I never liked the way I looked. I still don’t.
Obviously, I look worse today than 15 years ago, so makes sense to like myself less and less as time goes by.
But, interestingly, that’s not the case.
It’s not like I love every inch of my body and think I’m perfect.
But something has definitely changed.
You see, when I was younger I used to compare myself to others a lot.
Let me say that again. A LOT.
Every time I came on top I was thrilled. Every time I came short, I was ashamed. It was this rollercoaster of emotions that was never ending.
My opinion about myself would be based on what others looked like, did, said, reacted to me, etc.
I felt the need to prove myself a lot. And not only that, but to show that I am BETTER than this or that person. Even worse, sometimes I’d feel the need to bring others down so I can have my 15 seconds of feeling good I’d beaten them.
Needless to say it felt exhausting; always comparing, always living off of what feedback I’d gotten from the outside world.
Good feedback – happy me. Bad feedback – ashamed me.
It’s such a vicious circle to be in.
And breaking it is very hard.
Because, in order to break it, you need to make a huge mental shift.
You need to shift from ‘them’ to ‘me’ as your axis of reference.
You need to start living up to your standards, not other people’s standards.
And that is hard as hell, because we want to be included, accepted, liked, to belong, to fit in, etc. We fear being rejected, expulsed, turned away, being alone.
That’s why many people just go with the majority, because it’s really tough to stand out and fend for yourself, without the shelter of an accepting community.
So, because it is so scary, many people keep living their lives based on what’s expected of them.
But we all know how that ends. In disappointment, regret, and bitterness about opportunities missed and chances not taken.
So what I’m encouraging you to do is to sit down and think about what your standards are and whether you’re living up to those standards.
What does healthy/beautiful/successful/wealthy/fit/fulfilled/happy/etc. look like for you?
This question above is the reason I like the way I look more now than in the past.
Because I’ve stopped trying to live up to other people’s standards (media and social media included) and I’m defining my own standards and doing my best to meet those.
Defining your personal standards is the foundation of your Authentic Confidence, because it means trusting your own internal compass to guide you in figuring out how you want your life to look like.