If I asked you to define beauty, what is the first thought that comes to mind?
Is it being flawless, looking younger or admiring the runway model figure?
So much of society bombards us with messages of how we should look and be. And sadly, we question our own beauty and whether we match this expectation.
Or do you put on a mask, because you feel that you don’t measure up?
Hiding away from the world. Silently struggling with anxiety. Become a recluse. Because you lose courage. Thinking you are not like any of those ‘picture perfect’ models in advertisements, magazines and films. Believing the untruths society flaunts that you are imperfect, unless you have that frontpage appearance – attractive and seemingly flawless. Making you never like your real and vulnerable self.
But what if I told you, that behind your own beauty, you could be brave?
What you may see on television, that airbrushed photo that appears unblemished, does not cover the unease and regrets that many carry? Leading you to constantly compare yourself. Stuck in the routine of measuring yourself with someone else’s ruler. Eliminating your determination to be your own brave in a beauty obsessed culture.
1| Begin to see yourself as both beautiful and brave
If you have spent way too much time questioning whether you are beautiful or brave or both. It’s time you ask this question If I don’t, then why not? Is it because the outside world has conformed your inner thoughts to be more like that glamourous model on the cover of leading magazines? Or has this misleading mindset slipped in, whispering that only if you are a famous fashion or beauty influencer, could you possibly be considered as part of this trending beauty culture.
I know I had to make a firm decision to stop doing what I have always done, because I would end up with the same negative patterns. Where we deflect our beauty or deny our bravery. Highlighting someone else as better, or more amazing. Comparing ourselves again and again. Hiding our own self-made fear and shame. But, beneath the surface you have a unique and inspiring story to tell. Though your life may emerge as mundane – what you are hiding is untold bravery and individuality.
So, I am here to give you that prod or push, one I gave myself after knowing that the repeated cycles you find yourself in have to be smashed. Away from the safety of the shore and be that woman, undeterred by the unending curveballs that knock her. Will still keep getting dressed, showing up and never giving up. Despite the crisis, turmoil or dilemma she is facing. Nor cave into the external pressures that life tosses at her.
2| Choose to rip off your mask and live your most genuine life
There is a bigger story. Where you place your expectations and trust in God, even when confronted with pain or constant battles. God is able to turn your sorrow into gladness. Maybe you already know that. You have lived through a toxic or violent relationship. You have overcome the devastation of divorce. You have found unlimited hope in the God who weeps with you and mourns with you. But also offers you the risk of original beauty in hope. To not deny your bravery or gloss over the timeless courage, you withstand from harassment or intimidation from colleagues or envious bystanders. To not deflect your attention to the cycle of… If only I could be like Ana, I would be more confident. Or if I was Darcy, I wouldn’t be going through what I am right now.
3| Convert your attitude to ‘brave equals beautiful‘
Maybe your dream has died. And you have lost faith. The why seems so difficult. Sometimes we have to shove ourselves past the boring and routine. To remove our facade and start being brave, for believing in what is right and taking action that goes against the grain. Because only by being brave, are we taking the risk to pursue personal growth, in the direction of our dreams – without a guaranteed outcome. Even if the results you expect may never happen. You will still be acting with integrity.
- You become brave when you release your vision, desires and need to control to a God, that fulfil His dreams and purpose through you.
- Fight for what you believe in and never stop caring. Countless dreams have been birthed out of the attitude to never give up.
- That’s where trusting God comes in. Do you see God as the author of all your dreams? Yes, even the ones that don’t pan out the way you anticipated. Or your love story that didn’t end up happily ever after?
Christ told the disciples that they would have many trials and sorrows, but He gave them hope by saying He had overcome the world. (John 16:20-33) For you and I that means – that difficult situation you may have to face, day after day at work – though you have poured your heart to God, and nothing seems to change. Even then God is working. Chiselling at your character. Polishing your attitude. Making you stronger in the storms of life. Preparing you for something greater.
4| Trust that God’s goodness will win over everything you face – in His way and time
Are you dissatisfied with the way you look?
From a little girl you may have wanted to look like the ‘other girl’ – prettier, more popular, heart and soul of the party. What if I told you, that this is where God wants you to understand that your identity comes from exactly how He created you to be YOU! Everything about you was wonderfully crafted by the Master Designer. There is no mistake in the way you speak, or the colour of your hair. We belong in the arms of our loving Father who does not desire us to fit in, but, belong in our own true sense. And that means finding strength and courage, to be who we are meant to be.
God created us to be unique, not conform. I know I had to embrace this truth that God created me to be me – not someone else, not a copycat, just me. He has placed so much value on you to be you! Just because you look or act different shouldn’t deter you from being strong in who you are. And that includes the lies, that a handful of nasty people throughout your life may have spoken.
- List every lie that you have believed about yourself on a clean white page.
- Then scrump up that sheet of paper and shred it.
- As you do, pray that God shreds every careless word or narrative that has separated you from His truth about you.
- Repeat this with your weaknesses and brokenness too.
5| Stop spinning in circles around the need for validation
We open our Instagram feed and the first thing we see is posts of perfect manicures, makeup, families, relationships and so the list goes on. Leaving us with a sense of emptiness, leading us to post our own lives as glossy and perfect. But behind closed doors, we might be lonely and falling apart. Right there, I want you to know that God loves and cares for you. He adores you just how you are and His plan is never for you to want to keep up with Ana or pretend to be Darcy. Or create a post to pretend you are someone you’re not. Only you can stop this circle.
- I would encourage you to look in the mirror right now and say this to yourself, ‘God loves ME, He cares about ME and He adores ME just the way I am.’
- Without having to prove that I am beautiful or look like a magazine cover model. He doesn’t need you to post highlights of your life that give a contrary impression or facade.
- Deep down God makes you brave, despite your past, every mistake, the shambles and selfishness. And even your fiery temperament or strong will. So, it’s time to stop living in that false reality and turn away from the place of comparison.
6| Don’t believe the lies of our culture and their definition of beautiful
Constantly we are being asked to describe ourselves. Our dreams, our beliefs, our expectations, goals, life ambitions and who we are. Why not challenge those negative thoughts that you don’t amount to what society depicts? Hold onto hope and trust that God has made you brave enough to impact your world. You are God’s definition of beauty. And He is the author of truth. So why do you doubt God’s undeniable truth? By the way, I didn’t say this, God did – He says we are His masterpiece. (Ephesians 2:10) The most famous example of a biblical woman who portrayed both these characteristics was Esther. Her faith is astonishing, but neither did she take her beauty or bravery for granted. She acted with courage, because she knew her identity in her God.
I don’t have to tell you how much beauty is idolised in our age, you can see that on social media every day. Which is why I like Esther, she was both beautiful and brave and it flowed from her heart and the God she trusted more than anything. Will you choose to be both brave and beautiful? Because you opted not to allow the latest beauty or fashion trends dictate who you are. By the way, I love both beauty and fashion. However, I am talking about the inner beauty where you exhibit the boldness to be different, not follow the crowd, step forward or back – at the right time. Knowing God is with you with every step you take, to sustain you in times of fear and discouragement. (Joshua 1:9)
Share your thoughts…
Will you dare to find the courage to be you – the woman God made you to be who is beautiful and brave?