The Eyes Of The Beholder

Eyes of the Beholder

I just watched a video on YouTube that made me think long and hard about the nature of our self-image.

A police sketch artist drew portraits of several women as they described themselves to him. He had not met them and he could not see them. He had only their own visions of themselves to guide his hand. Next a person who had just briefly met one of those women was asked to describe her again for a second portrait. Finally the subject women were able to see both of their portraits side by side.

Amazingly, both portraits of each women could not have been more different. The first picture was horribly unflattering. The self-described woman was sad and tired and flawed. The portrait described by the stranger was lively, happy and far more beautiful than the first. There was a joy and sparkle in their eyes. The flaws they had described in themselves were not even evident in the second drawing. The strangers were able to capture both the inner and external beauty in every women far better than they could for themselves. What does that say about our self-image?

Only about 4% of women say they consider themselves beautiful. 4%...that's shocking. Look around. You know as well as I, that as we walk out in the world there are far more beautiful women than that. We see beauty everywhere. We know dozens of happy, vibrant beautiful women. If we can see it in them, why can't we see it in ourselves?

How we see ourselves affects everything we do. It is critical to our happiness and to our self confidence. How we think of ourselves colors our relationships to family, friends and co-workers. Job interviews, dates, marriage and perhaps most critical of all, our children are all affected by how well we view ourselves. If we have a positive self-image, just think about how much more successful we could be in our lives. Can you imagine what kind of a role model that would make for our kids? How much happier would we be?

Self-image is really hard to change. After all, it's taken all our lives to build it down to where it is now. The problem is that we tend to focus on the negative. We have been bombarded by negatives coming at us from all directions. And those negative start early and they just keep coming. School yard hurts and job critiques have all played a roll in breaking down our self-image. Then there are those unrealistic role models we latch onto. Can you keep up with the Kardashians? I know I can't. I think it's time to give ourselves a break.

Starting today, lets promise to be a little kinder to ourselves. Here's and idea: The next time you look in the mirror, pay attention to the sparkle in you eyes instead of the lines starting to appear next them. Besides, maybe you should start celebrating those lines. You earned them by living fully, everyday. Maybe your lips are looking a little thin, but that nose above them can still be described as a cute button. Whatever it takes, be positive. I know you can do it.

If you think something about yourself needs tweaking...tweak it. Don't obsess over it. Remember there are far more things right about you than wrong. Being realistic does not have to mean that you beat yourself up about your looks. It means being honest about what is both right and slightly less right about yourself. Fix what can be fixed. Enhance your assets. Love yourself every day. Be positive and let me know how it turns out.

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