From the Outside In: How to Overcome Physical Insecurities

September 19, 2013

Physical insecurities, especially skin imperfections like acne and skin blemishes, take a toll on more than just the outward appearance. Affecting positive self-image and healthy self-esteem, the internal, mental harm caused by physical insecurities often outweighs the imperfection itself. Overcome physical insecurities by bringing focus from the outside, in.

Balance logic and emotion

Overcome a physical insecurity by approaching it with logic. First, research the condition thoroughly.  For example, if acne is the problem, read about symptoms, causes, and medications prescribed to reduce breakouts.  From the information gathered, form a written plan.  Detail the steps needed to tackle the insecurity and enlist help from professionals like doctors, dermatologists, and psychologists.  Journal daily and take pictures to track progress.  Give yourself a timeline to follow, keeping in mind that most treatment plans will take several weeks.

As you approach each step in your treatment plan, be mindful of your emotions.  Recognize how you feel nervous as you meet the dermatologist for the first time, but don’t let the feeling hold you back from completing the visit.  Allow yourself to feel angry about the scar on your face, but don’t let it consume your self-image.

If you start to feel overwhelmed with emotion, switch gears to think logically.  Revisit your written plan and give yourself props for all of the positive steps you have taken in your quest to overcome your physical insecurity.

Stand up against bullies, including yourself!

Dealing with a physical insecurity increases one’s susceptibility to bullying. Don’t underestimate the hurt stemming from the teasing and name-calling that go hand-in-hand with physical insecurities.

Such harassment is not only annoying and aggravating,  it holds the power to destroy self-esteem, causing the onset of serious mental health concerns, like depression or anxiety.  Bullying may even be a factor in suicide.  Stand up for yourself if you are bullied about your physical insecurity.

In addition to warding off a bully, pay attention to how you treat yourself.  Deeply consider your own inward thoughts, and come to terms with any harsh self-criticisms holding you hostage.  Journal to get in touch with your true feelings about your outward appearance and physical insecurity.  Get all the negativeness out of your system.

Process through the rich emotions and mental scars weighing down your subconscious, giving power to your insecurities.  Self-reflection brings hard feelings to surface and may be difficult to endure.  However, the personal growth from serious contemplation will be worth the struggle.

Grow patient, my friend

When a physical insecurity arises, like the onset of an acne breakout or a skin rash, achieving results seems like an eternity away.  Stressing out about unsightly bumps and facial blemishes comes naturally. Some people tend to opt for quick treatments from professional skin care facilities.

Growing obsessive about the condition sends our bodies into fight or flight mode, making it difficult to eat, sleep, concentrate, and carry out daily routines.  Stress hormones rage through the body, making skin irritations worse.   While you may have no control over the physical insecurity, you can certainly take charge of the way your body reacts to the stress you feel from your condition.

Overcome a physical insecurity by lowering the stress associated with the impurity.  Understand that you have choices in how you think about physical insecurities.  You can choose to be consumed with the problem, constantly stewing and stressing.

Or you can choose to grow patient and calm your mind when negative thoughts start to bog you down.  Since most physical insecurities don’t disappear overnight, learning to calm the mind while dealing with the insecurity and its stress may save your sanity.

Grow patient by practicing yoga and meditation.  Both are ancient forms of healing the mind and body and offer a comprehensive range of benefits.  Yoga is also known to increase self-esteem and positive self-image, while regulating the release of stress hormones. Routine practice of yoga and meditation help in calming the mind and will make it easier to deal with a physical insecurity.

Image Credit: Helga Weber –