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Negative perceptions: Look past yourself

It’s Friday night and I am staring at my closet. Fast-forward 30 minutes and my clothes have magically levitated off their hangers and onto my bedroom floor.

As I look at the time ticking away, I am filled with nervous energy. Rifling through the inseparable pile, I finally pick suitable attire, because the yoga pants I had been wearing are unflattering outside the home. Shucks.

I examine myself before I leave. I fidget with my hair and sigh.

“Well I guess this is the best it’s going to get.”

“I wish I did something else with my hair.”

Sadly, I am not the only one who suffers from this futile exercise. I witness it in female and male friends alike. We use mirrors to scrutinize magically-manifested imperfections.

We convince ourselves that without this or that, our appearance would be perfect.  Mirrors turn into impossible tests. Our perception fails us when we surrender to negativity. From personal experience, I know how easy it is to let defeated statements slide and wither confidence.

So, instead of looking into a mirror, let’s look out the window. Is there set standard for snowflakes? Are wild flowers not attractive because they are unlike the florist’s roses? We rejoice in nature’s imperfections while agonizing over our subtle differences in appearance.

Take time to resist self-negativity. Remember there are different standards of beauty all around the world. In Nigeria, women are encouraged to be full-bodied as it demonstrates fertility and the ability to carry and birth many babies. The Karo tribe of Ethiopia scar men and women’s torsos and chests to assert social status. Imperfections are all around us. The only real truth is that there is beauty in the flaws. Your flaws are you and they are beautiful. Tell yourself. Everyone else sees it too.

For more tips on resisting negative self-talk visit operationbeautiful.com.

BY APRIL KNUTSON
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