I hate the way I look – How to break free
Do you have regular thoughts like: “I hate the way I look”?
They might be about your weight, or height, your features, your gener, or the color of your skin. According to market research group Ipsos, 83 percent of women and 74 percent of men do not like what they see in the mirror.
These thoughts are universal to the human experience. There is no person anywhere who has never at least once had a “I hate the way I look” thought. That said, there is a spectrum of severity. Some people might have “I hate the way I look” thoughts only 1-3 times per day. Others have them more than ten times per day. While some feel imprisoned by them.
If you are having too many “I hate they way I look” thoughts, the most important question to ask yourself is: Are these thoughts holding you back from what you want in life?
Get straight with yourself. If you’re unfulfilled in any area of your life it’s likely connected to your “I hate the way I look” thoughts. There a behavioral patterns that commonly show up in people who have too many “I hate the way I look” thoughts. They are:
- They struggle with food and exercise. They either restrict or binge or cycle between both trying to get the ideal body. For many, this leads to serious helath problems later in life like mettabolic disorders, obesity, and depression.
- They end up in relationships with partners and friends who don’t treat them what they are worth. But they are attracted to these negative influences because they seek validation to fill the gap their “I hate the way I look” thoughts cause
- They refrain from or hold back in social situations
When “I hate the way I look” thoughts play in the the foreground while you go through life, not only are they disempowering but they seriously limit your success.
The good news is, you can break free. This article will get you started on your journey to a positive body image. It shares the most effective strategy for retraining your brain to think more positive thoughts. And it may surprise you how simple it is. The most important part is that you take control. You must commit to building new habits.
When you do, you’ll experience a loving internal state and your entire experience of life will shift. You feel more joy and peace, and attain higher levels of success in every aspect of your life from your relationships, to your career, to your finances.
How to break free of “I hate the way I look” thoughts
Step 1: Stop trying to use external fixes to solve an internal problem
If you’re like most people with “I hate the way I look” thoughts you might be resigned that there is any way to transform them. But there is. The secret to getting rid of them for good is to work on retraining your brain into healthier thoughts patterns.
Most people seeking a way out of “I hate the way I look” thoughts try to solve the inner dialogue with external fixes. That doesn’t work. It only perpetuates the nasty thoughts.
Most people will try to fix their inner chatter by changing their body. They’ll wearing new clothes, or apply more makeup, or have surgery to feel better. Or they may starve themselves to manipulate their appearance. Or, they may turn their focus away from the thoughts and bury themselves in work or romantic relationships. They may physically distance from other people to turn down the noise in their mind.
These Quora respondants show how most people think when they are seeking a way to end their “I hate the way I look”thoughts:
“I hate my physical appearance. Is it better to just accept it or should I delude myself into thinking I’m attractive?”
“I starved myself for a month because I hated my body.”
“I hate the way I look, and feel I’m only of worth when I deliver results. I can never relax.”
You don’t have to put up with “I hate the way I look” thoughts. And you don’t have to alter your appearance or avoid the thoughts by hiding in work or relationships.
The way to fix all the above is by retraining the brain into better thought patterns.
The problem most people have is that in their mind, they’ve connected their self-worth to their appearance. It’s called a neuroassociation. And in this case, it’s a bad one. Here’s how it works: when they don’t feel they look good enough, to them that means they are not good enough.
But your body is not you. It’s part of you, yes. But your body is the container that houses you, which is made up of the qualities you possess and the skills you contribute to the world. This is an critical distinction to make.
And this is why, if you solve your appearance problem with external fixes you will only temporarily feel good.
For instance, let’s say your “I hate my body” thoughts are usually around weight. You want to be skinnier. And, let’s say, you eventually lose the weight and you feel more confident. Then you regain and you feel horrible again. The nasty thoughts come back. Or maybe you lose weight but then you start nitpicking about your facial features instead.
This is what it’s like when you try to solve an internal problem with an external fix. You must work on shifting your thoughts if you ever want to experience freedom. And that doesn’t mean you can’t change the way you look. The important part is that you come from a place of empowerment.
The mindset you want to nurture is:
“Regardless of the way I look at any moment, I am worthy. I am awesome. I am a gift to the world.”
To do this, you must first understand that trying to solve an internal mindset problem with externals will never correct it. You’re focus must be on working with your thoughts to retrain your brain. So how do you do that?….
Step 2: Work with your biology
To transform your “I hate my body” thoughts you must work in the language your brain works in. Work with your biology not against it. This is how you can unwind years of horrible thinking. Here is what you need to know to do that…
Your brain accepts evidence-based facts
To shift your “I hate the way I look” thoughts, you need to start to think better thoughts about your appearance that are based in fact. You can’t simply tell yourself “I love the way I look” when you truly think “I hate the way I look”. Applying a positive thought over top of a bad thought does not work. Instead you must nudge yourself.
You can move from “I hate the way I look” to “I hate the way I look today but I recognize that I have a body that works while a lot of people don’t. I am grateful.” Your brain likely can’t dispute that. So you can hold that in your mind. Eventually this becomes habitual.
Your “I hate the way I look” thoughts were embedded in your mind over a long period of time
Because these thoughts have been repeated many times over your brain knows this path. The brain likes thought shortcuts and links the to painful memories. So immediately when you are in a situation that has cause you pain in the past your brain reacts. Though sometimes they way it reacts is not healthy.
For intance, if starving yourself helped you lose weight once you might make that a regular habit. Though, over the long term you’ll destroy your body.
Your brain likes what makes it feel good
Now, since the thoughts took time to be created, to undo them you need to repeat your new good thoughts. You must make it habit. To make replacing “I hate the way I look” thoughts with positive thoughts a habit the best way is to make the process itself fun. Your brain likes pleasure. Make retraining your brain feel good or the chances you’ll do it are slim.
You CAN transform your “I hate the way I look” thoughts forever
Anyone can follow the two steps above. Remember, if you do nothing about your “I hate the way I look” thoughts they will kill your dreams, or make you sick, or cause you major distress.
You can nurture a beautiful inner state and internal dialogue. And when you do you’ll learn the real secret about physical appearance: A beautiful mind = an attractive person. You will be stunning and magnetic and attractive. And that will get you far.
Ready to drop the negative internal chatter? Grab this free meditation track that trains your brain to do all the above. It use principles in neuroscience and music therapy to support you to shift your “I hate the way I look” thoughts and replace them with “I am awesome” thoughts.