For several years now, Dove has created ad campaigns around testing how happy women are with themselves.
In the latest commercial, a forensics artist draws pictures of women based solely on self descriptions. He then draws another picture of them based solely on someone else’s description. He puts the pictures side-by-side so each woman can compare both sketches.
The sketch drawn from each woman’s perspective is much more unattractive than the sketch drawn from someone’s else’s perspective. It makes each woman realize how harsh they are on themselves and how much work they need to do in changing how they see themselves.
It’s not about the flaws.
We all have things we’d like to change about ourselves – change how we look, how we act (in different situations), our perceived lack of natural abilities or lack of knowledge or intelligence, or flaws in our personalities. We can always find something wrong instead of being happy with who we are.
The path to healthy or unhealthy self-esteem starts early (usually in childhood) when we create opinions of ourselves from the words and actions of our parents and other family members. Then it’s our peers and authority figures, then society, who either add their voices to our negative self-talk or try to infiltrate it with positive talk that we find impossible to believe.
So instead of embracing who we are and appreciating the uniqueness that others see in us, we choose to maintain a self-loathing view of ourselves.
See the good in yourself.
The quickest way to be happy with you is by showing empathy and kindness towards others. When we step outside of ourselves and help others, their gratitude toward us makes us feel good about ourselves. And when we feel good about ourselves, it’s easier to believe the nice things people say about us.
Start each day by looking in the mirror and affirming the good in you. For every negative statement you make to yourself, counter it with a truthful, positive statement. “Yes, I have a big nose, but my nose was made just for me and I’m exceptional.” “I know I’m really shy, but I’m also friendly and open-minded.”
The more you counter negative self-talk, the more your baby steps towards accepting who you are will become grown-up steps towards you being happy with you.