People are like stained - glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.
I'm applying for jobs but getting nowhere, I'm going for interviews but I always just miss out, I want to apply for that job but I don't think I could do it, where are all my clients, all my friends have partners - why can't I find someone too, confidence can be off-putting..I don't want to look arrogant, I'm not really an angry person, it's such an ugly trait, I doubt that my friends/colleagues genuinely like me, am I really good enough to have this amazing relationship/job/life.... recognize yourself in any of these yet? I could go on.
As women we have been taught for a long time to focus on what is outside, cover up that lack of confidence with a touch of BB cream, hide the blushes with blusher, kick the quivering with a slick of lippy. What we wear and how we look helps us to 'feel' brave after all. Heck, I look good so I'll sound good, and before my mood changes with the season I'll just get a new outfit and I'll start again.
But what if we focused on what was going on inside and really dealt with it? It can be hard to do, like throwing away those old pair of jeans, we know they're not comfortable but we keep them anyway! Dare to peel back the proverbial layers and who is really bare nakedly you underneath that doubt? What is the real reason for the lack of confidence? Face this and you can face anything.
You don't have to lose your favorite lippy completely, nor do you have to stop the retail therapy but what would happen if you did pay as much time, money and attention to your inside as you do the outside?
The body, the hair, the clothes, the makeup, the nails, the accessories....would they matter so much? When you do, you can start to notice how you already have all that you need to get what you want and be both brave and beautiful without even having to try; think brave and beauty follows.
Here's seven reasons why brave is the new beautiful -
1) Being vulnerable
In research done by Brene Brown, people who are vulnerable are more likely to find love, get career success and live life to it's fullest potential.
She says, "Vulnerability is basically uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure. I spent a lot of years trying to outrun or outsmart vulnerability by making things certain and definite, black and white, good and bad. My inability to lean into the discomfort of vulnerability limited the fullness of those important experiences that are wrought with uncertainty: Love, belonging, trust, joy, and creativity to name a few. "
And entrepreneur Gay Gaddis says “When you shut down vulnerability, you shut down opportunity.”
(Taken from Forbes interview with Brene Brown - How Vulnerability can make our lives better)
2) Being honest
This is about being honest with others. Communication is key here, but not just any old communication. Communicating from a place of past disappointments, failings, hurt, anger, guilt is often not useful. The unconscious mind takes everything personally, so communicating to the average Joe about how you feel now, when how you feel is actually something you are bring in from your past, will mean average Joe listens and takes it personally which is going to get you exactly what you don't want, as opposed to what you want.
3) Being authentic
This is about being honest with yourself - showing up as the person you are, no apologies. Linking in with the above, if you are carrying old beliefs or negative emotions, if you are telling an old story based on someone else's past experience, you will know, deep down, if it is not true. If it is not a problem, it's not a problem, but if you are getting the same results time and again, you'll know it can't be true. How can it be possible that all the good stuff, you created that... but the bad stuff, that's always someone else. Be honest with yourself, and if it's not working, change it so that you can be authentically you.
4) Embracing the negative emotions
Negative emotions are energy, and are just as important as positive emotions. The problem with most people is that they don't take the time to recognise them, and as negative emotions are four times stronger than positive emotions (just think about 'relaxed' and 'anger' for a moment - which holds most energy?) most people tend to carry the negative emotions and keep hold of them for a lot longer than is necessary. All emotions are feedback for you - ask yourself what is the purpose of them, learn from them, decide how long you need them for, take action to help let them go if that's what is needed, and move on.
5) Loving yourself
It's been said before but let's face it, it is so true and worth saying again and again. If you don't love yourself, how can you expect someone else to love you. Acknowledging you can be a pain in the behind is one thing, if it's not a problem and you love your quirky ways, but if you are annoyed by your own moaning then why would someone else love you for it unless they too don't think much of themselves? This is both a possibility and a recipe for disaster. Always love yourself first.
6) Accepting and respecting yourself
Linking to the above, if you can be a pain in the behind in a relationship but accept that's part of you and actually you quite like keeping men on their toes or at a distance, then that's acceptance - finding a man who is going to accept that too is your goal but will be much easier. In work, if you don't respect yourself, or know your value, why would you expect someone to pay you for your services. By all means, if you want to do work for charity, or build a reputation in your business first, that's fine, but decide how long for, before you start charging what you are really worth.
When you accept, respect and love yourself, others will want to know why and you'll attract the right clients, friends, and partner.
7) Being happy with what you have
Lean in to gratitude and you will find joy. We now live in a consumer's society, where we all want the next big material thing and spending our salary is a drug that produces happy hormones, but like the money, it can soon run out. When we notice all that we have now, in this moment, even in a moment of extreme unhappy, we have life, we have love, we have support, we belong, we have the wonders of nature, the joy of laughter, the strength of character to know that tomorrow is another day, and we can do things better. When you notice every day, what you already have, your happiness and gratitude shines though and highlights the beauty that is you.
Be brave, be beautiful.
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