Do you consider yourself average or beautiful?

After working with many clients over the past year I can see that a big challenge for women is still confidence and body image, being comfortable in your own skin, which I believe is at the root of our success in all areas of our lives. 

According to a Dove study only 4% of women today consider themselves beautiful worldwide. This is a shocking number. What about the other 96%? Where did it all go wrong? And what can we do to fix this?

A lot of women today are chasing careers, managing relationships, emotionally containing families… but along the way - with the doing and the running – many of you have lost a part of yourself. Some of you learned to lead your daily lives from male energy and it’s tiring you. It’s not getting you the results you are capable of and deserve. Some of you are feeling like you are missing something. You don’t know how to get there but you feel it. Some of you have even lost your passion, the joy of that important life spark. It’s time to come back home to yourself and to tap into the strong and sensual feminine power which has always been within you.

Havana, Cuba

Before internet, email, and cell phones – people lived in the moment. Communicating internationally was via letters that took a few weeks in each direction, and phones were fixed to a house or an office. You couldn’t text, send photos or video call. Today’s modern lifestyle gives us access to rapid instant communication and gets us closer in seconds, but can also create an expectation of everything needing to be immediate. Not being able to delay gratification and the easy access to everything makes us impatient, we forget how to just be and enjoy the simplest of things – like the people right in front of us.

Consumerism takes us away from human connections – we look for something external rather than looking inside us for what fills our hearts with that joy of life. We replace giving love and attention with buying expensive gifts. Parents get busy chasing careers and fulfillment to the point that there isn’t enough of them. Time becomes the scarcest commodity to find. Being fully present becomes a challenge and patience runs out fast. When we don’t get enough love or attention from our parents it impacts our self-love and self-worth, growing up with little sense of security. Add to this the newly created culture of ‘Likes’ and it can be lethal. Love at home is more needed than ever to counterbalance it all.

Chapman University found a direct correlation between overall satisfaction in life and the feelings we have about our body image. Women’s satisfaction with their weight and appearance was the third largest influence on how good they felt about the rest of their lives. Women feel constantly like they are being compared to other women, which hurts them. When our body image is injured it hurts our self-love which is directly linked to the sabrosura.

On top of this, the media’s pressure to live up to an unrealistic model of perfection hurts us further:

 
 

We strive for an ideal that doesn’t exist that traps us by making us feel like we are not enough the way we are, like we are flawed, affecting our self-love and self-worth. This turns into a constant inner chatter of what we are doing wrong and what we feel is wrong with us - our inner critic. The louder the inner critic is, the lower the self-confidence and self-love are. This phenomenon has become so wide spread that women’s view of themselves has distorted completely and there is now even a Body Dysmorphic Disorder. What message are we passing on to the next generation?

 
 

You are more beautiful than you know!

2 years ago, this experiment was done allowing women to choose between beautiful and average. These were the results:

 
 

Feeling confident and loving yourself has nothing to do with what you look like on the outside. It depends on how you feel about yourself inside. There are many examples all around us of people that don’t fall into the ‘perfect’ body image and exude so much confidence and presence - it comes from in to out. We don’t need Botox to self love. Whether you grew up with a great body image or not doesn’t have to dictate your future, because you can always change your point of view, which will break the unhealthy cycle. For this to happen you will need to get intentional and set it as a goal.

We need to realize that societies can be unhealthy to us these days. If they hurt our self-love then in reality they are making us sick. We need, through self-awareness to decide how we want to live life and prevent what in unhealthy from entering our lives, to develop emotional sturdiness. These circumstances are hurting our human happiness and the quality of our lives.

Gal Gadot - Wonder Woman

This year Wonder Woman came out, starring the lovely Gal Gadot. What was so different about this character portrayal was that she was very powerful and yet vulnerable, naive and feminine, the way real women are, the way we feel about ourselves. No one has it all figured out. We hopefully get better at it with time if we invest time and energy in developing ourselves, in personal growth. 

I have had the amazing privilege of spending more than 12 years working on a regular basis in Cuba, investigating their culture. It is very different to what we know in the west. Due to the special circumstances in the country there is no advertising. From a human perspective it’s fascinating to experience and understand how the lack of advertising led to no distortion of the body image. Their bodies are more curvy, voluptuous and natural.

Another interesting thing that happened due to the lack of consumerism in Cuba is that they had to turn inward to find happiness. They developed a lot more on the Somatic Intelligence side (i.e. being more connected to themselves through their bodies) than in the Western World. Cubans discovered how to release dopamine and endorphin through the body movements of the sabrosura and the inner rhythm of enjoyment. These movements cause a natural high and connect us to physical self-love.

Every year many sit to plan their New Year resolution that they are adamant “this time for sure” will happen. But most people find that their resolutions fade quickly. The reason for this is that it’s hard to create change alone, we lack structure and self-discipline. This is why we’ve created retreats which provide you with the right environment and structure to create lasting change. If the content of this article resonates with you, have a read of The Power of the Sabrosura retreat in Cuba – designed to give you a new experience of your self-love and self-worth. Not only will we teach you this unique knowledge collected over 20 years of study, but also how to build self-discipline throughout the program, sending you home with a 60-day plan of action.

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The way we move is the way we live life, when we change the way we move we also change the way we live life.  This is why somatic coaching is so powerful.

If you’re not ready for a life changing experience just yet, here’s one simple practice that I use with clients to cultivate their self-love. If you’ll practice this daily for a month, you’ll see a big difference in your self-confidence. Every morning and every night while brushing your teeth, look at yourself in the mirror and find something that you love about yourself – internal or external. i.e. I love my hair because it flows so nicely and makes me feel sexy. Or, I love my authenticity because it connects me to others and makes me feel good about who I am. Get into the details of how what you love about yourself makes you feel. The golden rule is, there are no BUTs and no criticism allowed, only what you love.

Leave us comments below and tell us about your results.