Have you ever felt like you missed out on life because you were too busy thinking about your body?
This picture popped up in my Facebook memories and I remembered this moment vividly.
It was 6 years ago. I was in Cancun with my mom at a conference, and met this lovely girl - the only other daughter along for the ride. We became fast friends butthe whole time I was hanging with her I was feeling SUPER insecure.
Loves, I looked at this picture that day (it was the early days of digital cameras, but we were already blessed/cursed with the power of instant replays) and I swear to you...
I thought I was twice her size.
I felt so guilty because she was so sweet but I kept comparing myself to her and thinking that because she had such a perfect body and could rock a bikini, she was cooler than me, or better than me in some way.
And then I got it in my head that, since I was the only person to hang out with, technically we were friends by default. She was only hanging out with me because she was being nice. I wasn't REALLY cool enough, right?
I see this now and realize all that was twice her size were my boobs :)
But that's beside the point.
What this really tells me is how dangerous and isolating thoughts of comparison can be. It doesn't matter whether I was twice her size or not.
Was I just as awesome as she was? YES.
Of course I was. And she gave me no reason to think otherwise.
But I let my feelings of insecurity when I was around her dampen my fun. I didn't let loose as much I wanted. I was worrying about impressing her in other ways so I could feel cooler.
She had no idea this was happening I'm sure.
In fact I wonder that my insecurity made her feel less comfortable around me too. We were Facebook friends after that, but never really talked again. (...I should reach out to her and ask her, now I'm curious).
So here's the thing...
I lost the potential awesome friend because I didn't love myself enough to feel equal to her.
I also missed out on diving into a natural pool in a water park in Mexico because I was afraid I'd embarrass myself around this girl who was presumably oh so much cooler than me.
And it was all because of my perception of my body.
So I encourage you to notice yourself when you're with other people, your friends, coworkers, travel buddies ...
* How often are you comparing yourself to them and their bodies?
* Do you feel equal to them, less than, or even better than?
* What are you missing out on because of this comparison? Connection? Fun? Adventure? Or just a yummy yoga class?
Next time you notice yourself comparing yourself, or feeling smaller around someone, see if you can remember this story.
Remember that your body doesn't determine how cool you are or worthy you are of hanging out with "cool" people.
Do all the things you want to do and remember that when you do, its your boldness, your confidence, and your playfulness that people will remember. Not how your body looked.
Big hugs to you,
Join me on Facebook in The Self Love Survival Guide Tribe for more conversations like this!