Unfortunately many people, especially women, struggle with their self-image. I’m not immune to this and sometimes struggle with my self image too.
Here are some things which many people have said they struggle with:
- Constant negative comparisons to others
- Believing others are more “put together”
- Worry about fitting in or belonging
- Concern about being pretty enough, smart enough, good enough, etc
- Wondering why others look so beautiful
- If I lose weight, then I’ll be beautiful
Many of my clients have told me that they never feel beautiful. However when we discuss what traits they consider beautiful, they will be able to see that they do have beautiful traits such as warmth, kindness, being friendly and being welcoming to others.
Often, what we truly perceive as beautiful is not external but internal. We recognize people in our lives as beautiful when being around them makes us feel good. We see them beneath their surface. The same can hold true for us.
Here are some examples of things you can do to improve your relationship with yourself and feel more “beautiful”—according to your definition of the word:
- Find a feature you like. Look in the mirror and find a single thing you do like about yourself. Is there a feature that makes you feel unique and special? Perhaps that’s something that helps you to feel beautiful.
- Focus on what your body is able to do, on the ways in which it demonstrates its strength. Is your body able to breathe, move, speak, hug, smile, or hold someone’s hand?
- Deliver the kinds of positive messages to yourself that you would give to others. If asked, what words would you use to describe a loved one’s appearance? Would you be unkind, no you would you be caring and encouraging.
- Find a new way to appreciate your body and connect with it. Try yoga or dance, or any type of movement that requires focus and develops trust within yourself.
- Develop a mantra, post it, and practice it. Examples: “I have incredible beauty within,” “I am special,” or, “I bring beauty to the world.” Think of a statement and rehearse it on a regular basis.
- Do what you love. As you do things that make you happy, you can’t help but feel wonderful. That is beauty.
Think about what beautiful means to you, and the moments when you feel that way, this will help you to put your beauty out into the world.