“You go to school so you can get a job. You already have a job, so it’s like skipping a step!”
Fiona Montgomery, A Cinderella Story
Sometimes when I start getting jealous of girls who are skinny or have the “perfect” body, I try to question why I feel that way. I don’t know if anyone else feels this strange paradox of being jealous of another person’s body even though you are happy with your own. For instance, if randomly and out of context somebody asked me if I were happy with my body, my answer would be a confidant yes. So why do I get jealous when I see skinny girls?
The question WHY is always a great starting place for conflicting thoughts like these. But the key is to ask why as many times as it takes to get to the root of the cause. This is an example of how that conversation goes in my head….
Why are you jealous of skinny girls? Because they look good, and I want to look like that.
Why do you want to look like that? (And does that mean that other body types are not beautiful too?!) Because they seem happy and confident, like they probably don’t worry about what they eat or question if guys find them attractive. [First of all, those aren’t true, but sometimes it seems like those are the case when someone looks fit] If they are fit, they probably are disciplined in going to the gym and eating healthy.
Why do you think they are happy and confident and carefree? They look like they feel comfortable in their bodies and expressing…maybe the just have the mental room to think about what gives them joy in life and don’t rain on it because of worrying about or shaming their bodies. I guess what I really want is to be feel happy and confident.
Why do you want to be happy and confident? Because I would have the mental space to think about my future career rather than to worry about what people think of my body. I would stop to enjoy the little things instead of always feeling insecure. I wouldn’t be depriving myself (of food or people or experiences), that’s for sure. I would be doing a great job on an assignment or at work, taking the time to enjoy that laugh with friends over a drink, or giggling with joy after something serendipitous occurs.
What is stopping you from doing all of those things now? Why would taking up 2 inches less in space (or whatever goals you think you should be striving for…) Allow you to do all of those things that make you happy when you are perfectly capable of doing them now? That thinking just puts life into a tiny box that you are free to leave at any time.
The next logical thing is to let go of that uncomfortable jealously and start doing activities that give you joy and make you feel confident.
To recap: How To “Skip A Step”:
- Identify your uncomfortable feeling. Be it jealousy, sadness, discontent, frustration, or a lack of confidence, you have figure out where you are starting to move toward your goal.
- Ask yourself what it is you truly want. Keep asking yourself why, why, why to get to the bottom of the feeling you are truly craving. Like above, I was feeling jealous of girls who are skinnier than me, or who may be closer to society’s unattainable standard of beauty, when I what I am truly craving is the space
- Do the things that give you that underlying feeling. So if you are searching for more joy, do the things you know make you happy. Maybe it means singing in the shower; maybe it means inviting your friends over for a wine and movie night; maybe it means scheduling a date with yourself to daydream about where you want to travel in the next year…
Basically, whatever you say having a perfect body will allow you to do or feel, skip the perfect body and just do that thing anyway. Because your body is perfect as it is now.