You look in the mirror and you are either pleased with what you see or not. You may be looking at your physical appearance – skin, hair, clothes, or the image you portray – being confident or shy. Our self image plays an important part in how we feel about ourselves and how we think others perceive us. Our self-esteem, confidence and ability to communicate with others are closely linked with how we view ourselves.
Television, magazines and adverts tell us we live in a world full of beautiful people. The pressure to have the correct body shape, wear only branded clothes and be full of self-confidence is a tall order. Many young people compare themselves to these images and often come to the conclusion they are not meeting the standards set by the media. Thankfully most of us realise that these expectations are unrealistic. We realise that life is not like this, and how we feel about ourselves is much more important for self-esteem and confidence.
There are times however, when we are feeling down or unsure about ourselves, when we start to question our self image and don’t feel as good about ourselves as we could. Sometimes this can have a spiralling negative effect and soon we feel depressed.
There are times when things can get worse. Others may comment negatively on your clothes, hair or belongings. You may be called names because you are overweight or spotty. You may even get bullied. It is these times that you are at your most vulnerable and when you look in the mirror you may start to agree with the comments. STOP. Take time out and just look carefully at the people making these comments. Are they perfect? Certainly not. Now take a look at your strengths and good qualities. Try to talk to friends about how you feel and ask them what good qualities you have. Obviously it is easier said than done but by starting to become more confident and believing in yourself, your self image will begin to improve.
Do others see you for who you really are?