FEBRUARY 25, 2017

[text_output]I am confident in saying that most everyone has had some issues with the way they look at one point or another in their life. I am also confident in saying that those same people have thought about changing themselves to fit the mold brought on by society. Insecurity in the way you look is common. However, what you do with that insecurity is what sets you apart from others.

All the way back to my youth I can remember being self conscious about my looks. I have big ears, freckles, a big nose, crooked teeth, a weirdly sharp protruding chin, bags under my eyes any time I smile, the occasional hair growing between my eyebrows, the odd birth mark on the bridge of my nose that looks like an acne scar, my underweight skinny body, and so much more. I really didn’t think I looked good. I often questioned whether or not I should get some sort of plastic surgery to fix my self perceived flaws.

I think that insecurity definitely played a part in my becoming an alcoholic. I felt better when I was drinking. I felt more confident and sure of my looks. But, I also drank to forget at times. It seemed to work. I never had to face the reality of what my brain was trying to convince me of. I drowned my mind in alcohol.

But, like alcohol, plastic surgery would only mask the real problem, confidence and security. You can nip, tuck, and drink to your hearts desire, but it is all futile. It’s what’s inside that makes you feel this way, not the outside noise.

Fast forward to today, I still have intermittent times where I still question and critique my looks. I’m still not 100% satisfied with my looks, but now I know how to better manage those thoughts. I may not be classically handsome as compared to societal definitions of what that is, but I sure have come to embrace myself more often than not.

It’s not being vain or conceited to embrace your looks, just as how you embrace who you are on the inside. It has taken me a very long time to embrace that person, inside and out. However, I can say that today I am much more confident than the Ronnie of the past. Today I affirm my identity, in all it’s forms.

Affirming yourself when you start to get discouraged is how I managed these emotions. Filling yourself with positivity when you start to feel down is so very liberating. Affirming yourself is an easy task if you utilize your resources. For example, I have created random alarms that will go off that have affirming quotes about body image to remind me to stay on track. Other ways you can build up your confidence is to surround yourself with people who aren’t judging you by your looks, get a daily affirmation calendar, subscribe to newsletters that provide support and assurance, etc.

If you have ideas on how to help others stay positive about their image, please share them in the comments section.[/text_output]