What if you lived with someone who said things like this to you a dozen times a day:
• You’re fat. You’re chunky. You’ve got blubber.
• Your clothes are boring.
• Your gray hairs make you look old.
• Your double chin looks like a waddle.
• Your skin looks disgusting the way it’s broken out.
• You’re wimpy without any muscles.
• You’re gross.
Would you want to be with that person? I wouldn’t! Yet we’re often stuck with messages like these in our own heads.
It breaks my heart to see how many attractive people don’t feel attractive. Inside they’re trapped in a cycle of self-criticism and comparison that can last for years.
How do we stop saying these things to ourselves?
We can change.
Our lives aren’t grand beauty contests that never end, unspoken competitions where we always feel like losers. At least they don’t have to be!
Here are two powerful ways to improve your situation: kindness to yourself and attention to others. No diets or makeup necessary!
Change the brain
Positive thinking about our self-image rebuilds our resilience to the daily onslaught of Photoshopped images. Instead of comparing ourselves to photos, we identify unrealistic expectations. We let go. We move on.
With a new mindset, we accept our looks with grace. The majority of our time on earth is spent in decline. Our physical powers peak in the 20s and then we have 50 plus or minus years to come to terms with that reality.
Ecclesiastes says, Remember your creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years draw near when you will say, “I have no pleasure in them.” The dust returns to the earth as it was, and the breath returns to God who gave it. Vanity of vanities, says the Teacher; all is vanity. (12:1,7,8)
Let’s go beyond the surface qualities of our flesh and look into our hearts.
Answer each negative thought with gratitude
For each nasty thought, say, “_______ is a blessing.” When you look in the mirror and think, “My body’s gross,” follow that thought with, “My body is a blessing.” As you work on this, the mean thoughts will wither away. You’ll feel at home in your skin. When you feel comfortable, you radiate sensuality.
I know this works from experience. I was a chronic critical thinker about my looks starting about the age of 10. Although my appearance today is faded compared to 20 years ago, my mind and self-image are healthier. I feel better now about how I look.
I stay away from those who make me feel ugly. I’m blessed to be married to someone who compliments me on my looks. I work on accepting his flattering words where I used to discount them!
Stop looking at yourself, focus on your ability
Have you ever let the physical stop you from achieving something, such as, “I can’t start a relationship until I look a certain way.” This is untrue! You can love and let yourself be loved today, regardless of how white or crooked your teeth are.
What we look like doesn’t matter as much as what we can do for others. Most people struggle with how they look. Help turn the tide of a bad cultural habit where we worship false images. Strengthen the people around you with specific compliments about what you notice, like “That teal shirt makes your eyes look vibrant!” Your words will give them a little boost of energy. We can see and celebrate one another’s true selves in all our blotchiness and glory.
When you give your full attention to someone, you gain a beautiful quality. Attention is more valuable than appearance. We all need acknowledgement more than we need to look at a lady with ten layers of makeup or a man who recently lost ten pounds. Care about others and they will glow in your caring.
Look more attractive instantly!
Kindness, confidence and vitality make everyone look better. Try it today and look more attractive instantly!
What do you do to quiet the negativity and enjoy your self-image more? Add your voice to the comments!