In my teenage years, my body and everything to do with it became very much the front and centre of my existence. Not only does high school teach you english, maths and science, for girls, it also teaches you how to judge other women. Your friend ‘matures’ quicker than you, the boys notice, and you think something is wrong with you. Girls start wearing shorter, tighter, more revealing clothes, and the commenting, judging and critiquing begins. Not only do we learn critiquing others as some sort of social ‘skill’, as a rebound effect, we start comparing ourselves.
Comparisons are dangerous. I remember once I stared so hard in the mirror hoping my “faults” would change, disappear or improve. Ladies, once it’s set, bone structure won’t change no matter how long you stand there trying to compel it! As women, and individuals, we look too closely at ourselves. We’ve got our faces pushed up to mirrors, complaining about the latest teeny wrinkle, or the temporary blemish that we all dread. Whilst none of us want wrinkles or blemishes, what I’m getting at is that we are by far our harshest critics, because we are so up in our own faces and aware of our bodies all the time.
Noone else repeatedly dresses us, puts our make up on, does our hair, washes and moisturises us and knows our shape as intricately as we do. The other day I was at a seminar and the speaker asked us to tell the person beside us what you think is one of your greatest fears that was holding you back from being amazing. So I turned to my best friend and shared my little secret. She looked at me with a “huh?!” face, and said “if someone ever asked me to answer that question for you, that would NEVER have been my response”. It made me question myself.
All of those niggling thoughts and beliefs about what my physical “faults” are, aren’t even a big deal to anyone else? If noone else cares, why should I? Why do we feel compelled to judge each other so harshly, and even more so, who are we to judge ourselves so brutally? Whilst the occasional social judging and critiquing seems to be embedded in our nature, wouldn’t it be nice if just for today we could compliment someone to their face, instead of talk about them behind their back? Even better, instead of the early morning ‘oh man, I’m so fat’, how about a ‘damn, I look hot today!!’. Even if you feel silly, at least it will make you laugh, and you’ve started your day on a positive note. Perhaps it will rub off, and you’ll be in the complimenting mood for the rest of the morning?
Allow your actions to have a positive ripple effect. I strongly believe that if you bring positivity into the world, you’ll get the positive back. I know it’s too much of a task to ask you to change the way you see yourself overnight. I know for many of us it’s a daily struggle to feel good enough. But a quote I like to keep handy is this:
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein
We can always seem to find something positive in others personalities or looks, but for most of us, it’s much harder to find them in ourselves. Judging yourself and other people according to your standards, your looks, and what you think is the best way to be ‘normal’ (what is normal anyway?) is the quickest way to low self-esteem, bitterness and resentment. Uniqueness is what makes the world so fascinating. Embrace it, appreciate it and be grateful for what you have, not what you “don’t have”. Cause I think you’re looking hot today! 😉