How What You Look Like Can Change How You Feel

How What You Look Like Can Change How You Feel

How many times do you see your reflection in a day?

Its 1:30 pm, I’ve only left my house for a quick trip to the gym, and I’ve already seen myself in a dozen mirrors today. Two on the way from my bed to the bathroom, two in my car, three at my gym, and five in my kitchen, if you count reflections in the dark windows, pre-sunrise. After each glance, I made a snap judgment about what I saw – I couldn’t help it! Do you do the same?

How do you feel about what you see?

Let’s be honest; even the most self-confident among us don’t look in the mirror without seeing something we might like to change. Whether or not it’s based on objective reality or one of your own making, what you see in those reflections can affect the course of your day. It can change how you think about and treat yourself, how you feel about and treat other people, and even how you let other people treat you.

We all have off-days; a night of bad sleep can make you think you look five years older; a shirt that shrank a little in the wash can make you wonder if you need to go weigh yourself again, but prolonged self-consciousness about your appearance can kill confidence. It can cripple empathy. It can affect your productivity. I might not hear the story behind the question my preschooler is asking from his car seat if I’m busy fixing my hair in the rearview mirror. I might not smile at that barista if I don’t like the way my teeth look. I might not assert myself in a meeting if everyone at the table seems more put-together than I do. I might not hike up that mountain if I don’t think I look like everyone else at the trailhead.

What if you could silence the voice of your worst critic?

When we free up the space self-consciousness occupies in our minds, it allows us to use that space for better things. What would help you change the way you think about yourself? What would you have room for if you weren’t preoccupied with thoughts about your appearance? What if you walked away from all your glances in the mirror feeling bold and confident and energized?

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