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6 Ways to Build Self Compassion

Would you like to learn 6 Ways to Build Self Compassion?!

For some of us, it’s tough to love our bodies. We may not even like our bodies. Doing a boudoir photo shoot is not even on our radar. When we see photos of ourselves it’s pretty automatic to see and focus on the negatives. Why is that? Maybe you see flabby arms, post-birth stretch marks, or super skinny ankles. Regardless of your body shape, size, weight etc I imagine there’s something about it that you don’t like. Am I right?! It’s frustrating as it doesn’t have to be that way. It shouldn’t be that way.

I think it’s important to have self compassion and to work towards a place of self like, if not self love. After all, if societal pressures and advertising didn’t tell us that ‘we aren’t good enough’, then we’d probably all love ourselves completely as we’d have no reason not too. Right?! It just wouldn’t be a thing.

But, sadly, it is a thing and only we can change it. While difficult, we have to somehow not care about what society has told us year after year, making us feel not good enough. We also have to reprogram our minds to believe something different than what we’ve learned through the media messaging all these years. That’s hard.

We deserve to build our self compassion so that we can accept ourselves, like (even love) ourselves regardless of what our bodies look like, life is too short not to! So here’s 6 Ways to Build Self Compassion. And hopefully, eventually, that like will turn into love. You deserve that! You’re worth that.

1 – Look in the Mirror More Often

We see our reflection every day and what is our self talk when we see our image? Likely not great, am I right? I think it’s human nature to focus on the negatives but let’s work towards changing that and building our self compassion. Instead, let’s make an effort to spend more time in the mirror and purposefully find things about ourselves that are good.

For example: Those eyebrows are looking nicely shaped. Maybe your skin isn’t as dry as it usually is so how about, my skin is having a good day today. Hey I don’t think I need to wash my hair today – one more day is a win! My booty sure is curvy and I know my partner loves it. And a big percentage of the population likes a curvy gal too so why shouldn’t you?! Or, yeah, my ankles may be super thin but it means those sexy wrap shoes look great on my legs.

Do this every day for at least one minute and the more things you find that you like about your body, the more you will begin to change your perspective about yourself. And try to look at different parts of your body too.

woman in reflection of a mirror with one hand at chest and other at her chin wearing lingerie,  tips to fall in like with yourself

2 – Journal About How & Why Your Body is Changing

We’re all on different journeys and at different stages in life but acknowledging where you’re at and writing it down is very cathartic. Give yourself permission to be on this journey where your body is changing for a variety of reasons.

For example, let’s say you just had a baby. Congrats! What a wonderful time in your life though hard too. Of course your body has changed and thankfully so! If the female body wasn’t able to have stretchy skin or a uterus to accommodate your growing baby in your womb, then what?! If your pelvis wasn’t able to expand to allow baby’s head to travel along the birth canal, then what?! If your body didn’t gain weight to continue to fuel yourself but also feed, grow and nourish your baby as he/she grows, then what?! Your body is a miraculous thing and we need to remember and appreciate that. Always.

Some of us are a few years older and going through peri-menopause or menopause. I can tell ya the list of symptoms is long and none of them are fun, but there’s good reason for all of it. We’re women and as such our bodies are on the journey to freedom of reproduction. Ok you can probably tell I’m being a bit facetious lol, but again, let’s write down what is happening and why and go easy on ourselves. Our hormone levels are fluctuating like crazy which affects our entire systems and eventually we’ll be free of all of it. I keep reminding myself, won’t it be nice to not have to use birth control for the next stage of life?!

tips to fall in like with yourself

3 – Add Positive Body Affirmations Into Your Routine

So in step one we found some things about ourselves that we liked, so now let’s take those things and use them to cultivate self compassion, self acceptance and even self-like. Every day, look in the mirror at yourself and say out loud some positive body affirmations.

Here are some examples:

That good skin day? Say out loud: “I am having a good skin day today and I look healthy.”

“My calves are perfect for wearing those strappy wrap around shoes so I’m going to treat myself to a pair!”

“I know my body is a temple that I’m blessed to have on this road called life and I’m going to treat it positively and kindly every day.” This doesn’t mean you only have to eat fruit and veggies, just that you’re aware that your body serves many purposes for you and you’re grateful for it.

And this one we all can say every day: “I am worthy. I am enough. I am working towards more self compassion and to like more about my body because there is nothing wrong with it.”

