News |6 min read

When You Don’t Like What You See in the Mirror

Hello AADOM. Kelly Swanson here. Nice to meet you. At least on paper anyway. We get to meet in person in July when I get to come play at your 2018 Conference! So excited! I’m a motivational speaker and a comedian, which means I tell you that I you can do anything. Then I tell you I’m just kidding. My job is to make you laugh, motivate you to see beyond your obstacles, and help you love the work you do and understand the value you bring.  Even though I make my living teaching people how to be confident and brave, there are days when I am anything but.  Days when I look in the mirror, and I just don’t like who I see. Can you relate? If so, then this message is for you…



Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall
Confession: When I look in the mirror on most days I do not like who I see. Whether it’s a bulge here, a wrinkle here, a dimple not where it’s supposed to be.  When I look in the mirror I see a messy house, an untrimmed lawn, a car that is no longer shiny.  When I look in the mirror I see all my shortcomings, my weaknesses, and flaws as a wife, mother, and speaker.  I see myself as I think others see me.  And it makes me not want to look in the mirror.

You’re probably thinking, “But you’re a motivational speaker! You’re not supposed to think that way. You just stood on a stage and told me to love myself the way I am, and you’re not even doing it yourself!”   So now I’m adding “fraud” to the things I see when I look in the mirror.  Maybe I am a fraud. Or maybe I am exactly the person who should be on that stage, experiencing the same thing as you, connecting in our brokenness, and sharing the message you and I most need to hear. Who better to know your pain than the one who shares it?

Here’s the weird thing – my head knows the truth. My head knows that people don’t respect me for how many wrinkles I have. My head knows that it’s impossible to be a perfect mother. My head knows that size or beauty is irrelevant to my success.  My head knows that I am a cherished child of God, made in His image, for His glory, and destined for a happy-ever-after with Him. My head knows that it doesn’t matter what you think about me, because it is well with my soul.

But my heart begs to differ.

According to the doctors who wrote “The Healing Code” when the head and the heart disagree, the heart always wins.

The Lies Our Heart Tells Us
So how do we change the lie our heart tells us so that we can believe the truth our head tells us?  We reprogram.  We change the story. We look at the lie, replace it with truth, act on the new truth, rejoice in the new truth, and live into this new truth.  It’s not a one-time conversion. It’s a process. For me, a six-step process. (I’ll share it with you at the end of the post.)

When I look in the mirror, one of the things I see is that men don’t care what I have to say.  It’s not important how or why this story became part of my inner script.  It’s just important to be aware that it’s in there, and dictating my attitudes, behaviors, and actions in a negative way.  So the first thing I have to do is assess its truth.  When I stop and analyze, there are many examples that disprove this lie in my head. The latest example being what I received by email this week. It was a letter from one of my clients raving about the job I did.  The letter was from a man. The CEO of the company. Telling me how much his employees loved me, and telling me I had a gift.

Top of Form
As I read this letter, the lie finally disappeared – or better to say it finally became smaller than the truth.  What further proof do I need to put this lie to rest?  I have now gathered enough truth to live into a new inner script that says men certainly do appreciate what I have to say. In fact, I have seen more men cry and be impacted by the message than I have women.

As I tell you when I get on that stage, Truth Trumps Emotion.  Emotions are not Truth. And often we let Emotions drive the car.  We believe and act on what we feel instead of what is true. It doesn’t make us weak. It makes us human. Emotions are normal and given to us as a gift. We just need to make sure they don’t get in the driver’s seat. As my pastor said last week, “Emotions make a good gauge, but a bad guide.”

Today, I write a new story that says, “Your message is worthy. For ALL. Men and women.”  Period. End of story.

The haters will come. They will throw their arrows. I know it. They will say things out of their own insecurity or well-meaning intentions, that seem to back up that old lie.  But this time, I have a shield. This time I stand in the full armor of my worth.  This time, their words will not sting, at least not for long.  Their words cannot stand up against my Truth.  Their words have no strength compared to the Spirit who dwells within me.

Tomorrow when I look in the mirror, THAT will be the script I choose to repeat. It may take a while. I may have to post it on the wall above that mirror so I won’t forget. But over time, it will become my truth.

What’s Your Truth?
What about you?  What lie do you need to rewrite?  Are emotions driving your car? If so, it doesn’t mean your life is a mess, it simply means that you’ve lost sight of your truth. And in the absence of truth, emotions reign.

Let today be the day you get back in the front seat of your life. Pick up the pen because you’re not the reader of this fairy tale – you’re the author.

Need help doing that? Go to and follow the steps. There’s no trick. No hidden charge. It really is just that – a free gift – divinely appointed for you in this moment. Choose the box titled “Motivation” and you will see resources to help you find your truth and put those emotions in the back seat.

I believe in you, and I don’t even know you. I believe you were put here for a purpose. I believe that you matter just as much as anyone else. Even when you can’t see it. Now it’s time for you to believe in you. One story at a time.

Let’s look in that mirror and choose to love who we see. Even if we don’t fully believe it. Yet.

That’s all I’ve got for now.  But I promise if you give it some thought, and give yourself some love, it will affect the way you feel and the way you work.  Because you’ll be happier. And then your team will be happier. And your bosses happier. And your patients happier.

I’ll see you in July. Can’t wait.

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