By Dr. Paula Bloom
I’ve been writing a lot about the importance of comfort shoes. I’ve talked about self-acceptance, not being a victim of society’s expectations and not shoving our feet into uncomfortable shoes for the sake of attracting men and feeling good about ourselves. As I mature and grow I realize that sexiness doesn’t have to mean discomfort on a physical or emotional level. I am no longer vulnerable to those messages. Except, I still sort of am. I don’t like that it’s the case, but it’s true.
The other day I saw a woman wearing a shirt that read “Strong is the new sexy.” Lately I’ve been exercising almost daily. It’s amazing what happens when you not only buy a gym membership but you actually use it, consistently. I’ve been feeling so much better in my own body. More connected. Stronger. More powerful and yes, sexier.
When I work with clients who are depressed one of the first recommendations I make is to exercise. There’s a lot of research that shows the mental health benefits of exercise. It’s good for the body, the mind and the spirit.
One of the presenting issues many women who come to my practice report is low self-esteem. In my experience, there’s only one way to raise self-esteem and that is: To ACT in esteemable ways. Making promises to yourself such as “Yes, tomorrow I’ll go walking” or “Monday I’ll start my diet” and then not keeping them feels bad. Making a commitment and then honoring it feels good. Action leads to self-esteem. Inaction chips away at it.
As I continue the journey towards growth I’ve learned that bridging the gap between knowing what I need to do and actually doing it is a key to happiness. Feeling happy inspires me to continue to do things that make me happy. It’s a wonderful cycle.
Recently, I went on a much needed date with my husband. We went to the theater. I decided to make it a special occasion and wore, what I consider, my sexiest comfort shoes. While they were comfortable, I do admit that unlike other shoes I’ve bought fromFootSmart, I wouldn’t wear them if I had to walk for miles.
I was surprised by how this shoe made me feel. For some reason, wearing these heels really did make this evening out feel like a hot date. I’m not even sure my husband noticed but it didn’t really matter. I did. That’s the thing about self-esteem, it comes from within. It’s so empowering to not be dependent on what others think of you.
I’m not sure that a pair of shoes alone can make you feel good about yourself. But for that night, in those shoes, on that date, it didn’t hurt. It’s much easier to walk with confidence when your feet don’t hurt, don’t you think?
Tell me about a pair of shoes that makes you feel confident. I’d love to hear from you!