Every day we live under constant scrutiny. Some may say that the vast majority of it comes from our peers. The fact of the matter is, however, that we are our biggest critics. Most of the voices that say that we aren’t good enough are the voices within our own heads. The truth is that we can overcome these voices and learn to live in happiness.
The aspect of our lives that we are hardest on ourselves about is our physical appearance. Is my hair okay? Is the gut sticking out a bit too far? This is the most dangerous kind of criticism we put ourselves under. As far as appearance goes, there is very little that we can really do. We can lose or gain weight, men can shave and women can wear make up. However, for the most part, the way we look is pretty much set in stone. We will always have the same ears, the same eyes, the same nose. There truly is no reason for us to attack ourselves for these things. We gain nothing.
While there is no shame in taking pride in our appearance, it is important that we truly understand why we are doing these things. If our intention is to impress other people, this can cause the criticism we place on ourselves to intensify because we will constantly be searching for a way to make these people like us. However, if we do things to make ourselves happy, we’ll always feel that much better. If people have a big issue with how you look when you adorn yourself, then it’s entirely possible that you would be better off without their company.
Another part of our lives that we put under fire is our dating life. Sometimes, we feel that the person we are with represents us in a sense. If they aren’t as intelligent as you feel they should be, you may fear that others may view you as unintelligent. It is important to have expectations of a partner for things that will make us happy. It is just as important to not constantly scrutinize our partners to the point where we have expectations set so high that no one will possibly ever reach them. If you love someone, you will be able to accept someone for who they are without wanting to change them or wanting them to be more than they truly are. If we have an issue with our partner, we must be able to calmly explain our problems in a manner where things can improve instead of turning into competitions where we try to call out the other person as the villain of the relationship.
Ultimately, we must accept that we will never truly be perfect. The parameters with which we define success are entirely up to us. If we demand perfection, we will never be satisfied. However, this isn’t to suggest that we shouldn’t try to better ourselves. We must always strive to be the best individual we can be in a healthy fashion. For example, wanting a better education or wanting to lose weight in order to lead a healthier lifestyle are examples of healthy, realistic goals. Wanting to be that perfect dress size no matter what the cost just so we look good for our friends, however, is not. This is the kind of goal that leads us to undue stress. When we find that we can’t achieve it, we may experience frustration or we may bring upon even more unhappiness in the way we view ourselves.
The idea is to be all that we can be, but not to do so unrealistically to the point where we disappoint ourselves.
“Perhaps it is our imperfections that make us so perfect for one another”
Jane Austen, Emma
Image Credit – http://craigs-art-blog.blogspot.com.au/2011/08/illustration-friday-imperfect.html