Try to find and say as many different affirmations that you can about all sorts of different areas of your body to consistently build an overall compassion for yourself.

woman in an off shoulder gown exposing her cleavage and tattoos

4 – Ditch the Media that are Feeding The Self Hate

Do you ever read the magazine headlines while standing in line at the grocery store? It’s always something about women’s bodies but with a product that will help to make you better, sexier, thinner, hotter….whatever the ‘er may be. Ugh. Don’t fall into that trap. You don’t need any of those things.

It may be hard to not buy the mags or not scroll the instagram looking at celebs who ‘appear’ to be close to ‘perfection’. But seriously, you don’t need that in your life because it fosters competition and nobody needs that negativity. Celebrities have all the money to pay for all the things to be like that. And really, do you even want to be like that? Probably not. We’re just led to believe that we should be that way. Again, thanks to the media.

What I Did

I recently did an Insta Cleansing and unfollowed a ton of people who didn’t serve a positive purpose or influence on me. It’s been so freeing and an easy way to build self compassion! I do continue to follow some celebs but only the ones who are trying to make a difference in our world. The ones who are just being themselves and aren’t striving to be ‘perfect’ according to our warped societal/media standards.

I also chose to unfollow those who perpetuate this narrative of ‘perfection’. I don’t need to be told that I need a certain product to make me more like them. I too am trying to increase my self compassion and don’t need to be told I’m not good enough, so therefore I need to buy X, Y, Z. You get my drift.

If you elect to do an unfollowing, ask yourself: Why do I like following this person? Do they add to my journey to increase my self compassion and self like? If not, you know what to do.

I also want to point out that I’m not here to judge you. If you want to make some change to your body, big or small, and if you will truly be happier from that, then do it. I’m just trying to point out that you are already perfectly beautiful just as you are. You really don’t need to change a thing and nobody should be making you feel like you need to.

intimate portrait of woman

5 – Go Easy on Yourself!

My fifth tip is something we should always be aware of and that’s to go easy on yourself. There’s so many pressures from society to be one way or another and again, there’s nothing wrong with you. You are a unique individual who is perfectly imperfect and that’s a-ok. Perfection doesn’t exist so we shouldn’t feel the pressures to be that way.

If you can follow these tips, go easy on yourself and reflect on all of the things that you like about yourself, you’ll be able to find some self compassion. You’ll be able to grow that list of likeable things and also realize eventually, it’s not really about our bodies. It’s about who we are inside and your friends and family will be able to point out a gazillion reasons why they love you (and none will be about your body, guaranteed!).

Your bestie isn’t going to say “you have a gorgeous thin waist proportionate to your shoulders and that’s why I love you.” LOL – No! They’re going to talk about the essence of you! Your kindness, gentle spirit, wacky sense of humour or whatever it may be.

Please don’t let the surrounding world dictate how you feel about your body. You get to decide how wonderful you are without any outside pressures making those decisions for you. Let’s go back to that world without any ‘beauty standard messaging’ dictating what’s pretty, what’s good enough and what’s not. If we can ignore those societal pressures and recognize that we are already enough, then we’d simply love ourselves wholly. We wouldn’t know it any other way! We wouldn’t judge ourselves or others and just live our lives as accepting beings. What we all look like just wouldn’t matter. Sounds pretty great, huh?!

tips to fall in like with yourself

6 – Do an Intimate Portrait Experience to Build Self Compassion

If you’re ready to see yourself as I see you, let’s connect on a Discovery Call and talk about an empowering Intimate Portrait Experience. Once you’ve incorporated the above tips to increasing your self compassion and getting to a place of self like, it’s the natural next step of self acceptance. You’ll come to my studio and have a wonderful and empowering experience of feeling incredible in your body. You can customize your experience with boudoir images, beauty or intimate portraits. Then you’ll have the opportunity to see your beauty in your photos.

It’s a practice of seeing yourself and acknowledging that perhaps you don’t love every aspect of your body just yet, but you’re working towards that. And, you’re certainly liking a whole lot about yourself. In doing this photo shoot experience, you’re continuing to fall in like with yourself and maybe you’ll be ready to love what you see. You’ll build your confidence and raise your vibration through an Empowering Photoshoot Experience.

tips to fall in like with yourself

ps – if you haven’t seen our Divine Feminine Energy Workbook yet, definitely check it out! It’s a great resource pre-photo shoot and super supportive for you as you go on this self-like journey!

You can view it here:

Photos shared with permission.

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Michele Mateus is an award winning Vancouver Boudoir and Women’s Portrait Photographer. Serving Coquitlam, Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Langley, Abbotsford, Squamish, Burnaby, Surrey, North Vancouver, West Vancouver, New Westminster and the Great Vancouver area.

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