Summer: Change that is visible!!

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With summer around the corner, we face an old dilemma that has withstood the test of time: we have to expose our bodies and all our imperfections that have been politely hidden by winter clothes. For many, that is not a problem. For others, it is. We start to get stressed out about the way we look, and worse, what others think about us and we try so hard to lose weight, exercise and try to “look good”. Let me point out that I am not writing this article to talk about the literal way we physically look. Instead, I will use it as an analogy to talk about something that is hopefully deeper. Our true selves.

            So winter comes and we hide our imperfect bodies with clothes and allow ourselves a bit of freedom with eating and increasing our weight and fat. We become a bit more lax. As long as we do not see our imperfections, and more importantly, no one else does, we are okay with ourselves. Summer shows up, and we are so worried and we change, on the inside and outside. Why? Well, if I had to list the number of psychologists and counselors and psychiatrists and behavioral scientists who have explained the reasons for this phenomenon, I would not have enough cyber space to do so. It is our truths, and we accept it. We care so much about what people think of us that it directly and indirectly shapes our lives; especially in our country where everyone has an opinion and will give it freely and unsolicited. But opinions and what people think of us matter only if we let them do so. And it all boils down to something as simple as accepting ourselves for who we truly are, and instead of trying to hide our imperfections, embrace them and not be afraid to intervene and try to change them. Easier said than done!

            Yes, changing who we are and managing our imperfections is very hard to do, especially if we are not prepared, do not know how, and are terrified by it. In order for change to happen, we need to understand that we are not happy with ourselves, and nothing is wrong with that. We strive to improve all the time, but beware of the perfectionist attitude of “never being enough”. We also need to accept what is wrong with us and not be ashamed of it. No one is perfect and the pressure on us to be that is tremendous. And since that pressure is mostly applied on by ourselves, and influenced by others, it is important to know how to navigate our own waters of expectations, our own demands of achievements, and our own inabilities to do so. This is where a life coach comes into play. This is where coaching is at its best. And the beauty of it is that almost everyone is coachable. Being coachable requires to understand our own limitations and abilities and gage ourselves accordingly. But it also requires acceptance, requires patience and belief in ourselves. And perhaps most important of all, to be able to appreciate and love ourselves and respect ourselves for who we are, no matter what we look like, and no matter the season.

            Enjoy yourselves, enjoy life and strive to better yourselves. Most importantly, enjoy the journey as much as the destination…