If you have an issue with an area of your body, it becomes a focal point.
It’s inevitable. It’s like receiving feedback on something at work from 100 people. 99 people can say you are the greatest employee in the world; if the remaining one says something bad, that’s the one you remember. Most of us are wired to recognize and respond to criticism more than we are to praise.
So we see this area of our body, and we think: I hate it. You don’t care if your hair is glowing, your lips the perfect Marilyn Monroe pout – all you do is zoom in on the problem area.
Conventional wisdom would tell you just to try and get over it. That you should rise above – but is ignoring something you dislike about your body possible? Or should you even attempt it? If this has been a problem for years, maybe you should do something about it?
Sometimes, it helps to look at things in a linear fashion. So, I raise the question: what are the pros and cons of just moving on past a body problem area?
PRO: It’s better for your self-esteem.
If you manage to conquer a crisis of confidence over the way you look, your self-esteem is going to take a huge boost. You will learn that issues can be overcome, that you are the one who is ultimately in control. It’s a learning experience, and it’s a positive one too.
CON: Next time, you might not be able to get over it.
So if the learning experience is so powerful, the theory would stretch saying that you can just move on from the next thing that bothers you? And not just in body confidence – in any area of life? What if the next thing is something you can’t control, like ill health? You might learn a new way of dealing with an issue, but that won’t safeguard from issues continuing to happen.
PRO: Controlling your body image is a massive part of confidence.
If you allow yourself to be manipulated by outside forces, then you have lost the battle, and you’re on the way to losing the war. If you’re not confident in yourself, then it’s going to cause a multitude of problems through your life.
CON: You never really get past it.
You might tell yourself you have, but it’s unlikely you will move from being concerned about an area and then to complete nonchalance.
PRO: You might not be able to deal with it.
If, for example, you have a complex about your height, then there’s nothing you can do about it. Surgery doesn’t work; there is no way to become taller.
CON: But what if you can?
It depends on the issue, clearly. If you have bad teeth and crave a solution like a pfm crown and dental bridge, then you can do that. If you want to lose weight, then you can do that. There’s no point fighting a losing battle, but a lot of our body concerns can be controlled – so why resist the urge to make the change?
Ultimately, the decision rests with you – and it all very much depends on what the issue at hand is. However, don’t tell yourself you can get over it and expect it to just happen. It’s going to take a bit more work than that.
Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science with a Sports Management minor.