It can be so easy to get down on ourselves. The day didn’t go our way, we got passed over for that promotion, our work got criticized, or we don’t like the way we look in the mirror. Everyday events can weigh us down and ding our confidence. As these events and thoughts build up, we may find ourselves lacking body confidence — unmotivated to go out into the world as we are. 

So how to you pull yourself up and inspire positivity and motivation? Read on for our tools for self-love from bikini designer and kitesurfer, Sensi Graves.

1. Recognize when you have negative self talk

The biggest drain on body confidence can be the words we tell ourselves. Words are powerful and the words we tell ourselves reverberate into all aspects of our lives. The book, The Four Agreements says to “Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.” This should be applied especially when speaking to yourself and therefore you must train yourself to catch the negative self-talk.

Become aware and you’ll find yourself stopping the words before they have a chance to embed in your subconscious. When you do catch it, slip in a positive thought. An example: you’re working out in front of a mirror and you become critical of little belly bulge poking out (guilty!). Don’t think, ew. Immediately switch your mindset to something positive and instead think “wow, my eyes look beautiful right now.”

2. Do whatever you can to feel good about yourself

Increasing self-love and body confidence is only possible if we treat ourselves well. Wear mascara, don’t wear mascara, work out, go for a run, do yoga, eat a nourishing meal, take a bath, buy a new bikini. Do what makes you feel good in your body. The more you do this, the easier it is to extend that feel-good vibration. Whenever I’m feeling down about myself, I make an effort to go exercise. Once I start moving my body, it’s easier for my mind to recognize that I AM actually killing it.

3. Understand that your value does not relate to your looks

As a society, we’re so caught up in how we look that sometimes we don’t realize how much our inner light has to offer. One of the best ways to combat this is to celebrate the wins you have in other areas, whether that be a promotion at work, or your completion of a marathon. As Marie Forleo states, “Our true worth doesn’t come from the work we do, it comes from who we are as human beings.” By the same token, your TRUE value is not how you look but who you are and how you choose to participate in this world. This past summer, I completed a six-hour kiteboarding race for charity. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, physically. Now, that’s something to be proud of.

4. Do a media fast

Teddy Roosevelt said “Comparison is the thief of joy” and that’s never been more true than it is today. If there’s one glaring negative about social media it’s the ability to get lost in what other people are doing. It’s much too easy to make comparisons. I can be having a rocking day and then go on social media, watch a few stories and wish I were somewhere else in the world. Have you ever gotten instant FOMO from Instagram? Do yourself a HUGE favor and reduce the noise. Focus on yourself. You are right where you need to be.

5. Stop the shoulds

We put too much pressure on ourselves. Period. Self-doubt starts to creep in when we don’t know where to put our energy. If we continually say “I should be doing this, I should be doing that”, we never actually feel like we’re doing enough and this creates serious self-doubt. Make an effort to stop saying “should.”

6. Post encouraging words and mantras everywhere

Tell yourself you are awesome and you will feel awesome. The practice of affirmations, mantras and inspiring quotes keeps your mind engaged with the present. It also helps get an immense snowball of self-love going. You are a rockstar, you are a rockstar, you are a rockstar.

Sensi Graves is a professional kiteboarder and the founder of Sensi Graves Bikinis, a company that focuses on making bathing suits for girls who rip. Read more about her lifestyle in our Interview with Sensi Graves.

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