From insecure to skinsecure:
Find your inner confidence
Feelings of low self-esteem can plague the best of us from time to time. And it can certainly be tougher to feel confident when the main source of your insecurity is your skin. But low self-esteem can lead to bigger problems down the road, so it’s important to find ways to take it on before it completely takes over.
Take charge of your self-image
Are you generally accepting of yourself, including the not-so-fun-or-flattering parts? Or do you regularly focus on your personal weaknesses or attributes that you consider least attractive to the point that it brings you down? If you have tendencies to view yourself in a more negative light, it’s time to find ways to forgive your faults a little more and focus on your imperfections a little less.
The reality is that low self-esteem can seep into other areas of your life without you even realizing it. It can lead to relationship troubles, poor job or academic performance, and even contribute to problems with alcohol or drug addiction – not to mention stress, anxiety, and a higher likelihood of depression.
But when you’re stuck in a cycle of self-doubt and inward animosity, how do you get out of it?
Shoot for self-love
The goal should be to get to a place where you not only accept who you are, flaws and all, but you love yourself in spite of them – maybe even (gasp!) because of them. Start by changing the tone of your inner voice. You’ve undoubtedly heard the phrase “you are your own worst critic”. Well, it’s time to treat yourself how you would treat someone else.
Be compassionate. Have empathy. Show support. For you.
Try to see the things you fear make you “different” from everyone around you as the things that make you unique.
Yes, you may find it hard to ignore that little negative voice right away (you’ve been listening to it for years!). But you don’t want to be judged by other people for the parts of yourself you wish you could change, so why set different standards for the way you look at yourself?
Feel better, look better
If your skin’s current condition still has you feeling something shy of completely confident, find ways to keep it from working against you. Instead of concentrating on your complexion, take the focus away from it by playing with your style. Find hats, scarves, and other accessories that speak to you – and then let them speak for you. Better yet, instead of trying to hide your flaws, play up your favourite features to draw the focus to them.
If you’re still worried about the face you’re putting forward (or arms or legs…or any other body part, for that matter!), confront your concerns head-on by getting ahead of them. That’s right: talk about your skin condition with the people in your life. It will likely help you feel better about it if you’re not beating around the bush with your feelings. (And raising a little awareness won’t hurt either.)
Bottom line: If you can find ways to project a more confident you on the outside, you’ll undoubtedly start to feel better about yourself on the inside. And, really, what’s more attractive than that?
You may soon find that your cycle of self-doubt and inward animosity has shifted to self-assurance and outward appeal.
Get inspired by the Faces of Eczema photo book
The Eczema Society of Canada wants to show the world that people living with a chronic skin condition can still live fulfilling lives. Meet 10 Canadians who aren’t letting their eczema hold them back – and maybe boost your own self-confidence in the process.