Do you ever notice that on a day you're already feeling uncomfortable in your skin, your self esteem plummets when you look in a window reflection or see yourself in an unflattering picture?
You're not necessarily feeling bad about yourself, but then you see that candid shot you got tagged in on Facebook where you don't look as skinny as you feel. Boom, day ruined.
You're feeling awesome all day and then you remember that zit on your face - good mood ended.
The problem here isn't your bad skin, the unflattering angle, the jeans that make your butt look lumpy: it's our reaction to our reflection.
I have a very small mirror in my room that I use when I put on makeup, and I use my blurry reflection in my window to make sure I didn't forget to put pants on or something. I look in the bathroom mirror when I brush my teeth and that's about it.
Try going a week without picking your reflection apart in a mirror. Just do the bare minimum and trust that you look alright for the rest of the day. Once you stop obsessing over your reflection you stop doubting your appearance, you stop basing your mood off of how you look.
One woman went an entire year, including her wedding day, without looking in a mirror. (Full story here)
She notes that "by taking the emphasis away from my physical appearance, I was able to devote more emotional energy to the good things in my life." She was no longer obsessed with her figure, and instead looked into how to improve her character.
As for her wedding day, "Did I believe I looked perfect? No. I believed I looked good enough — and that was exactly how I wanted to feel."
The day her experiment ended she held a party with her friends, and a full length mirror.
"The first time I saw myself, I was overwhelmed. It was like seeing an old friend again. I couldn’t believe how healthy I looked and how much happier I appeared. Today, a year after my experiment, when I look in the mirror I see a happy and energetic woman. Instead of worrying about how I look all the time, I’ve learned to just enjoy my life."
So give it a day, maybe a week, without looking at yourself as much as you do right now. You'll find yourself feeling free, confident, and most importantly, beautiful.