Right, it’s time to feel happier in our appearance. To be able to look in the mirror and think, daaaammmn. To be able to walk down the street with our head held high! We all have our little insecurities or the things we might wish we could change, but as part of self-acceptance, it’s key to become happy with your image. So, let’s jump straight in. Here’s how to feel confident about the way you look, in ten key steps.
Ten Steps To Feel Confident About The Way You Look
#1 Stop Comparing Yourself To Other People
First up, if you want to feel confident about the way you look, you’ve got to stop comparing yourself to other people. Your friends who you feel are so much prettier than you, any ‘enemies’ that you think have ‘one up’ on you because they’re supposedly more attractive. Yeah right!
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder as they say, and the chances are – you’re so damn critical of yourself, you don’t even see how beautiful you are.
If you scrutinised every aspects of others, the way you do about yourself, I guarantee you’d find just as many ‘flaws’ in them. Except you wouldn’t feel them so hard because it’s not on you. Remember, knocking others down doesn’t make you feel any better about yourself. It’s just a toxic mindset to have and will result in bitterness and hatred. So don’t actually try this…
Instead, try to appreciate that everyone is different. We all have our own imperfections. None of us are perfect. But that means you don’t need to try to make yourself perfect either. Because spoiler alert: it’s not possible and if you always strive for perfection, you will actually never be happy with who you are.
Another confidence-sucker? Scrolling through social media and seeing all these picture-perfect selfies – then looking back at yours and thinking you’re nothing. For starters, photos can be very deceptive. Some people look far different in person, and so many are edited to sh*t nowadays – you don’t even know what is real and what’s not. So who cares if someone can take a ‘better’ picture? Don’t obsess over your own.
You are your own person. Being happy in your own skin is the most important thing. But don’t make the mistake of thinking that other people have to come into that. This isn’t a competition. You’re on your own personal journey to self-love so no-one else even matters.
#2 Stop Trying To Look Like Everyone Else
There’s actually a thing now, known as the ‘Instagram face’ – it’s this look we think is desirable, these features we think we need to have and society’s supposed ideal of beauty. Yet it revolves around photo editing and surgery, which means – for many – the only way to be happy with how you look, is to change yourself. I want you to have a read of this article which explores it further. And this one too.
How to avoid this? Well by throwing away your conventional, media-defined ideals of beauty. Because sure – you’re not going to be able to change society’s definition of beauty, but you can change your own.
Another reason why this is important, is that striving for this particular image – may not even be you. You’re changing the way you look to try to fit in, seeing thousands of others doing the same (and thinking they’re doing it better – of course!) but regardless of this, it doesn’t always FEEL like you at the end of it.
In many ways, you’re just trying to be someone you’re not and craving this acceptance. It’s not healthy. So if you want to feel confident about the way you look, you have to actually FIND your look. This leads me onto my next point…
#3 Discover What Feels Like You
So you’ve stopped comparing, you’ve stopped trying to be who everyone else wants to be… which means it’s then time to explore your style a little more!
Play around with different hair, different makeup, different looks until you find one that feels like your own. Buy the clothes that YOU like, the clothes that make you feel good – and not just because they’re comfy or baggy, but because they flatter your figure and make you feel strong and confident.
You don’t have to go to extremes and hunt out what’s different, just for the sake of trying to be different. Some of societies ideals of beauty may be similar to some of your own. You can still like the same things. But the difference now will be that you’ve shifted your mindset and opened your mind.
You’re choosing it for YOU, not to be like anyone else. You’re going for what matches YOUR personality, not trying to be someone you’re not. And that my friends, is what it’s all about. That’s the secret key to acceptance.
#4 Accept The Things You Can’t Change
Throughout all of this, there’s going to still be things you don’t like about yourself. Maybe you think you’ve got a bit of a moon head, or your nose is bigger than you would like it to be. Perhaps you have imperfections on your skin, or scars / stretch marks that you don’t really like.
The thing is, how much they bother you, actually depends on how much importance you give them.
Does it REALLY matter? Should it REALLY be this big of a deal? I’d like to argue not. And once you cut out the comparisons and put appearance into perspective, I think you’ll feel the same way too. There’s far more to you than just your image. This is just one element that makes you, you. And those things you don’t like about yourself – are even more miniscule. They’re unimportant.
If you can’t change something, change the way you look at it so that you can gain the acceptance around it. And if you find this difficult, give yourself a pep talk. What would you say to your friend if she was beating herself up about this feature she didn’t like? Talk to yourself, the way you’d talk to her. Be your own best friend and cheerleader. Be kinder to yourself, and stop scrutinising over tiny little things.
#5 Work On The Things You Can Change
Confidence comes from within, we get that. And there’s far more to beauty than just physical appearance. But if there’s certain things you don’t like – like your weight for example – and you can do something about this without any dramatic life changes that would be damaging, then do it. If it’s going to make you feel happier in your own skin, do it. Just do it for the right reasons. And of your own accord.
As part of this, it’s also worth taking better care of your appearance. Focus on self-care, get into good routines. It’s not about needing to slather yourself in makeup every day, but it’s good to take pride in your appearance. When you don’t, it shows a lack of care. And that lack of care comes from a bad attitude of thinking “what’s the point?!”
The point is, you’re important. So start with the basics. Then look at what else you might like to do, that would make you feel good, and take it from there.
#6 Appreciate What You Do Like
We’ve talked about the things you DON’T like, but what about the things you DO? Shift your focus. Give yourself some complements, be kinder to yourself, appreciate the amazing things about yourself.
Whatever you give attention to will expand in your field of consciousness.
