Everyone needs a healthy amount of self-confidence or self-esteem. It is an incredibly important quality to have, and it affects almost every aspect of life. In fact, confidence and self-esteem are seen as highly desirable traits. It can affect the image someone has of themselves and, in turn, the decisions that they make. So a healthy amount of self-confidence or higher self-esteem can be incredibly beneficial. The question is, then where does your appearance come in? Read on to find out more.
What is Body Image?
Your body image develops based on the thoughts and feelings that you have about your physical appearance. If you believe that others are judging your looks, then this can affect your body image. A poor body image is often a result of the negative thoughts and feelings that you have about your appearance, whereas positive thoughts and feelings lead to a healthy body image. Body image is a huge component of self-esteem.
What is Self-Esteem?
Your self-esteem relates directly to how much you like yourself. This is done by looking at your accomplishments, character, qualities, and skills. Self-esteem, like body image, can be affected by how you think other people are viewing you. Those with lower self-esteem will probably not feel as confident in themselves or how they look, unlike those with higher self-esteem.
How Are They Related?
For most people, their feelings about their body image and self-esteem often go hand-in-hand, particularly if you experience any negative reactions or comments. For example, if you notice that people stare at you regularly or if some people make unkind or pointed comments towards you. If this is the case, remember that it says more about them than it does about you. It can be difficult to feel confident or build up your self-esteem if you have a negative body image or feel that others have a negative perception of you and your appearance. Both self-esteem and body image speak directly to how much you like yourself and how you treat yourself.
Why is Self-Esteem Important?
Your self-esteem impacts your decision-making skills, your relationships and your emotional health, as well as your over wellbeing. It can also affect your motivation and productivity because people with a healthier, more positive view of themselves can better realise their potential and take on more challenges. People with better self-esteem have a better understanding of their skills, and they are better able to implement those skills. They are also better able to maintain healthy relationships with others because they have a better relationship with themselves. They also understand their needs, and they are in a better position to express those needs too.
Those with lower self-esteem tend to be less sure of themselves and their abilities which leads to more doubt in themselves and their decision-making skills. There is often also less motivation because of this doubt, and they are unwilling to take on new challenges or try new things because they tend to believe it will be a failure, so they do not try. People with lower self-esteem also tend to have issues in their relationships with others because they may believe that they have no confidence or view themselves as unworthy.
On the flip side, having too much self-esteem can also be detrimental. It can lead to an inflated sense of confidence which means that they overestimate their skills or abilities without anything to base this confidence on. Some people with an overly high self-esteem also do not believe that they need to make any progress or work to improve themselves in any way because they already believe that they are perfect. So, in the end, it does come down to finding a balance between being confident and secure in oneself while still being able to see that sometimes improvements do need to be made.
What Can I Do to Improve my Body Image & Self-Esteem?
There are some things that you can do to improve your relationship with yourself. Firstly, make an effort to try and treat your body with the respect that you would afford to others. Try to place more value on qualities or accomplishments as opposed to physical attributes. Surround yourself with people who lift you up and who positively affect your self-worth instead of people who make you feel less than or insecure. However, this isn’t to say that if you want to make some changes to yourself or your appearance that you shouldn’t. It is about doing it for the right reasons and making those changes because you want to, not because you feel pressured to. For example, if you want to lose weight to improve your fitness, you should. Or, if you want to invest in some clear aligners from ALIGNERCO to straighten your teeth and brighten your smile, then you should. ALIGNERCO has a range of clear aligner options and payment plans, which means that boosting your self-esteem does not have to be costly.
Your looks can affect your confidence, but that shouldn’t be the only thing that gives you confidence; you cannot rely solely on your appearance. They do play a role, but it only has the power that you give it. If you choose to make a conscious effort to be kinder to yourself, you will soon find that your self-esteem will improve.