I’ve talked about it on the blog before, but striving for perfection is an issue that affects so many of us. In our society, and in the world, there is an image problem. It can feel like we are stuck on a treadmill that will never let us off, chasing an idea that we can only hope to aspire to. Sometimes, it feels like we are chasing an unrealistic standard of beauty and happiness. Flipping through a magazine, it’s so easy to remind ourselves that the photos we see are airbrushed and Photoshop enhanced to contribute to a more aesthetically pleasing fantasy. But underneath it all, in some subconscious level, I know that I’ve struggled to tow a line that I know I can never quite measure up to. In this search for perfection, it’s so easy to find ourselves spending a fortune on expensive treatments, wasting wasting precious moments of our lives scrutinizing ourselves in the mirror and allowing the negativity of others to warp and distort our self image.
For me, the first step towards contentment and living authentically was learning to stop my worrying. This year, I’ve been working on not chasing images of an unattainable perfection and loving the gifts that God has given me.
Unfortunately, many of us have forgotten just how beautiful we are. If you need a little reminding, you ARE beautiful. If you need a little inspiration, here are some ways we can remind ourselves:
Accentuate the positive
Take a look in the mirror. Take a long look and try to be as objective as possible. What parts about yourself do you love? We can be our harshest critics. If you have trouble making your list, ask a friend - They’ll be able to list dozens of things that make you wonderful! Write these things down as your first step towards a renewed sense of self-belief.
Accentuate the parts of you that you love through your personal style. Because when you feel confident, the rest of the world feels it too. If you need some inspiration, sometimes it helps to indulge in something just for you. Treat yourself to a new necklace from adinasjewels.com, invest in a new makeup palette that will let those beautiful eyes sparkle, treat yourself to a new dress that flatters your curves. Whatever you decide, embracing those parts of you that you love is an important first step towards creating the self-image you deserve.
Surround yourself with positive people
It can be hard. The world can be bleak. And there will be people who will drag us down and try to make us feel bad about ourselves. Limit your exposure to those people! Surround yourself with positive people as often as you can. The people who’ll notice that you’ve done something new with your hair, the people who’ll compliment you when you’re feeling down, the people who’ll help you to see yourself as they see you. Positivity breeds positivity just as negativity feeds on negativity. When you surround yourself with positive people your outlook and even your attitude towards yourself can only improve.
Live a healthy life
Notions of beauty are transient. They change depending on the period in time and the culture we inhabit (how else do you explain the popularity of the mullet?). But one thing that’s universal is that we all find beauty in health and vibrancy. Instead of chasing the images of airbrushed perfection we see in fashion magazines we should all focus our efforts on being the healthiest, happiest versions of ourselves that we can be. Eschew toxins, eat more veggies, find joy in exercise, get plenty of sleep and be kind to your body. You’ll find that as you get healthier, you’ll feel happier.
For me, all of these things have been and continue to be a journey. But as we learn to embrace positivity and live authentically, happiness is sure to follow. And when we are feeling happy and confident, we learn to love our bodies.
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