Am I attractive?
This is a question we’ve all asked ourselves.
When we look in the mirror, most of us answer this question with an emphatic “no”.
Occasionally our self-confidence will receive a quick boost when a good looking guy/girl looks at us at the street or a friend tells you how beautiful you are.
But this generally doesn’t last long and we’re back to self-loathing about our own looks.
According to psychologist Gleb Tsipursky, we’re all self-conscious and everyone has a natural tendency to judge their own appearance more harshly than they do others.
I’m sure you’ve heard most people blame the media and the narrow standard of beauty it imposes.
While it’s true that research has found that the media negatively affects how we judge both ourselves and others, it doesn’t actually explain why we judge ourselves more harshly than others.
But according to psychologist Gleb Tsipursky, there are 2 reasons we judge ourselves harshly:
Gleb Tsipursky says it’s a combination of two things:
1) Our looks are very important to us.
Other people’s beauty doesn’t affect our life as much.
2) We know our looks better than others do.
When we look at others, we have no real reason to pay attention to their good or bad parts or judge them in anyway.
Contrast that to how we see ourselves. It matters to us. We believe it affects how people perceive us and judge us. So of course, we have more reason to pay attention to our own looks.
So what do we pay attention to? Our good points or bad points? According to research, we focus on the bad points because of a popular psychological theory explained below.
This psychology theory is why you judge yourself harshly
A psychology theory called “loss aversion” says that humans hate losing even more than we love winning.
Gleb Tsipursky explains it best:
“Say someone gives you $1000. They say you can either lose $400 of it now, or try to hold on to it all, 50-50 odds to keep it all or lose it all. What would you do? Well, studies show about 61% of people in this situation choose to gamble on keeping everything over a sure loss. Then suppose you get a second deal. You can either keep $600 of your $1000 now, or you can risk losing it all, 50-50 odds again. What would you do? People tend to like keeping the $600 more in this deal, only 43% tend to gamble. Do you see the trick? Losing $400 out of $1000 is the same thing as keeping $600 out of $1000!”
Even when it doesn’t make sense, we avoid the potential of a loss because it hurts us so bad.
So, when it comes to our looks, given the choice, would we pay attention to what could make us look good, or to what could make us look bad?
Because we’re more afraid of what could make us lose in terms of our looks, we focus on our negative points.
Gleb Tsipursky says that we check ALL of our flaws when we look in the mirror and the balanced beauty assessment we give others is lost when we view ourselves.
Plus, our flaws have our attention which now becomes more important than what you’re not paying attention to. In psychology, this is called attentional bias.
It’s a fact that if you spend more time examining your flaws, and little time appreciating your good points, the flaws will stick out in your mind.
Since others don’t have the ability to criticize us like we can, and they don’t have any reason to pay attention to our flaws, other people’s assessment of us is more balanced.
So, how can we achieve a more, natural balanced view of our looks?
It’s a tough question, considering that even the most beautiful people can sometimes be down about their own looks.
According to psychologist Gleb Tsipursky, we simply need to make an effort to pay attention to our good points.
Appreciate what you like about yourself and overtime, you’ll begin to see yourself with a natural balance that others see you with. In fact, this is where undertaking a “self-love ritual” can help.
5 steps to loving yourself and how you look
I realize that “self-love” can seem a bit wishy-washy and without substance, but the fact is, by practicing some sort of self-love rituals every day, you can slowly change your mindset to be positive about yourself and how you look.
So if you think that you’d like to change your mindset, here are 5 steps you can take to feel better about yourself:
1) Create a “body self-love ritual”
This is a type of meditation practice that can help you get in touch with your own body. Every morning (or whenever you have time) dedicate 15 minutes to yourself without any distractions.
What you’re going to do is go through your whole body and thank it for doing its job throughout your life.
For example, you can thank your hands for all the introductions and activities they’ve enabled you do. You can thank your nose for providing clean air to your body.
It’s about getting in touch with your body and realizing that every part serves a significant function.
In short, you’ll realize that there’s nothing wrong with you at all.
2) Create a “What I Love About My Body” list
It’s time to set aside those limiting beliefs and focus on your positives. Write down everything you love about your face and body, even if it’s small.
Once you spend 30 minutes thinking of everything you love about yourself, keep it somewhere you can access every day for the next week.
Once you read it to yourself every day for at least a week, you’ll begin to rewire your brain to be more grateful and loving of yourself.
3) Treat your body like a love vessel
One thing is certain in this life: We all get a body, and it’s up to us to take responsibility for it.
So be compassionate towards it!
If unhealthy food isn’t good for your body in the long run, then don’t have it. Intuitively you know what’s good for your body and what isn’t. Make sure you take responsibility of it.
4) Stop comparing yourself to others
We all do it. It’s human nature to compare yourself to others. But comparing can steal joy and self-esteem from your own life.
One of the most powerful things you can do to improve yourself is to let go of comparing yourself and focus on the present moment.
Here are some wise words from spiritual guru Osho:
“Nobody can say anything about you. Whatsoever people say is about themselves. But you become very shaky, because you are still clinging to a false center. That false center depends on others, so you are always looking to what people are saying about you. And you are always following other people, you are always trying to satisfy them. You are always trying to be respectable, you are always trying to decorate your ego. This is suicidal. Rather than being disturbed by what others say, you should start looking inside yourself…
Whenever you are self-conscious you are simply showing that you are not conscious of the self at all. You don’t know who you are. If you had known, then there would have been no problem— then you are not seeking opinions. Then you are not worried what others say about you— it is irrelevant!
Your very self-consciousness indicates that you have not come home yet.”
5) Do something you’re good at
This is the ultimate self-esteem booster.
When you dislike the way you look, it shows that your self-esteem isn’t where it should be.
So go out there and do something you’re good at. It could be something small like organizing your room, writing, running or any creative task.
Doing what you’re good at is the surest quickfire way to boost your self-esteem.