The world is full of stereotypes. Thanks to the media, a lot of these stereotypes are associated with an arbitrary code that governs the ideals of physical perfection. As per most of the advertisements, you have to look a certain way to gain fulfilling happiness and success in life. Get in line, buy the product to “completely change” yourself and live an easier life by finally winning society’s approval in your favor.
For instance, we all know that one needs to be more than just thin and fair to sweep a tough competition or a job interview. Talent, intelligence, skill level, education credentials, exposure and experience are just some of the MORE important attributes. Yet, even as ridiculous some of the marketing claims can get, they still find a way into our subconscious to weaken our self confidence.
However, with deliberately cultivated self awareness you can take some initiative in the following ways to infuse your self-worth with positivity.
1. Get comfortable with yourself in front of the mirror
Spend a few minutes in front of the mirror. Do you always focus on the features you hate about yourself? Look again and redirect your gaze at aspects of your appearance that you like. Make the effort to revel in your uniqueness as often as you can.
If you want a better body, try to exercise and eat healthier. If you don’t like your nose, focus on your eyes, your hair or smile. Bashing your looks and hoping for a rhinoplasty or liposuction to fix everything in your life will only make you more miserable. Confidence starts with self acceptance and working from there to improve yourself as a whole, bit by bit.
2. Correct your lifestyle for long term
Fitness is more than just a number on the scale. Crash diets or getting in a frenzy of cardio to get overnight results will eventually leave you exhausted and gloomy. Get involved in developing greater agility, stamina, strength and flexibility and fuel your recovery with quality food. You will gain a tremendous sense of accomplishment as you create a better version of yourself on a daily basis.
3. Explore activities that you can enjoy
Join a group class to make new friends. You could learn a new dance form or join a short self defense course. Learning new things every few months feels good!
4. Dress to impress your own-self first
If you keep waiting till you are a certain size to revamp your wardrobe, chances are you will continue to hold back and keep waiting. No matter what size you are, you can always redefine your appearance to play up your strengths. Forget fretting over fickle fashion trends and experiment with different styles and colors that feel swanky yet comfortable.
5. Take good care of yourself
Creating an impression of being attractive and feeling even more so starts with grooming. Invest in maintaining a sharp hair cut, good skin and clean nails regularly. Make sure your clothes fit well; neither too lose or tight, are free from loose buttons or threads along with being well ironed and lint free. An immaculate appearance trumps wearing expensive brands.
6. Eliminate negative self talk
No member of the society or any media campaign can hurt your self esteem like you can with brutal self criticism. Work on treating yourself with the same kind of affection and respect that you would shower on a loved one. Constantly comparing yourself with others will prevent you from being the best you can be.
7. Broaden the criteria for measuring your self-worth
Instead of obsessing over physical appearance, take the time to consider intellectual strengths that add weight to your personality. Sharpen your wit, sense of humor or writing skills. Develop an appreciation for food, music or any other of the arts. Adding layers to your personality by developing new interests and skills will heighten your sex appeal.
8. Proactively work towards keeping yourself happy
A disturbed mind can dampen your usual charm. Endeavor to resolve tiffs and spats as often as you can. Functioning in a hostile environment can get on your nerves. Take out time to keep your head clear and at peace. If ever heavy distress gets you feeling blue, put on your best smile and walk tall. Your mind will soon catch up to a positive and confident body language.
9. Beware of advertising hoopla and puffery
It would be insightful to view modern day advertisement with discretion. Most media campaigns project idealized images. Even some of the models claim they are not as perfect as they look on magazine covers. Awareness will support your understanding of what benchmark of beauty is realistic and what isn’t.
10. It is not always about you
It is one thing to treat yourself with love and respect and completely another to constantly wallow in abusive self pity! Take a break from being wrapped in delusional misery and devote some time to nature and other people as part of it. Sometimes, the imperfections in symmetry are what add character to people and aspects of nature. Compared to those who are heavily corrected by surgical intervention and eventually start looking, well, plastic; sometimes being real and genuine is all it takes to be beautiful.
11. Look for positive role models
Analyze the reasons behind your admiration for some people. Gain an appreciation for people who inspire you for the odds they have overcome in life and not how they look. If you adore actors and singers, take the trouble to appreciate their craft.
12. Realize that everybody has one of those days
At the end of the day, no matter how self secure you get, there will always be some days when you just don’t feel good enough about yourself. Even the most able bodied sportsman and actors and the most glamorous celebrities seem to suffer through an occasional case of the blues. It is easier to dismiss such thoughts if you know that everybody goes through it now and then.