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How we feel about ourselves is the reflection others see

Updated on July 13, 2017
HealthbyMartha profile image

I'm a Certified Health Coach who wants to help you create the best balance of spiritual, physical and mental health that is possible.

Mirror, Mirror on the wall.....

If you are wanting to attract quality people to your life, you must first believe that you yourself are a quality person! If you believe anything other than this, you may find it difficult to draw and attract the type of people you want. It may even be difficult to draw the kind of life experiences you would like to have if your self image and belief system is not particularly positive.

I have learned that the way I am feeling about myself has a direct affect on how my interactions with others is experienced. I think all of us can relate to having had periods in our lives that we were feeling particularly strong about ourselves and our lives and it was reflected in the kinds of people and situations we found ourselves surrounded by. And, there have also been those times when for whatever reason you may have not felt so good about yourself and it was notable in the types of people or situations you were in.

While it is unrealistic to expect any person to feel positive and strong about themselves 100% of the time, it is helpful to make the effort in order to feel positive more often than not. You will have a much greater quality of life and find yourself drawing a better quality of people into your realm as well when you are living from the belief that you are a wonderful, lovable person deserving of happiness.

One of the first steps to creating this reality begins in your own head! You need to buy into the belief of your wonderfulness and your inherent right to happiness. You can start this off by what you do when you look in the mirror. I know there are people who can look in the mirror and be matter of fact about what they see. They can accept the reflection for better or worse, feel good about themselves and go out into the world brimming with confidence.

For many of us though, this isn't always a given. Some of us get bogged own by what we see as our flaws and it can then translate into the way we carry ourselves. While it's normal to have days where we have "bad hair" or a zit, or we feel "fat", we can still have the belief that we are wonderful and carry that attitude out the door with us instead of feeling we have to hide.

Let's look at constructive ways you can show your best self each and every day and carry yourself with confidence even when you aren't necessarily feeling it.

Positive Affirmations

By now most people have become acquainted with the use of positive affirmations. There are still those who find it to be a silly practice; perhaps those are people who already have the self confidence that some of us are lacking?

I have learned from personal experience that a positive affirmation can be worth it's weight in gold! One of the first places you can practice your affirmations is in front of the mirror.

It is helpful in my experience to write down one or two affirmations that you want to work at and then post them where you will see them several times each day. For most of us that would be the bathroom mirror; or the refrigerator, or the computer.

Take an affirmation like "I am lovable and deserving of love" and you can write this on a post it note and place it on your bathroom mirror. Every time you go into the bathroom, look into the mirror into your eyes and say aloud "I am lovable and deserving of love". Note, was it difficult to maintain eye contact? Did it feel truthful, or was it difficult to say those words? Did you believe it?

You may have answered yes, or no to any of those questions. Even if you found it difficult, I can assure you that with practice it will be easier. And, over time it will start to feel true. As you begin to believe this new truth you are affirming, you will begin to reflect this belief to others. Where before maybe you were feeling unlovable, or like you didn't fit in, maybe now that you've been working on believing in your worth you are finding that you are drawing in friendly people and experiences? Maybe you are feeling less lonely now that you are radiating this inner confidence of self love?

Another area we can struggle with is simply in our appearance. It is far too easy to find fault with our appearance. We live in a world of air brushed perfection being thrown in our faces 24 hours, 7 days a week. We are told what is beautiful and if we are falling short in our own estimation of this standard it can affect our self esteem.

It can be very easy to look in the mirror and to start telling yourself things like "You are fat", "you are ugly", "your hair is too thin" and the list goes on. How much better it would be to rewire your thinking into positive thoughts and affirmations about your appearance.

Maybe you are a bit overweight, or maybe you have acne, or you are unhappy with new wrinkles or sagging skin where once the flesh was taut. It's OK to notice these things; it's even OK to wish them to be different. But, the crucial part is in not taking away from your self love because of your perception of falling short of the ideal you wish for. You can say to yourself "I wish I were closer to my ideal weight, and I'm going to work on that; but for now, I look really good and am doing the best that I can". This gives your brain the message that you are still a good person and you are still valid and deserving of love and friendship. You are also owning that you aren't exactly as you wish you were, but that you are patient with yourself and know that you will do something about it.

Owning your imperfections and embracing them is not easy, but can be very rewarding. It is about not comparing yourself to anyone else, but trying to be the best YOU that you can be.

Am I Invisible?

Have you ever felt like maybe you were invisible? Like even though you were out in the world among other people, that somehow you weren't really being seen? I have had this experience on more than one occasion and it is not pleasant. But, what I have learned is that it was I who was communicating my wish to be invisible that was resulting in this perception.

In my experience I didn't choose to be invisible, but somehow I was carrying myself in such a way as to be deflecting any attention from other people. It came from this sense of being so unhappy with the person inside my skin that I was walking around as though cloaked in invisibility. It was a form of self protection. The worst part was that even as it was going on, I was unaware that it was me who was causing this! I would feel so sad and wonder why nobody was smiling, or talking to me when all along I was cocooning and hiding.

