Have you ever had a real "man in the mirror" moment? It's painfully sobering. Like most, I've had a loathing for my reflection. Not only because I could see all of my physical flaws magnified, but because I could also see what I was not.
I was not musclebound or athletic. I wasn't tan (nor would I ever be). I didn't have chiseled facial features, or any distinguishing features but one. A single bushy eyebrow that seemingly furrowed from one ear, and across my forehead to the other.
My point is; when standing in front of a mirror, very few of us like what we see. Young, middle-aged or older, it doesn't matter. The result tends to be the same. We loathe.
But why do we do this? Why do the vast majority of us default to beating ourselves emotionally over what we are not, and perhaps might never physically be?
I think the reasons for this widespread, yet profoundly intimate phenomenon are many and extremely complex. Too complicated for this little post to do the subject any justice. However, there is a process we can learn that can lift us out of this loop of self negativity.
Instead of focusing primarily on the cause of our self-deprecation, I think our efforts would be better suited to discovering ways to overcome this negativity and amplify all that we have, are, and potentially can become.
I've got an interesting little experiment for you to try today, and for the next seven days. It's an empowering little practice that should complete your day on a confidence-building high note.
As our day comes to a close, we typically begin to mind map, looking ahead, and planning the list of ALL of the activities we need to get done. It's rare that we ever take time to pause and reflect over the day we've had peacefully.
Always in the "what's next" mode, often leads us to anxiety and stress! But performing the exercise I have in mind, aids in breaking out of that cycle so that you reconnect with your body in a supportive way.
I want to claim this idea as my own, but it's not — this compelling methodology is Jack Canfield's. He is the author behind the series of inspirational books starting with, Chicken Soup For The Soul.
After you've finished your nighttime routine, the end of the day stuff like washing your face, brushing your teeth, etc., is the perfect time to try this.
Just look directly into the mirror and audibly compliment yourself on how much you appreciate everything you accomplished during the day.
Sounds way WEIRD, I know. But keep reading, and you'll find why it's NOT….
I want you to remember EVERY part of your day, from the little things like making dinner, walking the dog, choosing to eat an apple instead of those cookies, to the most significant task like completing a grueling work project, tackling your taxes, or balancing your checkbook.
Anything you've done that makes you feel proud, compliment yourself. SAY IT OUT LOUD. Follow up by thanking yourself for doing it, too!
When you've finished with the accolades, look at yourself in the mirror. Don't pick-apart. Don't judge "what" you see. Just look. Then tell yourself three things:
I love my life
I love my body
I love myself
If you're ready to take it a step further, look directly into your eye's reflection and say, "I LOVE YOU."
I know it will feel a bit ridiculous or uncomfortable at first. And you'll want to do this at a time when you're alone. But trust me: you'll eventually notice a change coming over your life and your self-confidence, and the ability to love yourself wholly if you start doing this every night.
Give this experiment an honest try for one FULL week. Then, if you notice a change in your confidence and self-esteem, keep it going!
We are so much more than the reflection we see in the mirror. So much more than flawless skin or lean, chiseled features. And as you allow this practice to shift how you perceive yourself, you'll begin to notice the features uniquely your own and worthy of your love.
For me (not to sound conceited), I've discovered and love the intensity of my eyes. I love the mischievous little smile that's almost always on my face. I love the strength of my hands, the curve of my collar bones, and the shape of my chest. And, yes, I even love my bushy eyebrows! LOL!
I'm not everybody's definition of beauty or ruggedness, and that's alright with me because I am keenly aware that I have beauty and ruggedness that is all my own. I've learned that when I appreciate these things that are uniquely my own, others can't help but acknowledge and appreciate them, too.