you with some coaching questions to guide you on your journey.

So, I’ll leave you with this…

What does beyond body confidence mean to you?
If you felt neutral, or at peace in your body, what would you do? What opportunities might open up for you?

As always, I’d love to hear your answers to these questions, so let me know in the comments below.

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