3 Steps to Overcome Negative Self-Image

July 17, 2018 Martha Lueck

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A negative self-image affects everything you do. When you wake up in the morning and look in the mirror, what is the first thing you see? Do you see beauty, or do you see the beast? Regardless of gender or other people's perception of us, we will all struggle with image issues at some point. Whether it be our weight, body features, or complexion, even the littlest change can affect our self-esteem. I have been there many times. Read this article to learn about the three steps that are helping me overcome negative self-image.

How Does a Change in Your Appearance Affect Your Life?

Many people can answer this question without really thinking about it. Some people do not want to leave the house or be seen by anyone. When they cannot avoid going places, they struggle to talk to people. When someone does not make eye contact with them, they might think something like, They're secretly laughing at me.

My Chin Breakouts Made Me Feel Very Self-Conscious

A few weeks ago, my chin breakouts made me feel self-conscious to the point that I did not want to be seen in public. Deep down, I knew that my breakouts were not really as bad as what I saw in the mirror. Other people probably did not even notice them. But because I did, my entire perspective on myself as well as my daily rituals changed. I spent more time doing my makeup in the morning. Even though I could talk to people during the day, most of my days ended in rumination over every social encounter. The only thing that went through my mind was, They must think I'm the ugliest person in the world.

I am Overcoming Negative Self-Image in 3 Steps

Step 1: I am noticing my symptoms of image issues.

Image issues are thought to affect adolescents more than adults. At 28, I still struggle as much (if not, more than) I did when I was a teenager. Perhaps hormonal changes have a lot to do with my insecurity. Here is a list of ways that negative self-mage has affected my life:

  • I have spent more time editing photos.
  • I have cried over wrinkles on my forehead.
  • I have researched crows feet and other types of skin changes in adulthood.
  • I have compared recent photos to past photos and hated myself.
  • I have disregarded every compliment on my appearance.
  • I have been sleeping more just to avoid being seen by people.
  • I have obsessed over finding physical flaws in my favorite celebrities.

Step 2: I am replacing my image obsession with activities and positive thoughts.

I know that I am not alone in image obsession. But I also know that it is not healthy. My rituals to "perfect" myself have been taking up time that I could have been using to enjoy life. So I made this list of things I can do or focus on to replace my obsession.

  • Read fiction stories that I enjoyed in the past
  • Write a newsletter for the place where I work
  • Brainstorm positive story ideas
  • Play with my niece
  • Solve logic puzzles
  • Clean my room

Step 3: I accept that this is a common struggle, but it does not have to control my life.

As I said before, I know that I am not the only person struggling with image issues. However, seeing how other people have found self-love beyond image has been helping me to love myself. I know that my appearance does not define who I am as a person or what my life is about. My heart and soul are more important than my physical image. What I do with my life is more important than my physical image. If I have my mind and heart in the right place and truly live a fulfilling life, it will naturally show on the outside.

If you have overcome self-image struggles, what steps did you find effective? Please share in the comments.

APA Reference
Lueck, M. (2018, July 17). 3 Steps to Overcome Negative Self-Image, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 16 from

Author: Martha Lueck

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Anna S.
July, 25 2018 at 10:47 am

I actually don't remember how started to gaim confidence in myself...I still struggle now here and there, but it's nothing like how I used to struggle in the past, because now I have self-love that I didn't used to feel. My lifetime struggle has always been my obesity. I guess I just started caring less of what people thought about me and started to reflect upon the fact that there is only one of me/myself and therefore I must love myself just how K am and that if I will once lose weight, it will be for my health and not to impress anybody but myself.

Lizanne Corbit
July, 18 2018 at 11:46 pm

I absolutely love these steps!! YES to recognizing, YES to taking action towards replacing that self harming behavior with self loving and YES to realizing that is incredibly common (even more than we think), but that it absolutely doesn't get to be in the driver's seat of your life. Thank you for sharing this beautifully honest piece.

July, 23 2018 at 9:35 am

Hi Lizanne,
Thank you very much for your feedback! :) That was a hard piece to write because it has been such a sensitive issue for me. But I think it's very relatable. We don't have to be alone in our insecurities. We don't have to be ashamed of them. Of course, accepting them is easier said than done.

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