Health & Wellness Columnist

Herald-Banner health and wellness columnist Liz Jones operates a yoga, personal training and corporate wellness program soon to expand as Jones Wellness Ranch in Greenville. She holds a Master’s in Organizational Leadership and Strategic Management.

My favorite meme quote of late on Facebook is, “Do things with the confidence of a 4-year-old wearing a Batman shirt.”  

That really stuck with me. Yes! I had actually seen a little boy earlier that day, sporting superhero garb and a superhero attitude.

When I work with personal training clients, I express to them how important posture and confidence is in overall well-being. I call it my “Wonder Woman pose,” (or “superhero pose,” when I am working with men if they don’t want to imagine themselves as Wonder Woman, ha ha) and some of my friends refer to me as the “real Wonder Woman.”

I’m not sure if it is my tall “Amazonian” stature or because I’m often wondering what the heck I was thinking, or where I left my phone; but either way, it’s an accurate description.

There are many days that I find myself giving a self-pep talk reminscent of the award-winning film “The Help”: “You is kind. You is smart. You is important.” And I head out the door feeling a little more ready for my day (see my article from a few weeks back about mindful mornings).

I have always been outspoken, probably to the point of being a bit intimidating. I am not afraid to speak in public, nor to speak my mind or wear something that I want to even if someone else may disapprove.

I know who I am and I am not afraid of being myself and am not in search of anyone’s approval. That does not mean it has come easy.

I am an introvert, a listener and an empath – and at times that makes me seem “shy” to people that do not know me well. Truth? I am in no way shy.

Another common misunderstanding is when someone who has less self-esteem sees someone who is quiet and has confidence, they may interpret that as being stuck up.

People are quick to criticize others, quick to make judgements, gossip or be small-minded. Don’t let that stop you. Get your superhero cape on and let your sun shine through.

Good posture instantly increases your confidence.

Take a moment, right now, stand up and get your hips in alignment to the front, ground your feet into the earth. Make sure they are in alignment, keep your knees soft, lift from your core muscles, roll your shoulders up and back, open your chest, keep your head up and neck in alignment – as if a string coming out the center, top of your head is helping to support you.  

Take three long, slow breathes, filling the diaphragm and the belly with each inhale and lifting from the core muscles with each exhale.  

If you did what I suggested, I bet you are feeling slightly more relaxed and more confident.

Confidence can help you manage stress, remembering we do not need to be perfect, we just need to keep trying, to make progress, to do our best.

And when we don’t, we need to pick ourselves up, reset ourselves and become grounded and take a run at it again.

Don’t be afraid to be a babe in total charge of herself (or himself) when appropriate.  Another one of my favorite memes is of the little girl saying, “I’m not bossy, I have LEADERSHIP skills….UNDERSTAND?!”  We need to teach our children to feel confident in who they are, we need to give ourselves that same permission.

Confidence can increase your physical ability, your ability to manage stress and to be resilient, and research has shown that people who appear more confident tend to make more money (unless they do social work!).

It is not our job to rescue anyone, but it is our job to emulate the superhero within us so that we can influence the world around us for the better.


WAYS TO INCREASE YOUR CONFIDENCE

— Eliminate all negative self-talk. Don’t refer to yourself as lazy, old, fat or anything that may have a negative connotation to you. When you think something negative, try to deliberately and mindfully replace the statement. (Hey, “You is Kind. You is Smart. You is Important.” Dang it.)

— Fix your posture, and every time you notice it out of alignment, get your superhero pose on.

— Take good care of yourself.

— Remember, aim for progress – not perfection.

— Read or listen to something positive every day: a book of quotes, the Bible or a book that teaches you a skill that you want to learn or something you want to improve. Even if you read just one page or listen to just one part of an inspirational or educational podcast, find positive fuel to immerse yourself in, whenever and wherever you are able to do so.

— Limit the negative in the things you watch and read, whether it be social media, YouTube, or television.

— Talk to people who think you are awesome. Surround yourself with people that treat you well, appreciate you and respect you. I know it may feel like they are hard to find sometimes, but make a deliberate effort to form and maintain good relationships a few people who are there for you. (And remember the rule: You are seen as a combination of the four people you spend the most time with!)

— Be awesome. Take a look at the things getting in your way, and be honest with yourself and find a new habit, a new hairstyle or a new route to replace the things that are holding you back.

Jones is the owner of Liz Jones Wellness LLC, offering yoga, personal training and corporate wellness programs in Hunt and Rockwall counties, soon to be based out of the new Jones Wellness Ranch in Greenville. She can be reached at Liz@LizJones.co or through her website at LizJones.co.