Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Wednesday Thoughts

I love this! (source)
I have several more Arizona Adventures that I can't wait to tell you about but I'm going to put those on hold for now to write some Wednesday Thoughts.

I'm home from my vacation now which is bittersweet. I loved Arizona, and the people I know there are pretty awesome. And I want to go back like now! But the people I know in Michigan are awesome too, so - what's a girl to do?

While on vacation, I had some thoughts I wanted to share with you. Male readers might not be as interested in this as female readers, but I could be wrong. After all, my prolonged single status could be used as evidence that I know little about men.

But I digress. What I was thinking a lot about over the weekend was self esteem. This is a topic that is on my mind all the time. It's possible I've mentioned it on here before, that self esteem is something I struggle with. This year, however, I've really been working on improving it. One important thing I've worked on is not saying mean things to myself and then replacing the negative thoughts with positive ones. So far, it's really helped a lot.

But this weekend I was in several social situations with a lot of new people - including some cute guys - and I found myself falling back on that evil comparing game. You know: "she's skinnier than me, she's young and cute, she's super stylish, she raises weevils"... and while those things may be true, that doesn't mean that I have nothing to offer, right? (Enemies: don't answer that!)

I talked to a girl the other day who told me that she feels she's competing with all the girls she knows for attention from guys. That got me thinking and I decided that that really isn't how it works. I mean, we just are who we are, and people either like us or don't. But we're not all trying to be the same person or have the same skills, or the same thighs, or the same education, etc. It's apples and oranges, really. And cantaloupes, pears, grapes, etc. All kinds of fruits. And maybe veggies. Girls are fruits, boys are veggies. I just decided that. It makes sense in my head.

Anyway, my point is that there's no point in comparing ourselves to others because we'll almost always come up short. Or it could go the other way where all we look for is the flaws in others. Neither is healthy. Or accurate.

What are some ways you have worked on improving your self image? I've heard some women say that being in a good relationship improved their self image. That's awesome, but unfortunately not happening in my life right now so I've mostly depended on positive self talk, cultivating my talents, and trying to ban negative self talk. I really have seen an improvement.

The thing is, while we should do our best to take care of ourselves, there's no reason we have to be/look a certain way to be loved or found attractive. I've heard some guys say they are self conscious about their receding hair lines and I think, "I couldn't care less about that," or they complain about their bellies and I think, "but that's cute!" In other words, not all "imperfections" are bad or make a person unattractive. Some "flaws" can actually make a person more endearing. In my opinion.

Am I babbling? I'm babbling. But I would love to hear your thoughts on this!

Happy Wednesday!


Ben said...

I have some thoughts on self image. It's TOTALLY based on how you see yourself and you can choose what that image is. I see this in people I photograph ALL THE TIME. Some people look amazing to me but when they see their pictures they don't like certain shots, but for the same reasons I like them! "I don't like how my hair is like that" "Really?! I love it! I think it's super cute!" Being able to change your self image can be as simple as hearing the positives from someone else and realizing they're true. That's why being in a good relationship is so helpful, and a bad relationship can be so damaging. It's what you let yourself accept as true that makes the difference. I photographed an Athlete who's training for the summer Olympics. Her parents had always told her she was an ugly duckling, but it wasn't until she saw herself on the back of my camera and heard me telling her how amazing she looked that she could dispel all that bad juju from her past. (To be fair, she did look really really good) It's not just outside opinions either. You are your own worst enemy. #1 favorite book recommendation on this subject: "The Magic of Thinking Big" by David J. Schwartz

violet50 said...

I think that we should be aware of the impact we have on others' lives, but not let our concern for them cause us to change to make them happy. We are the most content when we are being true to our inner selves. If they can accept us (looks, thoughts, beliefs) for who we are, great. If they can't, they'll just have to move on and let us be who we are.

Christi said...

I think Barney Stinson summed it up best, "When I get sad, I stop being sad and be awesome instead."

I think if we just keep telling ourselves how awesome we are, it has to finally stick, right?

Mark said...

I like your idea of not competing with other people and just being happy with who you are. I'm not Mr. SuperAwesome (yet), but I kick butt over anyone else who tries to be me. So why worry about trying to enter someone else's one-man race to improvement?

And as far as attracting the opposite sex goes, being single is more a reflection on their taste, than what you taste like (probably chicken).

Emily said...

I like that you think bald guys with a gut are attractive. You should more highly publicize that. I think your dating stock would jump several dozen points once that gets out.

Elizabeth Downie said...

Haha, Emily! Well, I don't like them exclusively. ;) I like other types too! Ha.

april millar said...

It's funny how confidence is so hard to attain for ourselves but it's one of the characteristics that everyone is attracted to.

My first kiss, I look back on that boy and I think "what in the world was I thinking" But then I look at all the girls he dated and they are all smart, funny, gorgeous, etc. pretty much everything he is not. BUT he had such great confidence. not to be confused with arrogance, there is a fine line.

There is this part in the book Atlas Shrugged when the main character says: (I am paraphrasing)
I found you attractive because you were attracted to me, and I know my greatness.

If only we could understand our own greatness.

lizzie mc.- said...

I'm in love with this post. Self esteem doesn't develop by a great or even not horrible relationship. Though I don't care nor "compete" in the same way. I struggle. I'm married. I don't have the courage for positive self-talk. And I'm unsure as to why. Maybe I feel like I'm lying to myself. Maybe I feel like I'll be more unhappy with my lot. Life is hard. We need friends; good friends who look for the best and help us out of our holes. I'm determined to try your tact since it's not proving to be self-defeating. Thank you for your example.

Sui Sin Far said...

Are boys vegetables because they're supposed to be good for you but it takes some convincing?

Liz said...

I always feel that someone needs to invent A pill that prevents me from Feeling inferior and crappy by good looking people that are in way better shape then me.