Rejection be Damned! by Erica Bauman


Enjoy this wonderful piece by the kick-ass, gorgeous Erica


What does “body confidence” mean to me? I had to ask myself that, particularly when I felt myself drifting from a strongly developing authenticity and appreciation to wanting to slip back into hiding.


 

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If you have ever experienced this, you know it is like you’re holding the concept lovingly in your heart and then randomly bearing witness to your mind executing a surprise attack. This often occurs right when you are at your most vulnerable. When this happens you have a choice to make. You can lay low or rise above. The moment you rise above it is critical that you reclaim your position fully. However, doing so should not mean that we feel the need to pretend the fall never happened. Why does it seem like sometimes people mistakenly think being confident and loving yourself means that you should never feel any differently? Have you only achieved success once you never doubt your own attractiveness? Are those truly committed to “The Body Confidence Revolution,” those that always feel amazing in their own skin? If you decide that you buy into the revolution will you still have occasions where you find yourself trading your opinions for the opinions of others? Perhaps it depends on where you are in your journey. I, for one, still occasionally find myself circling the landfill of my life, picking at rotting pieces of past aggressions towards me.  Some of those things were outside jobs, but most of the grossest garbage is the stuff I cooked up from the inside out of my response. If you asked me what I recall as being the base of these experiences that have fed into a negative outlook on my inner-life and outer being, it would be rejection (and my response to it.)


Rejection and our response to it has a direct effect on our commitment to body confidence.  If you have put yourself out there and been turned down it can be off-putting at best and debilitating at worst. What is most frustrating about rejection is that you don’t usually get the chance to redeem yourself. If there is no follow-up conversation, it is all too easy to turn on yourself and continue the deprecation process. Everything from the guy that you wanted who didn’t want you back, to the dress that didn’t fit the way you thought it should, and all the “lost opportunities” in between. They can all appear villainous in the light of a now darkened self-view. The truth remains that “There is so much more to life,” and “There will be more opportunities.” However, that one tiny moment out of the expanse of your whole life still manages to have enough fuel to burn. It burns just enough to leave its mark. The temptation to hide that struggle can almost become an obsession equal to the one that invited your initial downward spiral.


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As we lend others, and our inner-lives, support toward being dedicated to body confidence my hope is that we can remember the foundational truth of our cause. Being “body confident” and “body positive” doesn’t mean I should now be everyone’s “cup of tea.” It doesn’t mean everything should fit perfectly on me and in my life. It simply means that I am still beautiful regardless of anything outside of me that might suggest otherwise. Taking on this revolutionary thinking, adopting it, and adapting it to my life means something deeper and way more authentic than one opinion or even a million opinions.  Everything that says I am not worth it or that I don’t fit is not always about me or my body. It is about those things or people and the fact is they are not right for me.


 

A revolution is full turnaround. The Body Confidence Revolution is saying that while that guy, that group, that jumper, those shoes, that magazine, that opportunity doesn’t work for me I am still holding onto the truth about myself: I am wonderful. I fit. I rock. I am enough. Those rejections that refuse to speak to me and explain themselves to my heart are on trial in my mind, but I am the only one with a true answer. I have to choose to be my own advocate. The resources to repair and reinstate are mine. I will get up again when I am knocked down. I will clean and wrap my wounds. I will put my cracked image back together. I am dedicated to always hold myself up and take myself in at my best and at my worst. The knowledge of who I am and what I have to offer is still seated in truth. I will remind myself that the lesson in being dismissed or denied is simply: “It was not for me, and I am free to move on.”


 

My embracing “Body Confidence” means I am dedicated to holding on to the truth of who I am, what I am, how I look, and where I am headed despite everything outside of me.  It means that when the number one killer of my confidence comes calling I am not only up for the fight but I already see myself as a winner; no matter what the hits are like or who the judges are. Confidence simply means being sure. Body is simply what we have. If we are sure of what we have, then rejection be damned, I will fight for my revolution.


 

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Do you want to share your body confidence story? Email me at iamleyahshanks@gmail.com


 

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About Leyah Shanks

Positive body image activist and advocate for mental health.

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