The truth – why body positive affirmations aren’t working

Body positive affirmations – have you ever tried them?

Did they help you feel better?

If body positive affirmations haven’t helped your body image, you’re not alone (and, it’s not your fault!).

While I’m all for positive thinking, there’s a very good reason why body positive affirmations might not be right for you at the moment.

In this post I’m explaining:

  • The kinds of body positive affirmations that aren’t helping you feel more comfortable in your body.
  • The reason it’s not your fault if affirmations haven’t worked for you, and what you can do instead.

Listen or read below:

The problem with body positive affirmations

When I’m working with clients, we spend a lot of time focusing on what they believe about their body, and the thoughts, feelings, and behaviours those beliefs create.

One of the biggest obstacles clients face is negative thinking about their bodies, and how to deal with this.

Unfortunately, dealing with negative thinking is rarely as simple as replacing a negative thought with a positive one.

If you’ve ever tried to counter negative thoughts with positive affirmations about your body like:

I love my body

I am beautiful

All bodies are beautiful

you may not have felt as positive as you’d hoped!

While there is certainly nothing wrong with positive thinking, if you’re struggling with the way you feel about your body, positive affirmations can be hard to believe, especially at first.

If you dislike or even hate your body, to say that you love it or that it’s beautiful can feel too great a leap.

An alternative to body positive affirmations

Don’t beat yourself up

So, if positive affirmations about your body aren’t working for you, what can you do instead to deal with negative thoughts about your body?

Firstly, don’t beat yourself up because positive affirmations haven’t worked for you!  It’s not your fault. 

The media version of body positivity most of us are exposed to is often a misrepresentation and oversimplification of what it means to be body positive.  You don’t need to love your body or believe that you are beautiful to be body positive!

Positive affirmations about your body aren’t working because they aren’t a true reflection of what you’re feeling right now. 

On your body confidence journey, it’s important to accept where you are at each stage, and what you’re feeling. 

Denying and pushing down feelings doesn’t make them go away.  Although it is possible to acknowledge what you’re feeling AND be compassionate and kind to yourself so that negative thoughts don’t drag you down.

Create statements that feel true for you

So, instead of positive affirmations that feel unrealistic or untruthful, create statements that feel true for where you are right now on your journey.

For example, you might say…

I am learning to be more accepting of my body.

I’m beginning to feel better about myself.

I know in time that I will feel worthy.

I am far more than my appearance.

How might it feel to say something like this in response to negative thoughts about your body?

You’ll know when you’ve landed on the statement that’s right for you, because it will feel better.

Remember that your brain has a natural negativity bias to keep you safe, but that doesn’t mean those negative thoughts are true. 

And rather than feeling like you need to counter every negative thought with a positive one, aim to bring more balance to your thinking with statements that feel true for you right now.

Want some step by step support to help you feel more comfortable in your body? Then get FREE access to my 5-day on-line training series, The Body Confidence Make-Over.

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