Is Your Mirror Lying To You?

The other day I was having a discussion with a friend about how we see ourselves. She explained that her other friend had put things into perspective for her with a Facebook post she wrote. As this woman was comparing herself to all of the other women at the pool one day, she asked her husband to pick out which fellow swimmer had a body similar to hers. She expected him to select an overweight woman in one corner of the pool. Instead he pointed to an attractive, thin lady playing and laughing with her two kids. The friend of a friend couldn’t believe her husband’s answer, and it got her thinking about self-perception. While she was focused on some thigh jiggle, her husband was focused on how great a mom she is. She’s worried about underarm flab and he’s focused on her sense of humor. Sounds cliché, but it’s true.

When you think about it, it’s safe to assume we’re all guilty of this. We’re our own harshest critics, and are convinced that we’re fatter, less attractive, and less stylish than everyone else around us. I’m worried about the lack of tone in my arms and you’re focused on how great my haircut is. You’re worried about whether you have a muffin top, but I’m focused on how flawless your skin is. Unfortunately while we’re spending time focused on our own perceived flaws and imperfections, everyone else around us is doing the same thing. In fact, it’s safe to say that no one is as harsh on you as you are on yourself. An imperfection that you see as major is probably something I barely notice. Because I’m too busy worrying about my own “issues.”

The next time you’re beating yourself up about something minor, try to take a step back and look at the whole picture. Could your legs be skinnier? Maybe. But that’s not what other people are seeing. When they’re not worrying about their own insecurities, they’re focused on you as a whole and the things they admire about you. That’s why confident people are so much more attractive than someone afraid of their own shadow. If you believe you’re attractive and you show that whenever you walk into a room, other people are going to believe it too. Stop worrying about your bad hair day and focus on who you are as a whole and what you bring to the table. This kind of positive energy radiates off a person. Instead of worrying about where you could improve, focus on the traits that other people are probably envious of. You know they exist.

When you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Who would you want to go up and talk to at a bar or networking event, the girl hunched over trying to hide behind her hair or the girl who’s smiling and laughing? Probably Miss Energetic. Instead of obsessing over small, insignificant details about your physical appearance, spend some more time thinking about how you carry yourself and what you’re conveying with your body language. Stand up straighter, walk confidently, smile, and you’ll be amazed at how much more positively people react to you. No one is as focused on your “flaws” as you, so let them go and feel good about who you are.

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