I recently did an interview for The KTS™ Success Factor Podcast for Women that I want to share here because I think it can really help women of all kinds do an auto evaluation of their level of confidence. You can also read the questions and answers below.
- What is the biggest challenge you help female leaders face in business today and what are the symptoms of this challenge?
For the pas 13 years I have worked with over 3000 women to help them elevate their confidence and self-esteem through photography. The most common thing I hear from many of these women is: I want to feel more confident of my body. We go through the world with certain beliefs about our worthiness as women, one of them: our body image, the #1 source of shame for women. Confidence and feeling worthy, good enough, is essential to achieve our dreams. This confidence gets shattered for many reasons, our fear of failure, fear of missing out, fear of being judged, etc. what I focus on is tackling the lack of confidence created in our heads from the belief that our looks, age, weight, skin color define our beauty and as a consequence our worthiness as women. So the symptoms I see are:
- A woman can’t take a compliment
- Her husband tells her she is beautiful, but she can’t see it
- Insecurity about being left or cheated on with another woman
- Hiding under baggy clothes
- Hatting what she sees in the mirror and eventually avoiding mirrors
- Avoiding taking pictures
- Not making eye contact, especially with men
- She will drop dead before even thinking of putting on a bathing suit, let a lone a bikini
- She has eating disorders
- She will put on weight on purpose to make herself unattractive
- She is addicted to cosmetic procedures to stay “young” and keep a “nice body”
- She would never show up anywhere without makeup
- She is a gym rat always pursuing the perfect body
2.-What are the biggest mistakes your clients make before working with you?
The biggest mistakes women make is to try to come up with excuses to talk themselves out of doing a boudoir session. Thinking that there has to be a reason other that to do it for themselves or that they have to lose weight or get in shape. In other words, they are waiting for the stars to line up and everything to be perfect to do it.
- I’m too old for this
- I’m too big
- I need to lose weight
- I need to have my boob job first
- I’m not photogenic
- I don’t have a husband of boyfriend
- I need to tan first
- I’m too shy
- That looks expensive, I can’t justify spending a lot of money on me
- My husband would never approve
- I don’t want to look slutty
At the end of the day, these excuses are also symptoms of not feeling good enough to deserve feel beautiful because in a way they feel that that is “egotistical” or “arrogant”. And a woman should always be submissive, quiet, look down, put everyone else before her.
My job is to help women overcome these obstacles so that they can make their own decision to do something totally out of their comfort zone to become stronger and more confident despite the fear of being judged
3.-What is the number one free and actionable tip you can give them to address this challenge now?
Know yourself better than anyone else. To do this, you have to go inside of you to the darkest places and discover what is holding you back. So in the case of your body image, step in front of a full length mirror totally necked and look at your body and analyze your feeling when you look at you. What thoughts come to mind?
- Ugh, I am fat
- Look at my cellulite
- My stomach is like a map after my c-sections and it’s covered in stretch marks, I hate it
- I hate my legs
- My boobs are too small or too big or too saggy
- I look old
- I hate this body
If only ONE of these thoughts come to your mind, you have work to do. These are your darkest thoughts. Do not blame yourself, and decide this: Does it really matter what your body looks like in this moment as long as when you look at her your thoughts are of love, appreciation and gratitude? Do you want to have a prefect body or do you want to be happy?
If you agree with this statement, then all you have to do is to make it your mission to fall in love with your body. You only have two choices in this live, be miserable wishing for an alternate body or be happy and fall in love with the one you have.
4.- What is a valuable free resource you can share with women to help them understand this challenge better?
There are many things that you can do to change your self-image. For one, you can take advantage of my free e-book 7 days to self love. To get a copy, you only need to text the word: delicious to 797979, you will be able to download this workbook that will help to put into action activities that will help you change your self image and increase your confidence.
5.-What is one question that I should have asked you that will help our audience take action to address this challenge? And then, please answer the question.
QUESTION: How is it possible for a woman to change her self image and increase her confidence by doing a boudoir session, especially when a woman feels completely shy about it?
It is all chemistry! We feel what we feel because of neuropeptides in our brain. To be happy, feel good and successful, we have endorphins like Oxytocin that are responsible for our feelings of love. It gets released by being in love, a pet, a hug, our kids etc. So what a boudoir session does is, it releases oxytocin into our brain every time we look at images of us looking beautiful and sexy, just like a model. And the best part, is that we can look at these images every day to get out “fix” of oxcitocin, the “love” peptide. And day after day, we start to fall in love with our body. One day we wake up and something happens that makes us realize we are a different, better kind of woman. That is what happened to me.
About Sarah E. Brown, Ph. D.
Dr. Sarah E. Brown is an expert on personalizing work to the unique interests, strengths, and needs of the workforce. A former Managing Director at Accenture, she is now on a mission to reach 250,000 women with knowledge of their unique gifts and the tools to be happy, successful, and understood at work.