Taking time to actively notice positive qualities about yourself, whether external characteristics or internal skills and qualities, helps them to become more salient to you. When you spend time acknowledging these traits, you can experience them more fully and that my friends, is what’s going to make you feel confident about the way you look.
#7 Work Out – It Makes You Feel Good
Another tip for how to feel confident about the way you look? It’s simple, and beneficial in more than one way… Working out!
See when you exercise, there’s the mental side effects, aside from the physical ones. Not only does exercising release endomorphies (the feel-good chemical we all want!) but it also gives you a sense of accomplishment. It makes you feel proud, feel good. And again, shows you’re taking pride in your health, wellbeing and general appearance.
I talk about that (and the impact it had on me) in my 30 Day Fitness Challenge for Mental Wellbeing. Click here if you’d like to have a read . You might like to do the same thing too, to get you into a healthy new routine.
#8 Assess Your Relationships
Who you surround yourself with dramatically influences the way you feel about yourself. In fact, it might be that you don’t feel confident about the way you look, because either:
- Your ‘friends’ obsess over their appearance, picking flaws and becoming overly consumed with it, which makes you very much conscious of your own.
- Or – more commonly – your ‘friends’ have a habit of knocking you down. Whether that’s about physical attributes in yourself, or you as a person. The little jabs, the unnecessary comments. They have an impact.
And it may not just be your friends. This may be coming from your family, your partner, your associates.
Are you surrounding yourself with people who make you feel good? Who lift you up? Push you forward? Inspire you?
Think about it. And don’t be afraid to reduce your circle, or expand out into other directions if the people you’re surrounding you with are causing more damage than good.
#9 Get To The Root Of The Problem
You’ve got insecurities which is why you’re not totally happy in your appearance. But break them down. Ask yourself – where have they come from? Are they really accurate or true? Am I putting more weight on them than there needs to be?
- Is it something someones said in the past? Or does it run deeper?
- Have you always felt this way, or is it something new?
- Perhaps your fixation on getting a better body stems from an emotional insecurity – like never feeling “good enough.”
If this is the case, you will always find an aspect of yourself to criticise, whether it’s your weight, your height, your hair. Which is why changing these things, or changing the way you see them, won’t completely solve the problem. You’ll always move onto something new.
For this reason, you have to identify the root cause and acknowledge how it’s led you to feel this way. Then remind yourself that it is an irrational insecurity. You’ve got to challenge it and keep challenging it until you find yourself a new, more empowering belief.
It’s also worth knowing your triggers – the things that immediately leave you feeling bad about yourself. These may be certain celebrity magazines or social media websites or bad habits even (like overeating, drowning your sorrows, wasting your day away.) Identify the things that don’t serve you and take steps to limit their role in your life.
#10 Hold That Head Up High
My last recommendation for how to feel more confident in the way that you look, is changing the way you look, in terms of your posture and body language. Having good posture can make you look good (after all, who likes a hunchback?!) but it can also make you feel good…
One study from the Association of Psychological Science found that sitting up straight can make you feel more confident and powerful. They found that people who strike “power poses” reported elevations in testosterone, decreases in cortisol (a chemical found when you experience fear), and increased feelings of power.
So, if you’re looking for a mood boost and to view yourself in a more positive light, it might be worth keeping your chin up… both physically and mentally.
It’s like if you look down, slouch over, relax all the muscles in your face, make your eyes more downturned, you’re going to feel a little more miserable. It’s sucking the life out of you! Whereas if you pull your shoulders back, brighten your eyes, take a deep breath, stride out and SMILE – it will actually change the way you feel… To a degree. Try it if you don’t believe me!
BONUS TIP: THE 10/10 TRICK
To finish off I want to share what my good friend said to me the other week. He’s got model looks, does entertaining for hen do’s and is HANDS DOWN the most confident person I know… Although if you saw his fitness transformation and looked at him before, you’d never guess he was the same person today. Because of this, he’s very humble, and pretty damn wise. Anyway, he said to me…
“Ella, when you look in the mirror, you need to see yourself as a 10/10. Look in the mirror and tell yourself that. Just stare back and say, I am a 10/10. And believe it. It will start to make a difference. Do it every morning. Every time you see yourself. And gradually it will start to embed in your mind.”
I laughed about it to begin with. He then checked in on me and I still hadn’t done it. It felt silly right? But then I thought I’d better give it a go and I’ve realised it’s just like using the power of affirmations.
So no matter how crappy you feel – whether you have bags under your eyes, a little breakout, a messy hair day, look in the mirror and say, “I am a 10/10.” Then when you’ve done your makeup, are feeling fresh, looking on point, look again and say, “Damn, I really am a 10/10!”
Keep saying it until you believe it. Choose to keep lifting yourself up.
One Last Thing…
Oh, and one last thing. If you’ve tried all of this and you’re still not feeling confident about the way you look, I want you to have a think of this for a moment. Think how you’ll feel 20 – 30 – 40 years from now, when you look back at old photos and think, wow… I had no idea how beautiful I was back then.
Because you will think that. Not because you will be any less beautiful as you get older, but because right now – you still have your youthful beauty. It’s like – do you ever think back of the insecurities you had at high-school and think back like, damn, how silly was I? I know I do. Like back then, I thought I was chubby. But boy, would I love to have the figure I had back then – without having to work as hard as I do to keep off / lose any weight now!
Often, you don’t realise what you have in the moment. It’s only when you look back that you gain that perspective. So choose to skip the regretful part, and embrace who you are now… in your ‘prime’ as they say!
Take care, and believe in yourself. For more support and encouragement, be sure to subscribe below. I’ll then check in on you every couple of weeks, with the latest ‘training.’