Most of us fuss over our appearances. The way we look, the way we present ourselves and the way we think others perceive us, all have an impact on what we think of ourselves. Often, we correlate our self-worth with our physical appearance. The more negative our self-image, the more we think we are not good enough. So, how to get out of the resulting inferiority complex?
1 Everyone is unique: Remember that every individual is unique. Everyone has different potential and may excel in different fields. This uniqueness is what we need to focus on so that we can have a better, realistic understanding of our selves.
2 Get over appearances: Physical attributes are not the only thing that defines us. Our numerous traits and abilities are significant as well.
3 View yourself in a holistic light: Do not look at isolated aspects of yourself. Instead, view all facets of yourself and how they interact with each other.
It is essential to have a complete view of yourself.
4 Appreciate your strengths: You surely have some strengths. Acknowledging these highlights of your personality can help you overcome your sense of inferiority.
5 Meet people: Take an active part in social gatherings, and ensure that the social dimension of your life is not compromised. Have pleasant social interactions which help you remain confident about yourself and your social abilities.
6 Focus on being presentable: Looks do not create an impression in isolation. What also matters is the way we present ourselves. Self-presentation in terms of the way we dress, how we communicate and our body language have a strong impact on how others perceive us. Focus on these.
7 Be confident and positive: Do not fret over your features you don't like. Do not engage in negative self-appraisals. Focus on the positives and think of yourself in a positive light. Be self-assured.
8 Make more friends: A strong social support system works very well in helping one tide over difficulties in life. These social networks can give you a sense of security and also highlight your strong points. So, make a lot of friends and focus on the good things in life.
9 Still feeling low? If nothing seems to work, then it is advisable to take a professional's help. Through in-depth interactions with a professional counsellor, you can develop more effective problem-solving, decision-making and coping skills.
The author is a psychiatrist, and chief, Department of Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences, Max Healthcare