A woman walked into the beauty salon, sat down, looked in the mirror, and said, ‘You know, some days I wake up, look in the mirror and just want to kill it with a broom.’ She imagined the hairdresser saw what she saw. One was looking through the eyes of fear, the other looking for possibilities. Maybe you are one of the people who say, ‘Every day I wake up, look in the mirror, and I’m still fat, still ugly,’ or like the woman who demanded a refund from a makeup seminar because ‘You promised to make me beautiful and I’m still ugly!’
Sometimes the people around us help us embrace bad feelings about ourselves. Being bullied, sibling rivalry, and abusive relationships, including friendships, are the most common causes. Building good strong emotions about ourselves is a work in progress; it requires being vigilant and ever aware when we are slipping into a negative state of mind about who we are.
Any observer knows when we are afflicted with this. Feeling bad about ourselves causes our shoulders to droop. We hold our head down to avoid eye contact, sure that we will find repulsion in the eyes of those around us. We rarely smile, leaving facial muscles lax; this alters our appearance. Many times we are driven to excesses to cover false perceptions. We either wear too much makeup or none because we imagine it doesn’t matter. Hair colors may vary like the seasons, while clothing choices run the gamut from looking like an unmade bed to dressing for a cocktail party at 9:00 AM. All are inappropriate and attract the very attitudes we are trying to avoid. Worse, people afflicted with this rarely are hired for excellent positions and attract wrong partners who further abuse them. This reinforces the original fear-based bad feelings. It leaves one feel like a caged rat running on a wheel, going nowhere, trying to escape from passersby who stop to stare. There now, we have consigned ourselves to a life of mediocrity, a humdrum existence where we finally end up with a partner and maybe a friend whom we ‘go along to get along’ with.
How can one escape this self-inflicted, caged existence?
1) Find someone you genuinely love; never accept treatment from anyone that you would not accept for that person. You are learning to treat yourself lovingly.
2) There is a deserve-ability issue here. You can only have what you believe you deserve. Discard the reasons why you may not earn anything you want. Get out of your way. You are leaning against the door where it is delivered.
3) Believe you are welcome; feeling welcome is essential to feel good about any situation. If anyone says you are not welcome, cross them off; they are beneath the new you.
4) Search online for the best hairstyle for your face shape, the correct colors for your skin type, and the most flattering style of clothes for your body type. Forget finding someone who looks like you may want to look. You want to look and be the best you can be.
5) Stand in front of a mirror with a piece of paper. Cover each of your features and find the best one. Highlight that one.
6) Find a wall and back into it; square your shoulders. Now drop your shoulders to a natural position so you will not appear to have your back up. Get a book and a pair of heels. Place the book on your head and walk across the room until you have mastered walking with it on your head. Now you can confidently look others in the eye.
7) Your consciousness responds to the things you say and believe. Never again make a disparaging comment about yourself. It does not know when you are joking. What you say and believe will be delivered. Believe in and speak words about you that you want to be.
8) Find something you love to do and get involved in it. Join something, read something, or do something different at least once a month. You are creating new good habits.
9) Find something to laugh at, even if it is an online video. Practice smiling and finding joy.
10) Accept that you are more than a human being; you are a human becoming.
All of these things teach you to be discerning about your own life and the situations around you. If you are uncertain about anything, your first impression is the most correct. Don’t inject anything to alter it. Learn to trust your judgment, to laugh with others instead of imagining they are laughing at you, and most of all, learn to laugh at yourself, These are all joyful endeavors. You are unique. Everyone is beautiful in some way. You have a purpose. You are entitled to happiness. You must participate in your success. None of these things are as difficult as living in the shadow of your fears.