Last week I attended an inspiring fitness panel hosted by Nike and Lead Like Her, a platform of empowerment for creative and independent women. Among the panel were some familiar faces from the fitness world — coach and trainer Alyssa Chang, graphic designer and fitness influencer Mickey Roxas, and health coach, fitness blogger, and creative Joanne Encarnacion. These women broke down barriers with more than the typical, canned inspirational answers — they opened up about eating disorders, depression, and unhealthy relationships with weight and with themselves. It got REAL.
Seeing these fabulous, successful, healthy women show their vulnerable sides was inspiring in and of itself. But, it also made me wonder how they push through those tougher times when they sense negative thoughts and feelings creeping back in — not just to keep appearances on social media, but for their sanity. So, naturally, I was not shy about asking.
Joanne answered so candidly, it was like she was waiting for this question to be asked. And her response made so much sense: in sum, we don't get enough compliments, and as adults and powerful independent women, we don't need to wait for those compliments — we can give them to ourselves!
"I always think about how I talk to my kids," she told us. "I tell them every day, 'you're so beautiful,' or 'you're so smart.' So as children, we receive and are showered with these compliments and these affirmations all the time," she said. But that stops happening as much when you're an adult. So what does she do to balance it out, and ward off the potential onset of depression? She has five daily affirmations, and they change from day to day.
"We don't compliment ourselves enough, and we are trained to not accept compliments," she said. "I tell myself something every day, even if it's small like 'my muffin tops are extra cushy today!' or 'my hair looks fabulous right now!'"
Here are a few big ones that she relies on often:
- I am a powerhouse, I am indestructible.
- I am courageous.
- I am at peace with all that is happened in my life, all that is happening, and will happen.
- I am the designer of my life, I build its foundation and choose its contents.
- I am blessed with an incredible family and amazing friends.
Hitting a rut? Not feeling strong? Affirm yourself. You don't have to wait for a man, a boss, a family member, a friend, or ANYONE to tell you how amazing you are. It's OK to be modest and humble, but that doesn't mean you can't love on yourself.