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Can't Find What You're Looking For?

Friday, February 22, 2008


IF ONLY I had:

longer hair, curlier hair, straighter hair, a slimmer body, bigger breasts, more money, a better job, a boyfriend, a better husband, fairer skin, more wit, more confidence, a straighter nose, smaller hips, a nicer house� life would be perfect.�

Sounds familiar?

Self-esteem means feeling good about your beliefs, thoughts, feelings and desires. High self-esteem is important because it provides a foundation for you to deal with life's many challenges. Improving your self-esteem can give you the confidence, strength and resiliency to face and overcome many obstacles. The root cause of low self-esteem lies in constantly comparing ourselves with others, and finding ourselves lacking. Many of us look around us, at all the seemingly more beautiful, happier and more fulfilled folks around us and feel we come up short. Maybe, in a way, it's okay to think that. If everyone was completely satisfied with the way they looked, whatever would happen to the beauty industry!? Or the fashion industry!? Who would idealise the Aishwarya Rais and Sushmita Sens of the world? There's nothing wrong in comparing ourselves with others. In fact, such comparisons may even spur us on to better ourselves. It is when these comparisons start dragging us down, that we are in trouble.�

Be comfortable with your body

Our standard of beauty is rising. What with India churning out Miss Worlds and Miss Universes year after year, the Indian woman suddenly has new ideals to look up to. Our perceptions of beauty have scaled new heights, and when the mirror image doesn't match these standards, we lose heart. The most common cause of insecurity stems from a dislike of our body image. Small wonder that cases of bulimia and anorexia are on the rise in India. We are constantly bombarded by images of perfection. If we don't look like Lisa Ray in spite of using the same lipstick, we just might sink into a tunnel of depression.�

Snap out of it!

Stand in front of the mirror and tell yourself you look good. Maybe you need to lose a little weight from your hips, but you look great anyway. If you are overweight, getting upset about it will not solve the problem. Working out and exercising will. So you have to work harder than your friends � much harder � to lose the same amount of weight? Tough, but you�re just going to have to do it, and it will pay off in the long run, when your bones are hard as steel and you are as fit as a fiddle, and can still run circles around the block when your other friends who scorned exercise walk with the support of a cane. Plus, don�t forget, you�ve got other things going for you that they don�t. Perhaps you are more financially comfortable, perhaps you have a nicer face, a more loving family, or a nicer voice�

Accept yourself

It's time to understand one basic fact of life. There will always be someone prettier, richer, wittier or more successful. That does not make them better persons, or happier. Likewise, there will always be those who have less than you. They may have less money, be less talented or be less good looking. But that would not make you any superior or happier.�

Give yourself a break

When we compare ourselves with others, we know the worst of our selves and our lives but we have no idea about the problems others may be facing. We compare what we are from inside, to what another person appears to be on the outside. In school, I had a friend who was beautiful, rich and popular. She seemed to have it all and was envied by most girls in my class. But little did they know the pain she was going through at home. Her father was a womanizer, her mother had attempted suicide five times, they had constant fights at home, throwing things at each other, and she'd cry herself to sleep every night. Not the ideal life, is it?�

Let go of petty jealousies and envious feelings

Life is not about getting one-up on another person. You are never going to be happy that way. The women you envy today may have far harder times ahead of them than you will ever face. No one knows what the future holds. You have got to focus on yourself. Do not moan for the life you had imagined having or wish you would have. It is very easy to become bitter and blame the world for all your problems. Grow up! Spend your time trying to be happy with the life you are already leading.�

Picture yourself twenty years from now

The sort of comparison you are now making with your peers lessens as you advance in years. Suddenly you realise that all of you have turned fifty, your life is just fine, and those non-productive comparisons just dwindle away. Why wait till then? You've got one life. Start now!��

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