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Okay, You’re Ugly. So The F**k What?

Listen, I had to make peace with something on my road to self-improvement. Most of my life, I’d been called ugly a lot more frequently than my peers. It was devastating. It was discouraging. It was my initiation into the world of hopelessness…until I learned better.

And while beauty is in the eye of the beholder, there are people who are viewed as conventionally attractive or unattractive. Sure, I could tell myself that I was still beautiful, and I do. But was I conventionally attractive like the Instagram models and my hot friend who got asked out 20 times a week?

Maybe I wasn’t mainstream attractive. In fact, maybe most people who only went for mainstream attractiveness would consider me ugly.

So the f**k what?

Okay, so you’re not what most would consider super attractive. And? Does that mean you’re completely undeserving of love and respect? No, it absolutely doesn’t. Yes, beautiful people are treated differently than “ugly” people. I don’t have to tell you that. You see it every day, and some of them lord it over everyone else. And the world rewards them for it.

Still, you are capable of finding love just like they are. Look at celebrities like Flavor Flav, who had multiple seasons of a reality show where GORGEOUS women fought literal tooth and nail for a chance to be with him. Yes, the guy also had money, but it’s Flavor Flav! Is he THAT rich?

Just because we find someone unattractive doesn’t mean they deserve to lead a miserable existence in life. Part of my journey to improving my self-image was accepting all of me, even the parts I didn’t like. Except, I wanted to be honest, not just make myself feel better.

Maybe I wasn’t a magazine, a TV show, or even Grindr’s version of attractive, but so f**king what? I’m a good person, I help people, and I know now without a doubt that I am worthy of loving someone and being loved in return. Every one of us deserves that.

I’m sure you also have plenty of positive traits outside of your physical appearance. Write them down, say them out loud to yourself, and look in the mirror and say, “I may be ugly to some people, but so the f**k what!”

And say it like you’re Olivia Pope. Get your bottom lip trembling, show all of those teeth, snarl at your reflection, whatever it takes to get your point across. Repeat that mantra to yourself as many times as it takes until the word “ugly” has no power left anymore. Make the word as humdrum and unassuming as a conjunction. Give that power back to you.

If you’re pretty and reading this, I’m not saying you need to ease up and give us a chance. I don’t want a pity date (or f**k). I just want you to know that my “ugliness” isn’t going to stop me from seeking the same things you do. It may be a little bit more difficult, but that’s fine. Nothing worth truly having is easily-gained. I’m sure you know that. I mean…I HOPE you know that.

I’d hate for you to realize too late that “ugliness” also has its advantages. Cuz we’re certainly starting to catch on.

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11 Effective Ways to Conquer Low Self-Esteem

Low self-esteem is a lifelong struggle for most of us. As someone who has had a longstanding battle with a negative self image, I get it. There are days when I just don’t feel pretty no matter what I do.

And believe me I put in the effort. I get up in the morning and do my best like many people do. I get enough sleep. I eat breakfast. I work out (sometimes). I put hundreds of sticky notes on my mirror telling me how awesome I am. I even try to read each one every single day.

Yet, try as I might, it never feels like it’s enough some days.

So the question remains. Is there such a thing as “life after low self-esteem?”

The short answer is: absolutely. However, it’s not going to be an easy journey. Luckily for you, there’s a few tips below to help you get started.

Stop the Comparisons

Your value as a person isn’t measurable. In fact, it’s immeasurable. That means it’s time to stop with the comparisons. Someone has a nicer car? House? Job? So what? Material things can be gone in an instant. At the end of the day, all you have is yourself. You and your unique life are more valuable than any material possession.

Avoid Social Media

Look, social media is designed to make you feel inadequate. You log on every day just to figure out a way to get “likes” or whatever popularity currency is being used at the time. How many likes you have seemingly determines how funny, smart, or likable you are. But here’s the thing. Such a system doesn’t exist in the real world. So leave it on social media where it belongs and avoid it.

