I could bombard you with countless proverbs about beauty and self-compassion but if you’re anything like me I know that you won’t want to hear them. Although proverbs can be insightful, they can also feel extremely impersonal. I’m going to start by saying that everyone has imperfections. If you wanted me to present you with a list of things that I don’t like about myself, I would be able to fill a book. The list would take the duration of the Game of Thrones opening to read. I have been trying to reject the negative thoughts I have about myself and replace them for positive ones. This hasn’t been an easy process, but I’m getting there. Everyone has something they don’t like about themselves. Whether they aren’t keen on one of their physical attributes or there’s something about their personality that bothers them.
My height had always been something that bothered me on a daily basis when I was younger. In the early years of secondary school I could barely go a day without someone making a comment. I’ve been called everything from ‘shrimp’ to ‘midge’ and these were about as creative as the names got. As could be expected, I have also been compared to some of the beloved orange Charlie and the Chocolate Factory characters more times than I care to remember. I’m not the shortest person that you’ll ever meet but I’m not exactly the tallest either. I’ve learned to love my height; I realised that being shorter than average isn’t the end of the world.
Your imperfections do not define you. Understandably, the way we look and the way that we feel about ourselves can have a dramatic impact on our mood and confidence. If you can, it is important to remind yourself that life is short and that aesthetics aren’t everything. There will be days when you feel better about yourself than others, and that’s completely normal. Wear what you feel happy in and present yourself in a way that makes you feel good.
Summer months are great but they also leave me with a dilemma. I want to wear summery dresses and shorts, but I don’t like my legs or my arms. I have two options- embrace the way I look or cover up. Until recently, I had been selecting the latter without fail. It didn’t matter how hot the weather got, I’d try and make sure that I was covered because I was worried about what other people would think. This year has provided me with a new perspective on a number of things. One of these things is my appearance. Although I am not completely satisfied with the way that I look, it doesn’t mean that I am going to cover up out of fear of judgement.
What you need to remember is that your imperfections are not the end of the world! The things that you do not like about yourself do not define who you are. You may hate the sound of your laugh or your unmanageable mane of hair, but there will be someone who loves that about you. Hopefully one day you’ll be able to appreciate these little things about yourself too. I said in the beginning that I wasn’t going to bombard you with proverbs and I will stay true to that, but I must mention this one in particular.
“There is a kind of beauty in imperfection.” – Conrad Hall
There are some things that you can do in order to start loving your own imperfections:
1. Positive Affirmations- These are short, memorable phrases that you say to yourself everyday. Positive affirmations are a simple, yet effective, way of restructuring your negative thoughts about yourself and replacing them with positivity. Simply get a piece of paper and write a positive statement about yourself on it. You can choose to either remember the phrase or stick the piece of paper somewhere it will be seen everyday. After a few days of reading or reciting this to yourself, it will become second nature to think of these phrases. With any luck this positive way of thinking will become a part of your daily life.
2. Write a list- Make a list of all the things you like about yourself and reflect on them. Sometimes we’re so busy pointing out the attributes that we don’t like about ourselves, we forget the good ones.
3. Compliments- Stop arguing with compliments! If you’re anything like me, you’ll find it difficult to receive compliments. I can’t even imagine how many times I have argued with someone when they’ve complimented me. Try and stop arguing and starting accepting.