Kim Kardashian chose to wear a dress to the 2016 Grammy awards that created quite a Twitter stir with other celebrities such as Pink and Bette Midler. As I read the twitter comments flying across my Twitter feed, I couldn't help but ask the question, "Does Success Depend on Body Image?"
Most people would agree that Kim would seem to have a high sense of self-confidence, and self-esteem when she chose to wear that dress to the Grammy's. But, as almost every woman can attest to, we have all worn something that someone else told us looked fabulous on us only to feel self conscious about how we look once we left the dressing room and are no longer listening to the the well meaning comments from the sales person.
Hollywood is famous for bringing us women we would love to emulate, copy or feel as though we are living vicariously through them or the life they portray to the public. Regardless of your opinion about Kim's dress, there are many women who would love to be in her shoes. But the question that bears asking is this, "why would anyone want to live another person's life when you have no idea of the price that person has paid (or continues to pay) to live her life?
There are so many people who are trying to bring something better into their lives; better health, more wealth, more happiness, a better job, more clients, more friends, better friends, happier relationships so they are looking at the people who get noticed the most in our society. The message that is constantly going around is, "If you want to look like this, buy this, if you want to feel like this, buy this, if you want to change who you are, buy this; needless to say, you can buy just about anything to have what you want to bring bring into your life.
But... will those things truly bring you the happiness you're seeking?
It's only natural that we would seek out the people who are doing what we want to do in our own life. It's absolutely wonderful that you are going out and seeking the people who are doing what you want to do, be or have in your life to learn how they did it so you can bring that same opportunity into your life as well.
But here is the most important part of that process, make sure that when you are seeking these people out and learning how they did what you want to do, that you apply this knowledge to who you are instead of trying to "BE" them.
Each one of us is unique, each one of us has our own unique gifts and talents and we are all here to live our own life's journey. But there are so many people out there who think they have to copy someone else in order to be, do or have what they want in this life.
Often it's difficult for us to be who we are and let others see our authentic self because we fear being judged. So we will walk, talk, look, act like, or copy someone else in an effort to "fit it" or be part of the "in crowd" and this is such an exhausting way to live.
Before we can let others see who we are, we must first learn who we are. "You can compliment someone on her new shoes but only she knows how much they hurt her feet!" People go to such lengths to please others before they understand how to be self-pleasing.
Average people march to the beat of some else's music but people who have truly created happiness in their life create their own music.
Here are the facts, Kim chose to wear the dress she wore, some people cheered her on and others chose to share negative opinions. Some of the negative opinions were given in an attempt for women to understand that who we are on the inside is more important than what we portray on the outside. Mother Theresa never wore designer clothes or jewelry and yet many people, including Heads of State vied to share her company. If we can always remember that when we want to improve our life in any way it's important that we remain authentic to who we truly are and to know why we are here and where we are going.
Again I ask the question, "Does Success Depend on Body Image?"
If you consider answering this question with a "yes" you must also consider what body image means to you. Can you look in the mirror and know that the image staring back at you is already perfect? When you know that you are perfect, just the way you are, you will no longer waste precious energy trying to be someone you are not. When the term "Body Image" can be defined as "whatever you see in the mirror", and you know that whatever you see is perfect, you then give yourself permission to add to perfection.
Let's teach our teenage girls that body image equals perfection and there is absolutely nothing required to be better than who they already are. Let's also give women everywhere permission to know that they are already perfect and perfection is based on how you feel.
Life isn't about becoming average, life is about no longer trying to avoid the fear of "not fitting in" instead, always search for what makes you happy. Follow your bliss and body image will become just a phrase that tells you the person staring back at you in the mirror is already perfect!
Nancy Mueller ~ Empowerment Sensei for Women
Speak Your Truth by Sharing Your Story
It was the mid 70's, I was in the 9th grade and our school was listening to a woman speak at one of our school assemblies. Her message was clear; drugs can ruin your life.
As I sat there listening to her talk, sharing her very personal journey of pain, drugs, jail and prostitution I could FEEL her passion to help us understand her message. This woman stood in front of hundreds of people, speaking her truth and sharing her story in an effort to empower others to make different choices than the choices she had made. I remember thinking, "How can she tell us these things that are so private?" Secretly I wished she would keep her story to herself to spare herself the pain of being judged by all of us in the room and yet, I was mesmerized by her story.
As I sat there listening to her speak, I suddenly felt something very powerful inside of me and I KNEW, that I wanted to do what this woman was doing. For a few brief moments I felt such a surge of Inner Strength and I wanted to be able to stand in front of hundreds of people and speak my truth by sharing my story, in an effort to empower anyone who felt a lack of self-confidence, low self-worth or a loss in their value of "self".
As soon as the thought entered my mind, I immediately dismissed it. After all, who was I kidding; even if someone was interested in hearing my story, there was no way I could tell it.
