I have great legs. It's a fact. No matter how much weight I gain or lose they will always be phenomenal. All throughout high school I fussed over my waist-line, my hips, my feet, everything!...Except my legs.
The truth is they probably aren't the best looking in the world, but the secret is I believe they are. No I can't tell you how to stop your body-criticism, but I can tell you that words have power. I was at a pool party in the 6th grade when the mother of the birthday girl pulled me aside. She handed me a piece of pizza and one of the most enduring compliments I've received to date: "Liliana, you have some great legs!" It wasn't anything over the top and she didn't keep me from scuttling back to the pool, but for some reason I chose to hang on to her words.
Later that year we had our winter social - which usually would have terrified me because I was a die-hard tomboy with a no-dress-policy - but I looked at myself in the mirror and thought "I do have great legs". After that, I strutted around in my little party dress and had the best night possible. And every dance, party, date, etc since, I've always found confidence in myself because even if everything went wrong at least I still had great legs.
That mother probably doesn't even remember me, let alone the comment she made. However, her words affected my self-image in the best way possible and I'm thankful for her taking me aside to tell me what she did. It's the simplest, little things that can truly resonate with someone. You may not realize it but words hold immense power. The words themselves, not the person speaking them. It wouldn't have mattered if the woman was a complete stranger, I still would have nurtured the delusion that I was a knock-out.
So I challenge you to find a way to give someone a simple but sincere compliment. It may seem like an insignificant thing, but you never know how your words will touch someone. And with that, remember that negative words can be just as powerful, but in a detrimental way.
On SEBASTIAN MARSHALL
Thought-provoking correspondence with a very smart reader - I asked him for permission to post this, and he said yes but would prefer to be anonymous since it looks incredibly ambitious. These are great insights, I'd love to give him credit for them. I recommend you read the whole letter, thought provoking -
My goal is to "grow" exponentially. Each year I want to get X times "better" than the previous year.
Here's what I mean by that. Most people grow naturally, they get wiser, more experienced as time goes by. Some grow pretty slow, it takes them a lot of time to improve their skills and life, others seem to make huge jumps year after year. I guess most people, slow or fast, never think consciously about their "growth speed", they're satisfied with whatever comes naturally for them.
If you're, say, a talented programmer, you're pretty much cruising through jobs, technologies, and technical challenges. There's nothing much to be dissatisfied about and you feel like you're doing great. But, is this your natural growth limit? Can you grow even faster? Can you design your life for compound growth?
Here's a few things known to make you grow: reading books, spending time with interesting people, travelling, practicing your skills and profession, getting out of your comfort zone, learning a new skill, managing your time more efficiently, not watching TV, getting consistently good sleep, mentors, and so on. I'm sure you could easily quadruple this list.