How to get over your insecurities 29 August 2016

My older sister Dana (@activewithd) has always had a contagious smile, even in photos. This big, heartfelt smile isn't because Dana has lived a life without problems. She has been on a rollercoaster in every aspect of her life and she did shy away from letting her 'Dana smile' shine for a few years and I'm glad it's back!!

You will notice in her Instagram bio she has 'a SMILE can change the world' and this has been true in the past few months with my own insecurities. If you've been following me since 2013 you would have noticed that I avoided showing my face as much as possible and it's only been in the last few months that I've been a bit more comfortable and confident to post them. I didn't just avoid posting them, I would avoid having them taken in the first place.

What's changed? I'm smiling from a different place and choosing to be happy.

Here's something to think about.

When you watch a sunrise, does the sun rising make you happy OR are you choosing to be happy in that moment? You're choosing to be happy!

If you're driving a nice car, does that car make you happy OR are you choosing to be happy in that moment? You're choosing to be happy!

We are so used to thinking that things outside us are the source of happiness because for so long we have let our ego make decisions for us. We've let our head decide whether we want or deserve to feel happy and joyful. When really being happy, joyful and peaceful is our true nature.

Don't believe me? Spend some more time with a child, especially a baby or a toddler. They can't help but smile and laugh. They might hurt themselves or feel hungry but they have a cry, get over it and return to their happy selves. Their default position is joy.

They smile so big you can barely see their eyes. They might be laughing so hard they wet themselves or throw their head back and have 4 double chins. But you never look at a baby, toddler, or young child laughing or a photo of them smiling and pick them to pieces. AND THEY DON'T EITHER!

The only thing that changes is that we are taught to have insecurities. We are lead to believe that happiness and success stem from what we own and what we do. But who are we without everything we own or how much money we earn, and who are we without our job descriptions? Some of the happiest people on the planet live in countries where they only have access to the absolute bare necessities. So it's not difficult to understand that happiness is an inside job.

If you didn't own a mirror and didn't have the ability to pick yourself to pieces, you'd let the joy shine out of you a lot easier.

For a long time, I haven't really connected with photos of myself. I would see photos and I didn't think it looked like me.

Especially if it wasn't a full blown heartfelt smile.

When you smile from a different place (perhaps that joyful feeling in your chest - this is something you have the power to generate) there is an energy you can't ignore and I believe that's where a true smile comes from. Then it honestly doesn't matter what you look like, it just FEELS good and it also feels good looking at it through a photo.

So what's changed for me? Rather than smiling and feeling nervous about all of my insecurities I have been channeling the 'Dana smile'. A smile so big, genuine, and from a different place.

Less from my head and more from my heart. Imagine smiling to a loved one from a place inside of you with absolutely no care for how your physical body looks. That is where we should be smiling from.

Instagram is full of selfies and to be honest, I have a serious case of resting bitch face and cannot pull off a sultry stare. I also have very small lips so pouting isn't an option either. The only photos I can connect with are yoga photos which capture a completely peaceful face which is exactly how I'm feeling at that moment. A deeply, peaceful and joyful feeling. And now, a full blown, heartfelt smile.

Wake up every morning and force yourself to smile for at least 2 minutes. List 3 things you are grateful for and I guarantee you this will put you in a better mood. Also know, that despite what has happened in the past you DESERVE to smile and feel joy. Regardless of what is going on around you!

Lots of love,

Elle xx