Body Envy – Even Olympic Athletes Feel They’re Not Enough

Body Envy, is it normal?

It’s hard to imagine an achievement more monumental or impressive than being a two-time Olympic gold medalist or being awarded an OBE. But as the media has shown us this week, even retired British Olympian Rebecca Adlington doesn’t feel that her admirable achievements are enough. Last Thursday, on an episode of I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here, Adlington broke into tears due to the body envy she felt next to former beauty queen Amy Willerton.

On the episode, she admitted. ‘It’s making me very, very insecure that I have to look [a certain way]. For me, I was an athlete. I wasn’t trying to be a model, but pretty much every single week on Twitter I get somebody commenting on the way I look, creating body envy.’

This just proves what my twenty five years of experience as a therapist have taught me about the core of people’s emotional issues: everyone, even exceptionally talented people, share the very fundamental problem of feeling like they’re not enough. It’s such a shame that we live in a society where a woman such as Adlington who has worked incredibly hard for her achievements (which include two gold medals and a world record at the 2008 Beijing Olympics) can still feel like she is not good enough due to the outrageous beauty standards we place on females. Meanwhile, a woman who has done little more than be born stunningly beautiful, seems to have all the confidence in the world, though deep down, she probably feels the same.

If it’s not looks and sex appeal that we feel we need to measure up, then it’s money, intellect, career success, or cars and handbags. The thing is, we can’t change this value system externally, but we can change it internally. I’ve begun changing thousands of lives with my talk “How to Mastermind Your Life in 3 Easy Steps” by instilling in people’s minds the idea that the only person who can reject you is yourself. When Adlington reads the Twitter abuse about her looks it only affects her because she lets it in. She doesn’t focus on her achievements, on her athleticism, and she buys into the idea that society has the right to define whether you are pretty enough, skinny enough, rich enough, or sexy enough.

I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to buy into that idea, and in my life-changing talk, I show you just how to do that. How to deflect criticism, praise yourself, tell yourself daily that ‘I am enough’, improving you confidence and self esteem.

We may never live in a world where everyone feels fulfilled and appreciated by society, but we can individually implement tactics to make ourselves feel confident, happy, and free of judgement from others. The power to do this rests in your hands.

If you want to hear my talk, there’s an opportunity to do so this week at the Yes Group in London on Wednesday.