Tubing on the San Marcos River, visiting the Volente Beach Water Park, hiking, swimming at any of the countless beautiful creeks and swimming holes around Austin, boat parties on the lake, taking a weekend trip to South Padre, pool parties, BBQs, margaritas and more.
‘Tis almost the season to bare it all in an effort to stay as cool and comfortable as possible in the Texas heat, and many of us are very much looking forward to making up for the time with friends and family that was lost because of COVID-19 last year.
But nothing can be as much of a nauseating buzzkill as the idea of putting on a swimsuit after a long winter, and an even longer year of on-again, off-again quarantine.
We put on that swimsuit and before we know it, we have gone from excited to spend time with friends, family and that potential love interest we’ve been talking to on Hinge, to wishing we could go back to sweater weather. Suddenly, our self-confidence has gone up in flames and our entire sense of self-worth is directly tied to how our body looks in that particular item of clothing.
The Spell of the Swimsuit takes over, disempowering us, chattering in our ear about who we are, what we are worth, what we deserve, how we should be treated, what chances we should or should not take, what activities we should or should not do, what people we do or do not deserve to pursue for a relationship, and more.
This spell can be tough to break — but it’s not impossible.
1. Manage the Inner Critic
The chatter we hear from the swimsuit is really just the voice in our head that tells us we are not good enough, and that voice only exists to try to keep us safe from harm. It is telling us to not take chances, to play it safe, and to stay small because it wants to protect us from things that it thinks will cause us to feel pain (such as rejection or embarrassment, for example). A simple, three-step process for interrupting the chatter is this:
Our inner dialogue can be really mean, and a swimsuit can act like a megaphone that gets held up in front of it. Remember that you are wearing the swimsuit, you are not letting the swimsuit wear you. When the negative chatter starts, interrupt it with this three-step process and show it who’s boss.
2. Set Boundaries With What You Consume
And no, I’m not talking about food or drinks.
We are our own harshest critic and dealing with that negative self-talk can be tough enough without making it even more difficult by repeatedly comparing ourselves to other people and imaginary standards of perfection. Limit your social media scrolling. Unfollow anything and anybody that makes you feel bad about your body. Limit your contact with people who are constantly criticizing themselves, you, and others.
Surround yourself with positive and uplifting messaging and support and see how your inner dialogue begins to shift.
3. Do the Thing… Then do it again!
Managing our inner dialogue and what we consume are two key, foundational aspects to building our confidence, but the final piece of the puzzle is to actually do the Thing. Buy that swimsuit that you saw in that magazine and really liked… And wear it! Go tubing with your friends. Jump off that rope swing into the river. Play beach volleyball. Take the pictures and videos. Make the memories.
At the end of the day, life is short. Too short to let insecurities and fears of rejection stop us from making the most of every day.
Many of us have grown up feeling helpless and forced to change ourselves in order to fit the clothing and to feel accepted, but really, we are in far more control than we have previously realized. Managing our inner dialogue, setting boundaries with what we consume and repeatedly showing up and doing the Thing, in spite of our fears and insecurities, are three challenging, yet incredibly effective ways to shift our mindset and to begin to feel more confident in ANY outfit and ANY situation, all year round.
Sarah Falciani is a certified professional performance coach, Army veteran, blogger, host of the Audacity Academy podcast, and career mentor who specializes in helping busy professionals break the cycle of burnout and elevate to all-new levels of success in their lives and careers. When she is not helping her clients and readers manage their stress, apologize less, set better boundaries, and live a healthier and more happy life, she likes to ride her motorcycle, go skydiving and hiking, play with her two cats and two dogs, and explore new places. You can follow Sarah’s work, subscribe for updates, and connect with her through her socials via www.sarahfalciani.com.