Don’t Assume People Will Hate You

How many of you have struggled with this? You avoid socializing because you assume you’ll be hated the moment people look at you. Seems a little unfair though, right? Think of it this way. What kind of person would go out of their way to hate someone they don’t even know? It definitely sounds like a personal problem, doesn’t it? It just isn’t yours. Not everyone will have a problem with you. Give people the same chance you’d want them to give you.

Social Skills Are Just That: A Skill

There tends to be a stigma towards socially awkward people. People even go so far as to treat it like some sort of disease. Luckily for you, it’s not. In fact, with practice, anyone can overcome it. I know most of you hate the dreaded act of small talk. However, it’s a useful skill to develop when interacting with new people. Over time, it’ll become so second nature you won’t even realize you’re doing it.

Embarrassment is a Choice

I don’t care how poised of a person you are. We all goof up sometimes. Whether it’s tripping and falling in public or having a booger in your nose, life happens. However, you can choose what you’re embarrassed about. Everyone trips, and everyone at some point doesn’t realize they have a gigantic booger in their nose. So really, what’s the big deal? Blow your nose, pick yourself up off the ground, and keep it pushing. Learn to laugh at yourself, too.

What You Think Isn’t Always Reality

You walked into a store and felt like everyone was staring at you. Their eyes burned into your skin, and it seemed like they were judging you and deeming you unworthy. You ran out of the store and vowed to never return. Remember what I said earlier? People who decide to dislike you at first sight have problems of their own. Let them deal with that and remember this. It is not the event that destroys us. It is our interpretation. Those people simply could have been looking to see who was entering out of curiosity and nothing more. By the time you walk past them, they most likely won’t remember or think anything else of your presence.

Counseling Isn’t an Admission of Failure

Low self-esteem can often lead to bouts of depression. Seeking help doesn’t mean you’ve failed as a person or that something is wrong with you. Just as we all get sick physically, we also get sick mentally. Just like some treatments require physical therapy to regain strength, the brain also needs counseling. Catching a cold doesn’t mean you’ve failed as a person, right? The same is true of any mental illness.

Passive-Aggressiveness Solves Little

Part of overcoming low self-esteem is learning how to communicate your feelings. Often, people with a negative self-image can resort to passive-aggressive behavior instead of being assertive. Have you ever given someone the silent treatment when they’ve made you upset? Did giving them the silent treatment really solve anything or simply delay the inevitable conversation where you revealed what you were upset about? By being assertive and calmly expressing your frustration at the beginning, the issue could have been quickly neutralized. Passive-aggressiveness doesn’t give you peace of mind. It simply drags on issues for much longer than necessary.

It’s Time to Set Boundaries

It’s time to stop being a “people pleaser.” If something makes you uncomfortable, it’s okay to say so. Each one of us has limits, both physically and mentally. Setting boundaries is one of the several pillars that hold up your overall well-being. Because, how can you be fair to anyone else if you’re not fair to yourself?

Letting Go is a Skill Too

Often we can get attached to the wrong thing. We can get involved in abusive relationships or one-sided friendships. We find it hard to let go of these relationships because, subconsciously, we feel we deserve to be in them. It can take time to develop a mindset where we truly recognize these relationships as what they are: toxic. Again, this isn’t something that’s learned overnight. It takes time and effort just like everything else on this list.

You’ve Already Accomplished Enough

Recently, I spoke to my classmates from high school. Many of them expressed how they felt like they hadn’t done enough or weren’t “successful enough.” I reassured them that as long as they were living and breathing that they were accomplishing more than what anyone could ask of them. No matter where you are in life, your very existence is an automatic success story. You are enough, were always enough, and always will be enough.

 

I hope this list helped you. As someone who used to struggle deeply with self-image, it took a long time to develop the self-awareness needed to fight back against my depression and low self-esteem. And I don’t always get it right each time.

Listen, you’re still going to have your days where you feel like utter crap. But guess what? Everybody feels that way from time to time. Yes, you are a unique, special person. But you’re also not alone in your fight. So join me and everyone like us as we beat low self-esteem into submission.