I have come to the realisation that the world is a mirror for how you see yourself. If you see the world as full of opportunities, full of decent people (with the odd exceptions above and below the curve) and can find something positive in most things or people; then you are more likely to have a positive self image.If on the other hand, you see the world as a black pit of despair with everyone out to get you and find it easier to criticise; then you are more likely to be highly self critical. Obviously there are variations on a scale between these two.
I saw this advert for the first time a couple of days ago and it got me thinking about about this, your outlook on the world and how this can affect your self esteem and vice-versa.
There have been a few points in my life that have made me stop and think about this:
The first was when I was about 15 and a friend and I started regularly going to our local swimming pool (more a ‘fooling around in warm water pool with flumes’ than for actual swimming) and we started chatting to the life guards, all handsome, charming specimens. Lots of fun and hilarity ensued and there are still some songs that take me right back to those chlorine smelling days. However, before that time I remember being rather shy and retiring and not being one to stand out from the crowd Yes, when in a group of friends, in my comfort zone, I would be happy and chatty and funny but I felt vulnerable around new people. When I started going swimming (bobbing around in wooshy water) I decided that I could either be a wallflower and miss out or I could play the part of a confident, outgoing person and have lots of fun.
It worked. Admittedly at one point it worked a little too well, to the point that the only person I was fooling that ‘everything was OK’ was me, but that’s another story entirely.
With this view in mind, a few years ago I decided to stop reading ‘gossip’ magazines of the likes of ‘Heat’, ‘Now’ and ‘Grazia’ because I realised they were toxic and making me a very negative person. There were a couple of things that helped me make this decision; firstly it was seeing the same picture featured, in the same week, in the ‘worst dressed’ list in one magazine and in the ‘best dressed’ list in another; the second was the reporting of Britney Spears’ breakdown. I just remember being disgusted that people were standing around taking photos with the express intention of making money when this girl was suffering severe, life threatening emotional and mental breakdown. Whatever you think of her at that time she was a very vulnerable person being taken advantage of.
I now find that I’m a much happier person, I try to be quick with a kind word to those around me (both physically and online) as it costs me absolutely nothing to do but gives a lot in return. Obviously there are some people who challenge this positive “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all” philosophy but fortunately they are few and far between!
I guess what I’m trying to say is… if you want to change how you see yourself, try and change how you see others and you might just surprise yourself.