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When you engage in realistic standards of self-care, you will begin to view yourself more accurately and positively, which will help you look the part of a genuinely confident person.
Although your physical appearance does not add anything to your worth and significance as a human being, it cannot be denied that feeling and looking your best is a great way to increase your self-confidence.
The way you view yourself when you look in the mirror each day can have a significant impact on your self-talk, feelings, and behavior.
It can make the difference between walking with your head held high and asserting yourself with confidence or behaving timidly and even avoiding human contact altogether.
Although it’s very normal to have negative thoughts and feelings about your physique and general appearance at times, you don’t want them to control you due to either self-neglect or placing an unrealistic level of importance and focus on them.
Instead, I encourage you to continue working on monitoring your thoughts to ensure they reflect what is realistic and rational about yourself. Responsibly pay attention to what you can and cannot influence related to your physical appearance.
A simple definition of body image involves what you subjectively think and how you feel about your body. It can also include what you believe other people think of your appearance – good or bad – even if it isn’t accurate.
Our physical appearance includes what we can and cannot control. Examples include your genetic makeup such as body type, facial structure and features, skin color, height, etc., as well as the clothes you wear, whether you use make-up, how you style your hair, and so on.
Every day, we are bombarded with messages from our culture regarding what is and isn’t acceptable concerning our physical appearance.
Millions of people tune in each week to reality television shows featuring personal makeovers involving plastic surgery, dental implants, changes in hairstyle and color, new wardrobes, and incredible body transformations because of our society’s obsession with physical appearance.
Not everyone can financially afford to pursue dramatic physical transformations like those seen on television, but most people probably shouldn’t even if they can afford it. You see, it’s one thing to do what you can to maximize your physical appearance to demonstrate healthy self-care, but it’s quite another to think that by changing your external appearance you somehow increase your value and significance as a human being.
Your worth and significance cannot be increased no matter how many plastic surgery procedures you undergo or how often you change your wardrobe.
What matters most when it comes to your self-esteem and self-confidence is what resides in your head and heart and the actions that influences.
Our goal is to help you recognize the value and importance of healthy physical self-care. Doing so will help you reinforce realistic positive self-beliefs and emotions and motivate you to strive for your very best.
To this end, I want to share four tips that will help you create a healthy body image and encourage you to practice looking the part of a confident you.
A major factor in building self-confidence involves committing to the challenging, but highly rewarding daily practices of self-care.
The more you reinforce negative self-perceptions by fixating on parts of your body you do not like or accept, the more you undermine your self-confidence and emotional well-being.
Whenever you tell yourself that you are “too this” or “not enough that,” it sends the message to your brain that until you change you are not acceptable or good enough.
Remember, one of the primary keys to self-confidence is self-acceptance. In fact, when you truly accept yourself the way you are, the more you are likely to increase your internal motivation for changing the things that are under your control.
For example, if you continually tell yourself that you weigh too much, you will experience discouragement and despair and thereby reduce your motivation to take positive action to eat healthier and exercise regularly. That is why we refer to this type of belief as “self-defeating.”
No one is exactly like you. We all are uniquely created. Learn to accept and love your body the way it was designed. Focus on the unique qualities you appreciate most about yourself with an attitude of gratefulness.
Social media is full of implicit and explicit messages telling you how you should look, think, feel, and live. Most of these messages place unnecessary pressure and stress on people already struggling with low self-esteem.
The media often portrays those in the entertainment business as much more confident and fulfilled than they really are. Behind the glitz and glamour is often a great deal of despair and unhappiness they don’t want you to see.
Advertisers spend billions of dollars each year to convince you that you are an outcast if you don’t wear their clothing, shoes, or makeup or stay up to date with the latest trends and styles.
Sure, the models used in advertising are often objectively attractive and physically fit, but even they admit to being very thankful for airbrushing and Photoshop.
Many people try to live up to Madison Avenue’s unrealistic standards only to be guaranteed disappointment and feelings of inadequacy. By limiting your exposure to social media, you will remove a major source of pressure as well as be in a position to set more realistic and reasonable standards for yourself.
Keep in mind, I strongly support taking good care of yourself by having your hair styled or cut, getting manicures and pedicures, and buying new (or new to you) shoes and clothing. These self-care practices can help you both look and feel the part of a confident person.
The key is to set reasonable standards for yourself based on your budget and lifestyle, and to remember that your ultimate goal is to look and feel good from the inside out.
Although it is important to resist the temptation to conform to societal standards and expectations, it is still critically important to commit to living a healthy lifestyle that involves looking your best.
Making it a priority to eat well, exercise regularly, and get plenty of rest each night will go a long way in helping you develop a healthy self-image.
Remember, committing to a lifestyle of good self-care isn’t about being “skinny,” having a “six-pack,” or in one way or another appearing worthy of others’ acceptance and approval. It’s about being the best you can be by paying attention to the things that are necessary to build and maintain excellent physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health.
We want to help you in your confidence building journey by providing you with our free resource
If you have been struggling with the pain of low self-confidence, you owe it to yourself to invest in learning and implementing the keys to building unshakable self-confidence, and the great news is you don’t have to go it alone.
Stay tuned to learn more about our brand-new course, Confidence in Mind: How to build and maintain unshakable self-confidence (coming soon). You can also find out how to sign-up for one of our upcoming confidence-building webinars.
In just a few short weeks, we will be launching our Confidence in Mind course and opening up enrollment for a limited time. This will be your opportunity to begin your journey towards building and maintaining unshakable self-confidence!
With Your Confidence in Mind,
Dr. Todd and Kristen