I was raised in an Italian household where the golden rule was, "you don't talk about what goes on inside our home with anyone outside of our home and you'd better think twice about talking with anyone inside our home as well!" In other words, "Keep Your Mouth Shut!"
Fear kept me silent. Fear of what was happening inside our home, fear of someone finding out, fear of me being the cause of someone finding out and fear of what would happen to me if I was the cause of someone finding out. WOW, that was a lot of fear for a teenager to process on a daily basis.
I remember the day I finally spoke some of my truth and shared some of what was going on and I was SO amazed that the ground didn't open up and swallow me, lightning didn't strike me dead on the spot or that retaliation for my words was not swift and life threatening. In other words, all those fears that had been keeping me silent weren't so powerful any longer.
At that moment, I was FREE, I felt a huge burden lifted from my soul and I felt empowered to keep going. I continued to speak my truth and share my story and as I did, I found others who were looking for opportunities to speak their truth and share their stories in an effort to regain their self-confidence, self-worth and value of "self"!
Any woman who is truly ready to understand her purpose and why she is here on this earth will, at some time, speak her truth by sharing her story. Too often we're afraid to speak our truth for fear of being judged. Have you ever asked yourself, "who is judging me and why does their opinion matter so much?"
It isn't what happens to you in your life that matters, it's what you do with what happens to you. Every event in my life has helped create the person I am today. Every hurt, every trauma, every slight, every win, every success, every joy, every sadness, every hurdle, every milestone gave me the experience to be of value to the people I help. Every experience in my life, both negative and positive has made me a better teacher, Sensei, coach, author, writer, podcaster, speaker, mentor, friend, daughter, mother, woman and spiritual being living this human experience and relationship with myself and others.
Once I started sharing my story and speaking my truth, I found myself standing in front of audiences that I could never have dreamed of speaking to and sharing the stage with some of my mentors who are also sharing their stories. Then I created the Choices 4 Women podcasts any woman who is ready to share her story can speak her truth in an effort to empower anyone who needs to hear our messages.
You will never truly know what you are capable of until you take a leap of faith and step off the ledge where you believe you are safe, for the vast open space where opportunity awaits.
Today, not only do I share my story to give Empowerment CPR to women around the world, but I have also created a platform to give other women the opportunity to speak their truth and share their stories. If you would have asked that 9th grade Nancy Mueller if she could ever see herself doing what I do today, I am sure she would have felt fear at the mere thought of speaking up about anything at all.
So I would like to leave you with these questions:
Nancy Mueller ~ Empowerment CPR Sensei for Women
As an entrepreneur, what inspires you?
Have you ever considered the importance of your daily view?
Women get things done! When we finally make that decision to become an entrepreneur, we find a corner of our living space and begin sharing our passion and living our mission!
BUT... have you ever considered the importance of your "VIEW" while you are being creative?
Part of being an Empowered Woman in your business is making sure that your needs are being met. For you to feel motivated, inspired, and empowered to work your business, it is imperative that you "FEEL" good while doing it.
If you feel cramped, shoved in a corner or find yourself staring at household chores being put on hold while you work, how can you also be empowering yourself to do your best work?
When it comes to your work environment, if you've ever heard yourself say, "This will be fine or I can "make do" with this space" how can you possibly be giving yourself the opportunity to do your best work?
The question you may want to ask yourself is, "On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the highest) how dedicated am I to sharing who I am and what I do?" If your answer is a 10+ you begin to see the importance of your workspace.
Leading an empowered life means that you are able to live a guilt-free life putting your needs and wants first because you understand that the more you give to "Self" the more you have to share with the people you are here to help.
When you decide to "make do", "settle for less than you need", or allow others to dictate how you create, it can affect your feelings, stifle your emotions and create a crack in your creative foundation. Being empowered can be compared to being a very bright light, shining in the darkest corners of the world for all to see. Being disempowered hides your light and makes it difficult for others to find you!
What helps you shine your light the brightest while working your entrepreneurial mission?
Do you work best in nature, around plants, overlooking the ocean, with sunlight streaming in your window, music playing, quiet solitude, or in the midst of a busy coffee shop with your headphones on? Whatever empowers you to shine the brightest, that same thing will empower you to be the creative entrepreneur you have become so you can be there for the people you are here to help.
You can create a "Success Board" and hang it on your wall as a reminder of milestones you have accomplished thus far. This will help to inspire you on days when you feel uninspired, or feel like giving up. A "Success Board" can be a valuable tool for every entrepreneur as a reminder to how far you have come. Every time you feel like you should be farther than you are, a "Success Board" will remind you that there was a time before your successes and why your work is too important to give up.
So... As an Entrepreneur, What is Your View?
Nancy Mueller ~ Empowerment Sensei for Women
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