You may not be a Kardashians super-fan, but how often do you find yourself trying to keep up with others? Perhaps you spend hours trawling through clips and images of Instagram or YouTube influencers, or you’re desperate to look like the stars on the red carpet. It can be really positive to have role models and aspirations, but have you ever stopped to think that trying to keep up could actually be holding you back?
The danger of comparison.
Theodore Roosevelt was talking a lot of sense when he said that ‘comparison is the thief of joy.’ It’s human nature to compare yourself to others, but there’s no doubt that being overly aware of how you measure up to other people can be damaging. It’s not hard to see why people start to doubt themselves and feel unattractive when they spend time looking at bikini models or celebrities all dressed up for an awards ceremony. The reality is that you’re always going to feel like there are people out there who are more beautiful than you. Perhaps you’re shorter or taller, you’re fatter or thinner, or your skin doesn’t have that luminescent glow that a filter gives you, but there’s nothing wrong with that. Everybody is unique, and we all have days when we feel more attractive than others. If you’re not feeling great, don’t make the situation worse by looking at pictures that exacerbate the situation. Take a break and focus on yourself. It’s unhealthy and exhausting to feel like you’re in a competition all the time.
Identifying causes of confidence issues.
There isn’t a soul on this planet who feels 100% confident all the time. We all have insecurities, and the majority of us would change things about ourselves if we had the chance. An international survey carried out by skincare brand, Dove, indicated that three-quarters of women in the US have low self-esteem related to their appearance. If you do lack confidence, it’s beneficial to think about the reasons why. Is there a specific problem, such as your weight, a skin condition or a feature that you dislike, such as your nose, that troubles you? Or do you feel under pressure from wider society or the media? Have negative or unkind comments in the past affected you?
Whatever the cause, there is likely to be a solution. Firstly, nobody should ever feel pressured into making decisions about rectifying body image issues, but considering treatments and therapies may be beneficial in some circumstances. Trying to lose or gain weight, seeing a doctor about procedures that target issues like a bent nose, and finding information about remedies for skin conditions may represent a positive step forward. If you have acne scarring, for example, and you feel self-conscious without makeup, see a doctor and discuss some options. You may also find it useful to read about DIY treatments on sites like http://www.BeautyProductWarnings.com. If you hate your nose or your ears stick out, and it affects your confidence, you could arrange a consultation and see what’s involved in surgical treatment. Just make sure that you weigh up the pros and cons, and you make a decision that you’re happy with. If you’re unhappy with your weight, there’s nothing wrong with making changes to try and get into shape.
In cases where is a more general cause, for example, pressure from social media, it can be really beneficial to take a break and to remember that photos offer only a glimpse of a person’s life. It’s also worth noting that celebrities tend to have glam squads on hand to make them look amazing, and that sites like Instagram offer users the chance to enhance their images. Good lighting, the right angles and flattering filters can make a photograph look completely unrecognizable when compared to the original. If you’re not convinced, this article featuring a British blogger provides a really interesting insight into sharing photos online http://metro.co.uk/2017/08/30/fitness-trainer-shares-side-by-side-photos-to-show-the-difference-between-instagram-and-real-life-6888828/.
Improving self-esteem and body image.
There’s no overnight cure for poor body image and a lack of confidence. It can take a long time to build self-esteem, but it’s so beneficial to get onto the right path. If you feel like you’re constantly trying to keep up with others, try and devote more time to yourself and take a break from the social media platforms or magazines that make you question how attractive you are. It can be so refreshing to lift that weight off your shoulders. Don’t feel like you have to keep posting photographs to maintain friendships. If you take a photo and you don’t feel great about it, there’s no law that says you have to share it and open yourself up to judgment. You don’t always have to try and look your best. There’s nothing wrong with having days when you sit around in joggers with your hair in a messy bun and no makeup on. Nobody’s going to see you unless you choose to interact with them.
Being kinder to yourself is also a really good piece of advice. Most of us are our own worst critics. Why is that you’ll do everything to make a friend who is panicking about what to wear or worrying about their weight feel better, but you’ll put yourself down in the same situation? Next time you feel fat, or your skin doesn’t look perfect, give yourself a break. Learn to love or at least tolerate those so-called imperfections. Perhaps you want to make changes, but be realistic. There’s nothing wrong with trying to shift a few pounds if you feel more confident being lighter, but don’t strive to be a size zero.
How much time do you spend looking at other people on a daily basis? If you browse magazine pages or websites that make you feel unattractive or inadequate, comparing yourself to others and trying to keep up could have a really negative impact on your self-esteem. Take a break from social media, work out what’s causing your confidence issues and go gently when it comes to self-criticism. Nobody is perfect and the sooner you realize this, embrace it, and focus on everything that is brilliant about you, the better.