In this new column, grief counselor Christina Richardson focuses on the continuum of body, mind and spiritual heath and keeping balance in all areas of our lives. This month, she takes a look at the way fear can hold us back - and ways to overcome it.
So What? Who Cares? I Can Do This!
“Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” Carl Jung
What would they think of me?
I’d be too embarrassed.
These are some of the responses that host Gok Wan got from prospective participants for a reality television series on BBC Television. The program, How to Look Good Naked first appeared in England in 2008 and ran until September 2010. It crossed the pond to the United States where Carson Kressley was the U.S. host. I just happened to see it on Saturday while channel surfing. At first I was appalled - and then I changed my mind.
The premise for the program is to focus on less-than-perfect figured women. When I tuned in, a young woman, Layla Morrell was standing in an foundations store in her underwear, in front of the sales staff, a couple of customers, and the cameras. She had just received a “tutorial” in the proper sizing and fitting of undergarments. By the time the show ended, Ms. Morrell had learned how to dress for her size and shape and she was feeling pretty good about herself.
In this video, another woman sees how others see her - in her (extremely modest) underwear. Here is Angela, in central London.
I don’t know if I would watch the program again, but I did enjoy the message of appreciating yourself as you are and having a healthy level of self-esteem.
Watching the show did not make me want to apply to be a contestant, but it did make me think about how I would feel being in my underwear in public. I had a hard enough time wearing a bathing suit in front of people. What was I afraid of? I guess the fear of ridicule due to my perceptions about how I looked to myself in the mirror. I am not afraid anymore. I learned three little sayings.
The fear of embarrassment, of looking like a fool, or of being laughed at has stopped many of us from doing something we would like to do or try. Master the art of saying So What!
The fear of what others will think of you is an exercise in trying to read someone else's mind. And, who are “they” anyway? The people who matter know you for who you are, they care about you, not for what you are attempting. If you are going outside your comfort zone, they will be applauding you along the way. Those other folks - strangers - are pretty busy worrying about their own fears and what is happening to them. They probably won’t notice - or if they do, their judgement won't affect you. Practice saying, Who Cares?
The fear of facing a truth you don't want to accept may mean that you have some skills to work on, or that you really are good at what you are doing. How are you going to know if you don’t challenge yourself? Learn to say I Can Do This!
With So What?, Who Cares?, and I Can Do This!, you are ready to face any challenge/opportunity that presents itself. When you accept yourself naked - so to speak - you build self-esteem and live with self respect. Add a dose of taking action, toss in some persistence, maybe try a different approach, and keep at it until you are happy with the results.
Take on the places that scare you!