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  • Writer's pictureFran Braga Meininger

How to Silence That Pesky Inner Critic in the Mirror

I was surprised to have this piece, I wrote some time ago, chosen to be featured on International Fashion Bloggers site, as it is not so much about fashion as it is about holding a positive self-image as I navigate through my later life. Perhaps, there is an inkling of hope that change is in the wind and finally we will be seen as the wise, virtuous, dynamic women we have grown to be and more importantly that we will see ourselves as vibrant women filled with yet unrealized potential and a bright flame still burning within. I hope so.

How to Silence That Pesky Inner Critic in the Mirror

Who is that sharp tongued harpy and why is she in my head? I certainly didn’t invite her to join me, but she showed up around a decade ago and has overstayed her welcome for sure.

I would guess most women have a version of her lurking in the shadows of their consciousness, at the ready with a dig or doubt inducing comment about how we look, dress, wear our hair and, her all time favor topics, our wrinkles and our weight. She’s ruthless, snarky and callous and she undermines our confidence at every opportunity.

So, what is to be done about her? Here’s what I’ve found sends her back into the dark recesses of my mind, at least temporarily.

Be Realistic

I am now almost sixty-six years old. There are inevitable changes that have occurred over time. Acknowledging that and setting goals accordingly helps keep me in the present and not wasting my time lamenting over what I’ve lost or what has shown up unexpectantly. Am I ever going to have the arms of a 20 year old again? No. Can I exercise and keep my arms fit and strong as I age? Yes. Then that will be my goal and I will be proud of my commitment and my discipline.

I Don’t Compare Myself to the Images I See Online and in the Media

Those photos lie! Take a look at a few YouTube videos on how images are manipulated with Photoshop to see how incredibly prevalent this practice really is. Not, only with celebs but also many of the Instagram influencers who attract thousands of followers don’t look anything like their persona.

Appreciate Your Body for Its Functionality

I can still climb up steep trails, put in a full day as a chef and undertake pretty much any endeavor that tempts me. Yes, my body aches now and then, occasionally I overdo it and have to spend a day recovering from the physical excursion, but I am grateful for the body I have and the freedom it provides. And I let that be enough.

Do Regular Maintenance

Personal care is an essential part of feeling healthy and confident. I try to keep my hair styled, extract those wild hairs that suddenly appear on my chin, moisturize my skin and, perhaps, even apply a little blush to my cheeks and a give my lashes a few licks of mascara each morning. Not for anyone else, but for me. Making an effort helps me feel I’m present my best version of myself each day.

Take Care of Your Body

Stay hydrated and well nourished. Your body will look and feel much better if you make this a priority. Make good choices about your diet and drink enough water to maintain that healthy glow. Also, be sure to breath. I know, it sounds crazy, but under stress we tend to tense up and hold our breath, taking only shallow breaths. Doing deep breathing exercises throughout the day increases metabolism, and provides the oxygen every cell in your body needs.

It’s All a Matter of Focus

I read a quote years ago that I’ve come to realize is true for me, “What you focus on, will expand”. If I look at my perceived flaws every morning, if I constantly scrutinize my face for new wrinkles or the evidence of a few extra pounds settled on my hips, soon I’ll only see them and not the healthy, happy face smiling back at me in the mirror. I have a choice. Instead I pick a feature I like, for me it’s my womanly curves. I appreciate them for they make me feel feminine. Every day, every time I pass a mirror, I take a look and think, “Dang girl, you look good!”

You’ll be surprised, if you adopt these simple habits, how quickly this works and how much better you’ll feel about yourself. You’ll also notice a change in how others react to you. You’ll exude a sense of confidence and contentment that is palpable and appealing.

So, give it a try and remember, aging is inevitable, hating it is an option, but loving it is a choice.

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Lori Greenstone
Lori Greenstone
Feb 27, 2022

Sometimes I wink at myself in the mirror... and always give myself a smile.

Fran Braga Meininger
Fran Braga Meininger
Feb 27, 2022
Replying to

There ya go! I love it.

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