We all have off days.
Staring into the mirror, wondering why our hair isn’t as glossy as the shampoo adverts.
Why our bodies aren’t as lean and lithe as the people we see in the gym.
Why our skin looks dull and mottled and cracked.
The funny thing is that we don’t leave this style of thinking at home.
In fact, doubting your physical appearance can often manifest in other subtle behaviors.
And it’s not all too easy to spot or recognize these patterns in our day-to-day actions.
So yes, the likelihood is that your insecurities are affecting your behavior.
The good news is that there’s lots you can do about it – the first step being to recognize how you’re letting your lack of confidence affect how you present yourself.
If this all hits a little close to home, keep reading to learn about the 10 behaviors people often display when they lack confidence in their physical appearance, without even realizing it.
Let’s take your first step towards self-awareness and self-improvement!
1) Overcompensating with fashion/health/fitness choices
You know the person I’m talking about.
The one who wears bright green heels, fuchsia scarves, and fish flip flops with pride.
They deck out their body with garish, bright colors, designer goods galore, or quirky t-shirts and sock choices and might as well be using these bold fashion choices as a form of impenetrable armor.
Or, the friend who lives in the gym.
“Sorry I can’t, have to drown out by sorrows by squatting until 2am”.
Or even the health and wellness nut who spends all their savings on anything labeled ‘detox’ or ‘new you’ or ‘organic’.
This isn’t to say that having a mere interest in any of the above immediately makes out that someone is hiding a lack of confidence and is deeply insecure.
Throwing money at loud and illustrious clothes, at supplements that promise you’ll wake up looking like Barbie tomorrow, at gym memberships so pricey, they should work out for you…
Someone who focuses so sharply on one of the above might well be hiding the fact that they’re not entirely comfortable with their own physical appearance.
2) Avoiding social situations
It’s easy to choose the safe option (staying in alone, binge-watching tv with your cat) when your mind and body aren’t harmonizing.
I feel too fat to wear a crop top.
My thighs are too squishy for mini skirts.
My biceps aren’t big enough to look good in a tight shirt.
Your pesky little inner critic nags away at what you should and shouldn’t wear, according to how you perceive your own body image that day.
And the end note is often choosing to decline social situations out of a fear that others might look at you and judge you in the same way you’re judging yourself.
(Spoiler alert: they won’t).
Letting your lack of confidence in your physicalities impact your social life is a toxic cycle, as the more you recluse, the less confident you get.
So try to remember that no one else is observing or critiquing your body, and that true friends will appreciate your company, not judge your appearance.
3) Seeking constant validation
And behold the insecure person that has braved venturing out to said social situation…
“Do I look good today? Is my makeup nice? Do I look skinny?”
“Do you like my outfit? Do you think I’m hot? Would you date me?”
They either ask for validation outright in a slightly high pitched and whiny tone, or they shut down completely until someone offers them a compliment.
At which point, like a vampire, they are sated for a few hours. Until the validation cravings begin again.
Unfortunately, living off validation to appease your insecurities doesn’t get you far in the long run.
Those critical voices get louder, your insecurities get bigger, and there comes a point where you can no longer feed off praise and attention.
So just remember: your worth should not be defined by others’ opinions.
Your physical appearance is just one facet of who you are – it does not define your value or worth.
4) Overdoing makeup
Makeup can be a wonderful tool for self-expression and creativity.
At the same time, it can serve as a mask for those struggling with insecurities.
Speaking from experience, I used to apply masses of foundation. So much so that touching my cheeks would leave sticky finger prints.
I would rush to a bathroom at every break time and furiously reapply mascara or setting powder.
Even with my boyfriend, I would wake a little earlier than he did and tiptoe off to the bathroom to make sure I awoke with a deceiving full face of makeup.
Makeup can be a great tool in helping you exercise your voice and work through certain insecurities.
At the same time, it should enhance your natural features, not cover them up completely.
Real confidence comes from within – not from a perfectly contoured face.
5) Avoiding eye contact
Eye contact is a powerful form of non-verbal communication.
It’s also unfortunately one of the first things to go when someone is insecure or plagued with self-doubt.
People lacking confidence in their physical appearance often shy away from making eye contact. They worry that the other person might judge or scrutinize them, so they shiftily avoid holding anyone else’s gaze.
If holding eye contact has started to make you feel seen or perceived (and uncomfortably so), and you find yourself itching to look anywhere but the other person’s irises, this might be a sign that your insecurities are getting the better of you.
But try to remember that your physical appearance doesn’t define your worth.
So head up, shoulders down, make eye contact (or stare at the bridge of their nose), and let the world see the confident person you are!
6) Comparing yourself to others
The more insecure a person, the more they tend to think the grass is greener (when it’s so often not).
They spend hours staring square-eyed at pictures of airbrushed celebrities and models.
Or their eyes flit between passersby, trying to work out where they rank in terms of their attractiveness compared to the rest of the world.
If you’re doing the same, know that it’s a slippery slope.
Nobody’s life is as perfect as their Instagram feed makes it out to be.
So, whilst it’s easier said than done, try to swap comparing for celebrating the things you love about yourself.
These aspects don’t even have to be physical ones – be proud of your kindness and warmth, or your ability to crack a joke and get the whole room in tears, or even your napping abilities!
7) Not taking care of your physical health
Those who lack confidence in their physical appearance often begin to neglect their physical health, either because they lack motivation for healthy eating/exercise/wellness, or because they think skipping meals, overdoing the exercise, and rigid views on health will win them the confidence they want.
Good health radiates from within and contributes to a natural glow that no beauty product can replicate.
So, if you know you’ve been a lil’ guilty of sacrificing your health, why not try work on this first?
- Eat balanced meals
- Prioritize sleep and rest
- Get active (but not as means of punishing yourself or ‘earning’ food)
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
- Wear SPF
- Get out in nature
- Read a few pages each day
Make a goal of 30 days incorporating all of the above and watch your confidence soar!
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