Self Confidence And Your Physical Appearance
Feelings of self-confidence based on your appearance are purely in your mind.
This isn't to say that they're imaginary but that your confidence depends on your personal thoughts and perceptions about the way you look. If you can change the way you think about your appearance, you can change your level of self-confidence.
Weight is a common problem when it comes to self-confidence. Most people like to blame the pervasive media images of stick-thin women and buff men, but it's also possible for something more personal to cause feelings of doubt when it comes to your weight. Maybe your grandma always called you "chubby" or your high school sweetheart left you for a linebacker.
Along with weight, many are concerned that they will never be listed among the world's "most beautiful people." For the most part, you just have to accept the hand that genetics has dealt you, but remember that even the stars have to be airbrushed to look as good as they do in magazine photo spreads.
Your appearance also relies on a few factors outside of genetics. What you wear, from your shoes to your glasses, and how you style your hair are often the first things that others will notice about your appearance.
The first thing that you must do to improve confidence in your appearance is let go of self-doubt. Stop your negative thoughts about being too fat or not handsome enough. Then, if you're receiving negative feedback from others, make sure you stop listening to it. The only way to gain self-confidence is to feel confident about yourself as you are.
Reality television shows that give people makeovers perpetuate the myth that someone can be "fixed" with enough plastic surgery to make them beautiful. It may be tempting to turn to plastic surgery to correct perceived flaws in your appearance. However, that will only change the surface; it won't change the way you fundamentally feel about yourself. Instead of being someone with low self-esteem, you'll be someone with low self-esteem and high cheekbones.
Depending on how strong your feelings of self-doubt are, it may take a while, but be persistent. Focus on your positive aspects and downplay those that you consider negative. Even better, try to turn your "negative" attributes into positives. Maybe you think your curly hair is a frizzy mess, but do you know how many people pay for expensive perms to get curly hair? If your negative feelings are pervasive or all-consuming, consider seeking out counseling to help you get past them.
Once you've accepted your appearance, it's still possible that you'll find areas that you'd like to improve. Having self-confidence doesn't mean that you will never want to change something about yourself. However, if you're confident, then you're much more likely to want to make those changes for the right reasons. For instance, one positive reason to lose weight could be that your family has a history of heart disease. You would do well to exercise and change your diet to try to prevent an early death. This is a much more practical and healthy reason to want to change your appearance than to go on a diet because you want to look like a Calvin Klein model.
Calling on a professional may be your best bet when you decide to change your appearance. You want to make any changes in a healthy and safe way. This isn't the time for crash diets, unproven supplements or strange beauty treatments. A nutritionist can recommend a healthy diet, and a personal trainer can recommend the best workout for lasting results.
Even when dealing with issues of style rather than health, it doesn't hurt to call on a professional. If you truly feel the need for a change, it's worth spending the extra money to visit a cosmetologist instead of doing it at home with an old pair of scissors and discount store dye. And you may be surprised at the insight a professional stylist can offer you on the right colors and styles for you.
Once you've come to terms with your own appearance and can walk with your head held high in confidence, make a solemn pledge to never forget how it feels.