This is the second taxing appearance assumption. For many people who struggle with body image, this appearance assumption is often at the root of their body image problems. If you believe this assumption to be true, you believe that your physical appearance is the most important aspect of all of the things that make you who you are. You are saying that it is more important that your personality, achievements, the type of person you are, and your actions. When you believe this appearance assumption, you minimize and dismiss all of your other positive and endearing qualities. You repeatedly send the message to yourself that those things really don’t matter. Over time, you will spend more time and energy worrying and thinking about your appearance. It can also lead you to spend more of your resources trying to enhance your appearance and “fix” the things you don’t like because you believe that it is essential for your self-worth.
If you think about the people in your life you care about, their physical appearance is probably not the reason you care about them. You’d probably say that your best friend is your best friend because they are kind, compassionate, have a great sense of humor, they always show up, and so on. Their physical appearance may not even make the list! You know they are worthy to be your best friend because of WHO THEY ARE, and not because of the way they look. So why do you believe that your worthiness as a person depends on your physical appearance? When you put it this way, it doesn’t make much sense. You are able to be kind to others, but not yourself? We have gotten so used to being our own toughest and harshest critics that it has become second nature. We automatically begin putting ourselves down and putting others on a pedestal. So how do you begin to challenge and change this assumption you’ve adopted?
Begin by creating a list of all of the other aspects of yourself that make you who you are. List the qualities that you are proud of, that you like, and are happy about. List the qualities that others like and value about you as well.
Next, create a new personal statement that incorporates the items on your list. It should sound something like this, “What makes me special and worthy as a person is my easy going personality, my great sense of humor, my caring for others, my loyalty to friends and those I love, my work ethic, my commitment to giving 110%, and not only what I look like.
Write it down and put it someplace where you will be able to see it everyday! Read it to yourself everyday and you will begin to realize how true that statement really is.
Happy Friday and feel free to post your own personal statement in the comments below!!