There is nothing wrong with taking a break from people in order to catch your breath, or to get through a difficult time. Maybe being "invisible" for a brief period is just what you need in order to lick your wounds and find your ability to be among others again. It is not unreasonable to want to occasionally disengage from the world around you. There is only a problem when the behavior becomes chronic. Taking a break is one thing; walling yourself off from the world is another. While there are those people who thrive on a hermetic existence, most of us are happiest when we feel some amount of connection to the world and people around us.

If you find yourself in a prolonged state of feeling like you aren't visible to others, it's time to look at how you are feeling about yourself and what you are communicating to others. This is not a good way to live for any length of time. We are social animals and meant to have some amount of social interaction.

Practice makes Perfect

Nothing worth having ever comes easily. And this is true of growing positive self esteem. But, it is worth every bit of the effort to create a loving relationship with yourself. When you are feeling lovable and loved, you will draw love into your life. When you feel beautiful and smart, you carry yourself in such a way as to have people see you as just that; beautiful and smart!

And, sadly if we walk around feeling fat, ugly and stupid, that is what we will reflect to others. We get to decide what face we show and carry ourselves accordingly.

It can feel very awkward and stiff to look into the mirror and tell yourself how wonderful you are. But, the more you do it, the more you will believe it. It's just like when we are in school and taught the ABC's or our numbers. We repeat these things over and over until we don't even have to think about it; one day we just know the alphabet from A-Z and we can count to 100 without even remembering that once we didn't even know how to count to 10!

Just like this, it takes repetition and time and you can create these positive self beliefs. As you begin feeling like you are smart, lovable and beautiful that is going to be your experience in the world. People are going to smile and see a confident, lovable person and treat you accordingly.

The power is within you. If you really want to have a happier life and draw more happiness and quality people your way, begin by loving yourself and believing in yourself! I guarantee that there will be a shift; maybe it will take longer than you had hoped but be patient. You've got this!


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    • HealthbyMartha profile image

      Martha Montour 2 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Thank you Dr Rangan for reading and for your thoughtful comments. I enjoyed reading about the woman whom you helped to lose weight and I so agree about the difficulty of maintaining a positive self image. Not only the literal reflection, but the metaphorical reflection of who we are on the inside as well.

    • Dr Pran Rangan profile image

      Dr Pran Rangan 2 years ago from Kanpur (UP), India

      Thanks for a nice thought provoking hub.

      If we are positive, we reflect positiveness around; the reverse is also true.

      If we are worried about our imperfections, we make them more prominent to others as well as allow them to hinder us at every step in life.

    • Dr Pran Rangan profile image

      Dr Pran Rangan 2 years ago from Kanpur (UP), India

      It is actually quite difficult for most of us to accept our flaws and imperfections since we always try to compare ourselves with others. When others point to our flaws, we feel unhappy. So, we depend on others for our happiness. It is true if we embrace our imperfections, we will save ourselves lot of unhappiness.

      Once I came across a young lady who was quite obese, on asking my advice about weight loss by her, I suggested her to exercise regularly and watch her diet carefully. Instead of worrying about how much weight she is losing, she should stick to the suggested plan. And she did what was suggested and began to lose weight, though slowly. With grim determination, she continues to follow the plan. She has begun to transform herself gradually into a new person.

      In the first place, she fully accepted that her obesity can be managed well, if she wants to do so. Later, her determination to do so brought the intended changes in her. Though she is far from having the normal weight, she will definitely achieve it, as she has empowered herself to achieve it.

      Thanks for sharing a nice hub.

    • HealthbyMartha profile image

      Martha Montour 2 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Thank you Bill for reading and responding. I suppose my reference to quality is personal and of course, subjective. I agree, we all might have varying definitions of quality; though we would be wanting to attract them whatever it is we are seeing in that vein. I also feel that I was using the term mirror metaphorically to indicate not only our literal reflection as it's shown via the mirror itself, but rather the vision of who we see as being ourselves.

    • profile image

      Bill 2 years ago

      The lead sentence plants the seed for this thought-provoking post.

      Perhaps the challenge for many people is the definition of what attributes constitute a "quality person." For me, such a person would be described as ethical, empathetic, charitable, honest, compassionate, or loving. Others, however, might focus on superficialities such as wealth, fame, power, glamor. Many people are admired for these, but there is no assurance that the possessors of these features are in fact quality people. Unfortunately, for many it is too easy to equate such attributes to quality and to aspire to be like those who have them. It is much easier to see these attributes, or their lack, when inspecting ourselves in the mirror. To see the the first list of attributes, however, not only should we look into the mirror, but we should look into ourselves.

    • HealthbyMartha profile image

      Martha Montour 2 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Thank you Jody. I like your comment that how we see the world is in relation to how we see ourselves! It goes both ways!

    • profile image

      Jody 2 years ago

      Well written article. This is very hard to do, but would be so benefical for us. How we see the world around us is in direct realtionship of how we see ourselved. Thank you