The Montfort Group

Negative Body Image? Change Your Focus

Negative body image and self-talk abound, but the wise individual will dismiss it if they’re to feel good about themselves and walk through life with confidence. Could you use a boost of confidence that helps you feel good about yourself right now?

Many people struggle with some part of their body they don’t like. Sometimes, their imagination makes things out to be worse than they are. They look at a photo of themselves and all they see is how large their nose is. But in reality, their nose may be perfect for their face. It’s only the angle of the photo or their mind focusing on it that makes it seem problematic. 

Unfortunately, negative self-talk only serves to sap your confidence and steal your joy. There is no value in it.  Alternatively, self-acceptance has value. As long as you are devoted to doing your best and being your best self, you can exude confidence. 

The Key to Happiness

The key to being calmer and happier is to not only accept yourself, but to push chronic self-examination to the side. One simple step at a time you can learn to push aside harsh self-evaluations and look instead at what you’re doing right. Every time you choose to do right, to be kind, and to make a positive difference in society, you become more attractive. When you take note of your progress, you will find more joy and happiness in life. 

Get your mind off yourself. Put it on other people and on being a part of worthwhile causes. 

Set Some Goals

Taking the focus off yourself and setting new goals will help you feel more accomplished in life. Since you’re interested in your appearance, set some exercise and nutrition goals. Try new makeup and hairdos. But then, take the focus off your appearance. You want to move from self-evaluation to a life with more balance. 

Perhaps you can take up some hobbies or join activities in your community. When you take steps toward accomplishing good goals, you’ll find more hope and motivation. You’ll be proud of yourself for more than your appearance. It will show. You’ll be likable. 

When you learn to like yourself as you are here and now while constantly taking new positive steps, you’ll get along better with others too. You’ll project positive energy. 

Where to Start

You will want to take some practical steps to change chronic self-focused habits that don’t serve you. Do so one small step at a time. Believe in yourself as you take steps, and if you fall off track, start again. 

Here are a few tips to get you going:

1. Before getting up, tell yourself not to evaluate yourself when you look in the mirror. 

2. If negative thoughts creep up, say no to them, changing your focus.

3. Think about one helpful thing you have done and assign value to it. 

4. Take your mind off yourself and enjoy the scenery and other people around you. 

5. Resist the urge to compare yourself with others. 

6. Choose a style of clothes that define you and enjoy becoming your own brand. 

7. Think about what is working in your life

8. Work on your strengths and use them to help others. 

9. If others tease or criticize you, don’t listen to them.

10. Be generous with helping others and you’ll feel greater joy. 

Everyone struggles with self-assessment, some more than others. You are not alone, but you can work to make low self-esteem a thing of the past. Simply do your best and celebrate what you have by way of possessions, intellect, and ability. Life will become smoother and less negative once you become more self-accepting. Be your unique self, and pass your new-found joy onto others. 

Picture of Courtney Strull, MS, LPC

Courtney Strull, MS, LPC

I attended The University of Texas in Austin where I majored in Psychology and minored in Sociology. During my undergraduate coursework, I did research under Dr. Rebecca Bigler, where I studied gender and racial attitudes among children. Upon competition of my undergraduate degree, I moved to Dallas to attend Southern Methodist University’s Master of Science in Counseling program and completed all the training to become a Licensed Professional Counselor.

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