• Marina Stepanova

Does my bum look big in this?

Last week I shared a video of me delivering my speech to a live audience, as part of The Speak Up Challenge course. I received great feedback in comments as well as in person.

To be honest, I was also very happy with my performance and really and truly proud of myself. I consider it being a huge achievement. But...

When I first saw the pictures and the video of me on the night, all I could think about was that I have put on weight! How bad is that?! There I was, doing something great, conquering my fears, getting out of my comfort zone, smashing my goals, and just being amazing (I am quite modest I know) and yet all I could focus on was that I looked a bit bigger than I would have liked.

If you listened to my speech, you know that this was exactly where I was stuck when I was younger. I just had an unhealthy image of myself; in my eyes, I was not good enough, pretty enough, smart enough, funny enough and so on. I was just so incredibly insecure. I was quite good at hiding it too. There were areas of my life and certain places where I felt good about myself, but a lot of my energy went on trying to hide the fact that I was afraid of being laughed at and being ridiculed or put "on the spot".

I have done a lot of work on myself over the last few years, which started with studying counselling and psychotherapy and undergoing personal therapy as part of the course. Also, attending brilliant events where amazing successful speakers share their own stories. Having children made me look at myself in a completely different light; I now have a huge responsibility to love myself. I now know that I MUST love myself first before I can truly love anyone else.

Last week I considered to not share the video of my speech, because I did not like the way I looked. I then got over myself and published it, because there are more important things in the world to think about then a couple of extra pounds on my backside. I am accepting myself more and more each day and it feels liberating.

Just like I say in my speech, try being kind to yourself on a daily basis and your world would change instantly. You are powerful and you are loving and you have nothing to fear.

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