In order to be more “optimistic,” we have to learn how to feel good. Feeling good, can only come from the inside, you need to take out the pain and transform it into feeling good. This can look different for everyone, so here a few ways that have worked for me and I would like to share with you all. Remember what will work for me, or anyone else, may not work for you. Do what you find fun and what makes you feel good.
- Dressing Up
During my childhood, there were very few days that I got to “dress up.” Mostly because we never went anywhere, we didn’t even go to church. So having a reason to ‘dress up’ came rarely, and even on some of those days, that we got ‘dressed’ to go somewhere, we were left disappointed. My dad would forget about the “special” occasion so we sit and wait for nothing and didn’t get to go anywhere. That’s what dressing up meant to me, that we needed to do it for a reason. Getting up and wanting to look good without somewhere to go was not a norm. If you grew up like this, then you might feel like I did, that getting “dressed” or looking good on an everyday basis is silly or unnecessary.
Why do all that work only to be disappointed??
But here’s the thing, to feel like a million bucks, to feel really good you need to shine bright both inside and out. And yes, it starts from the inside but if you’re avoiding your reflection because you don’t like what you see on the outside then working on how you look can help you start feeling better on the inside too.
All of my life, I pretty much have looked like a wallflower. I never had a reason to dress up daily and when I did people made it a big deal. And if I had no reason, it would bring me back to feeling shameful for ‘dressing up’ for no reason. Reminding me that dressing up should be special. When in reality, we should dress up whenever we feel like.
Then there are the times that others make you feel bad for idolizing how others look.
Last fall, my son started CYO Soccer, with one of my friend’s son. I was excited for my son to start soccer, but I was about a month postpartum so I didn’t feel like I was looking like a million bucks. When I noticed this young lady (maybe a teen or early twenties) and I told my friend, I want to look like that everywhere I go. She wasn’t dressed fancy or anything special, but she was well put together and exuding positive energy.
My friend scrunched up her nose and said “She has on too much makeup… ” and something about her looking fake. That’s what we, as women do, instead of lifting each other up, we tear each other down. I replied, “I still think she looks good. And that’s my goal to feel good.” The conversation ended there, but my thoughts kept going. I want to look and feel good even if it means others think it looks like too much.
Slowly, I have been working on meeting this goal, that I want to not only feel good on the inside but I also want to look good on the outside.
We have all been condition that we need to “go somewhere” to get dressed up. Or that we need to look good for others. That is when we are “getting dressed” for others and not for ourselves.
Now that we are in quarantine it is a great time to get dressed for ourselves. To look at our reflections and smile. To say, damn girl you look good! There is nothing shameful about it. There has been this shame around vanity and how loving to look at yourself is vain.
Shake off all that nonsense.
Let’s look at this closely, loving how you look and feeling good is NOT vain. There is nothing wrong about this, what is vain is belittling others due to their looks. What is vain is, making others feel bad for how they look. To me, that is vain. Being happy with what you see in the morning is a BIG win!
By feeling good, with what you see, you can start your day with positive energy. With positive energy, comes optimism and with optimism you can see the opportunities that are coming to you every day. There is an unlimited abundance around us, and a way to tap into it is by feeling good and being positive.
- Self Care
Another way to start feeling good about yourself is doing something good for yourself. This can be a nice bath, painting your nails, or finally buying that dress that you have been eyeing; or anything else that you have been waiting to do for yourself as a special treat. Again, growing up I was taught that we only bought ourselves things for special occasions. We didn’t buy to feel good or because something made us feel nice. Of course, I am not saying to go on a shopping spree if you’re broke.
What I am saying, is that treating ourselves, and making ourselves feel good should not be this special occasion. It should be every day. And we need to share that with everyone around us. If we spend time making ourselves feel good that can in turn translate how we interact with others. They can get some of the good vibes and positive energy you are sharing.
Do something that feels good for you, something that makes you feel special and do it often. If every day is too much, then every other day, or at minimum at least once a week. Those that love you will support you, because they do want to see you happy. And a happy you will make everyone else even happier.
- Protecting your energy
This is one is the most important. This lesson, took me years to understand, to what it meant to protect your energy. There are people in your life that just drain you. They can zap the life out of you without you even knowing. Make a list of everyone you interact with daily and how you feel afterward.
Do you feel re-energized or depleted?
Be honest with yourself? If your list is full of people that deplete you, why are they in your lives?
If these people are family, as hard as it might be, begin to distance yourself. It is not your responsibility to recuse anyone, to be anyone’s punching bag, or to have to be in the same negative mindset as them.
Being around people that just talk negatively about others, does nothing positive for you. So yes, just by being in their presence will deplete and keep you from growing.
Remember back when you were a kid and you’d hear a teacher say something sappy like “tell me who you’re friends are and I’ll tell you who you are.” Yeah, that’s still applies.
To protect your energy choose to be around those that uplift you, challenge you to be a better person and not afraid of your big dreams. People who think your big dreams are really cool and want to dream just as big as you!
What are two ways that you make yourself feel good? What are two ways you bring more positivity and optimism into your life?
Leave a comment below.
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