In a world now filled with self proclaimed Instagram models, vloggers, world travellers, face tuning, Photoshop and all the rest, it’s not wonder that we become over run with insecurities. So much so, it has become the norm. We look at people questionably when they stand with ease and confidence, it’s almost as if it were an alien concept to love and appreciate ourselves. We’re so used to picking and prodding at our self worth, we’re so good at finding new ways to self destruct that it becomes near impossible to challenge that way of thinking. So all of these insecurities that we let fester day in and day out keep chinking away at our armour, I believe that because of this we are more likely to compare ourselves to others.
For me, I get stuck in a rut. There will be events or emotions that occur which I am uncomfortable with, I choose (sometimes consciously, sometimes not) to block them out, to push away all of the stuff that is too difficult to face. I have noticed, when doing this, my focus then turns to my appearance, my weight, my food intake. All of the things that I can control as I am unable to control every situation that I’m faced with.
So I’m left, fixated on what I look like and those insecurities that were just a dull ache in the back of my mind soon become a full blown, agonising pain that rips through my core.
Belly rolls, freckles, moles, pale skin, soft arms, unsymmetrical face, wonky smile, squinty eyes, limp hair.
When I’m feeling low, losing control and my insecurities are crashing into me with full force I can’t help but compare, compare myself to friends and to strangers. It’s a habit that I’m struggling to kick.
We all do it though don’t we? We all run through lists in our minds of what we would change if we had the chance. We all compare, I wish I had her legs, his muscles, their tan, their size, her fashion, his lifestyle. But I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, comparison is the thief of joy. Okay, that’s a great bit of information, but how do we stop comparing and start building up a good relationship with our bodies (and minds) again?
Firstly I’d suggest un-following, de-friending or blocking anyone on social media that makes you feel worthless. Stop torturing yourself, stop checking up on that one persons page that makes you question yourself, the one page that brings you down due to their appearance, lifestyle, relationships. Keep reminding yourself that majority of the junk you see online is just what people want you to see, ‘the highlight reel.’
Secondly, when you catch yourself comparing in the real world (maybe at work or on a night out). You’re sat there gazing at this person, thinking that you’d give anything to trade places, just gently bring yourself back. Accept their beauty, their intelligence, their confidence, but softly remind yourself that you are also a beautiful force. Your body is a piece of art work, your scars, freckles, moles and marks paint a picture unlike any other on this earth. Your body is a part of history, changing and growing over the years, experiencing life in its own perfectly individual way. No one can dispute these facts. We all hold our own, individual radiance and wonders can co exist without diminishing another’s spark.
Lastly, know your worth. You have the choice to love and accept yourself at any given moment. For some, it may be harder to avoid comparison, maybe due to disability, chronic illness, skin colour, heritage or another challenge. When we are all constantly bombarded by ‘perfection’ on social media and day to day life it becomes draining, especially when your body type isn’t depicted in today’s society. So it takes time and energy and maybe even some upset, but keep reminding yourself that YOU. ARE. WORTHY. It’s important to remember to not look to others for validation, we deserve to be happy and free of comparison. Whenever those insecurities begin to bubble up, acknowledge them, hear them and simply say:
‘I am more than (insert insecurity here). I am worthy, strong and incredible.’
Then maybe look inside and ask yourself; why am I feeling this way today? Is there something that I’m ignoring? An emotion that I’m pushing away?
If there is, then maybe it’s time to address it.
Now, none of these points are a magical cure, they are simply things that I find helpful.
There’s no quick fix and there’s no real escape from the pressure that we all face from society, but little by little, day by day it becomes easier to see the beauty we hold as individuals. I hope one day that my insecurities are little to none, but until then I will continue to show myself love and acceptance.