LET GO OF BODY SHAME FOR GOOD
5 actionable steps that COST YOU NOTHING to start reclaiming your freedom now!
Step 1: DECIDE
Letting go of shame around your body starts with a simple and definitive decision to do so. In order to make such a decision, you have to be ready. Are you ready to let go of the shame? This question is not meant to be rhetorical. It is a sincere question. And, your immediate reaction may be, “Well, of course I’m ready!” Because, who wants to feel shame? But, sometimes we are not yet ready to let go of even the most painful things. And, that’s okay. Wherever you are is the perfect place to be. When you are honest with yourself about “where” you are, you can then move forward. If you’re not ready, I recommend you journal on the following question: “What would make me ready to let go of my body shame?” Consider that you already have all the answers inside of you. Listen to your own inner knowing, and follow your inner guidance until it takes you to a place of being ready. When you are ready, declare your decision with unwavering certainty: I AM LETTING GO OF MY BODY SHAME! This declaration marks the beginning of a powerful process of healing, that will ultimately lead you to profound inner freedom.
Step 2: IDENTIFY
The next step is to identify the underlying cause of your shame. You may already know what it is. Or, this step may require some quiet introspection. Some soul searching. When did you first feel shame around your body? And, what’s going on in your life now that contributes to your continued experience of shame? Examples of things that could be perpetuating your shame are: Negative self-talk, criticizing your body when you look in the mirror, criticizing the way others look, looking at demonstrations of beauty that are unrealistic and not real (photoshopped images in magazines), people in your life that make critical comments about your body, etc. In a quiet space, in the privacy of your own journal, write it all out. This will give you clarity. When you’ve identified the cause of your body shame, and what perpetuates it, this leads you deeper into your healing.
Step 3: HEAL
Step 3 invites you to open your heart, and direct all its love toward yourself. Limiting beliefs, misunderstandings, self-judgment, hurt and shame are asking to be healed. They live in your subconscious and express themselves through your thoughts, words and actions. They reveal themselves to you, eager for the day you decide to acknowledge and transform them. Powerful tools for healing are awareness, forgiveness, compassion and love. These tools are to be mastered over time. Start with something simple, like a self-critical thought. For example, you might look in the mirror and think, “I’m too (fat, skinny, tall short, etc.).” Once you have become aware of your thought, choose to forgive yourself for having the thought. Have compassion for yourself, and love yourself through it. This is how we heal.
Step 4: COMMIT
Along with deciding to let go of your body shame, also decide to commit to the process. This means staying with it, especially when you feel “stopped,” or you feel like you don’t want to continue. Subconscious, limiting beliefs, which are the cause of shame, are often stubborn. They’ve been in place for a long time, and they’d like to keep the status quo. So, stay committed, even when you don’t want to. Support yourself in your commitment by taking positive steps and surrounding yourself in positivity. For example, read uplifting material, choose to be around friends that make you feel good, exercise and eat well, and maybe get some coaching to help you stay on track. If the process begins to feel emotionally overwhelming, seek out professional help to see you through it. There’s no shame in giving yourself the support you need. In fact, getting help is an act of self-love. If you stay committed, there will come a day when you will be free from your body shame. This will be a deeply joyous day!
Step 5: ENJOY
It might sound counterintuitive, especially since shame can be very painful, but consider being open to enjoying the process of healing and discovering yourself anew. Many people think that making changes in ourselves is “hard work,” and they don’t want to “do what it takes” to achieve the results. While it is true that there is some work involved, and that sometimes it can seem difficult, that doesn’t have to be the totality of the experience. As a matter of fact, when you make the decision to enjoy the process, most often the process is truly more enjoyable. The less resistance you have, it all unfolds with greater ease. So, give yourself that gift, as you make your way toward the personal freedom you long for. Be proud of yourself for having the courage to embark on the self-loving path to releasing your body shame, and focus on enjoying yourself every step of the way!
If you’ve been dealing with the pain of body shame, then I’m so happy you made your way to this page! Whether it shows up as an intense self-loathing feeling, or in more subtle ways like in annoying self-critical thoughts, body shame can hinder us from fully participating in all the important areas of our lives: relationships, intimacy, social gatherings, career, maintaining good health, and the list goes on. You deserve to feel good in your body, to walk with confidence, and to have the freedom to be yourself. The following 5 steps will help you start to reclaim your freedom now!