5. Avoid unrealistic comparisons.
Comparing ourselves to other people is natural, but not always healthy. Pay attention to what it does to your self-esteem. For example, if you go to the mall on a Friday night and compare yourself to the teen girls in their low-rise jeans and tight tees, you may find yourself in the dumps before dinner time. But return the next morning and compare yourself to the blue-haired, arthritic retirees walking laps around the mall in their Reeboks, and your self-esteem will most likely soar.
I’m not throwing a stone here. When I spend all day around my 16-year old daughter’s friends, I can get self-conscious about my size and shape if I’m not very careful to guard my thoughts. I have to remember that I’m not sixteen anymore, and I wouldn’t go back there again even if you paid me an insane amount of money! But when I used to spend the day visiting my grandparents at the nursing home where they resided, I often returned home feeling like the hottest thing on the planet.
I’m not saying that you should compare yourself to other women, I’m just saying that if you do, be fair about it. Don’t just compare yourself to younger, thinner girls and allow your sexual confidence to bottom out. Compare yourself to all women on the planet, including the elderly, the morbidly obese, or the handicapped who can’t function sexually at all. Then feel great about all you have to offer your husband (and yourself) sexually.
6. Choose your vocabulary wisely.
Never underestimate the power of your words. They can make everyone around you (especially yourself) feel terrific or terrible. How you talk about yourself teaches other people how to look at you, as well as how to treat you. And the words you use to describe your body can make or break your own sexual confidence.
Therefore, if you have a larger than average physique, don’t call yourself “fat” or “chubby.” Try “voluptuous” instead. If you’re not a frou-frou glamour girl, don’t call yourself “plain Jane.” You’re a “natural beauty.” If your breasts are on the small side, don’t use the term “flat-chested.” Instead, try describing your build as “trim” or “athletic.” If your body isn’t as toned as you’d like it to be, you don’t have to call yourself “flabby.” You’re just “soft.” Lots of men like soft, or trim, or natural, or voluptuous. And they are far more likely to love those attributes when you celebrate them as well.
7. Choose your wardrobe wisely.
Often our lack of sexual confidence stems not from our bodies, but from the clothes, we put on our bodies. If you wear something that looks like it was manufactured at Dallas Tent & Awning, you’re going to feel like the fat lady from the circus. If you put on something that accentuates your curves, and you’re going to feel far more confident. It doesn’t have to be skin-tight or uncomfortable, just flattering to your shape.
Donate any clothes that make you feel fat or frumpy to Goodwill so that the only clothes in your wardrobe will be those that make you feel confident. Throw away your “granny panties” and wear sexy underwear even on the days that no one but you will see them. Think you can’t part with those comfy granny panties? I used to think that as well. But then I discovered Jockey’s line of lingerie called “the no-panty-line promise” panties. They’re sleek and sexy, but they stay put without riding up your buns and giving you tacky panty lines, and they are much more comfortable than butt-floss (thong underwear).
Even better than sexy clothing, however, is your beautiful bare skin. Nothing will scream “I’m a sexually confident woman!” like walking around the house naked whenever you get a chance.
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Excerpted from The Sexually Confident Wife: Connecting with Your Husband Mind*Body*Heart*Spirit by Shannon Ethridge. Copyright 2008. All Rights Reserved. Published by Random House Inc, New York, NY. Used by Permission. Not to be copied without Publisher’s prior written approval.