Men always seem to find it easy to identify what they don’t like about themselves. For many it’s physical characteristics, whether it’s the body, nose or the fact that they’re too old. They have an image of a perfect ‘man’ and quite happily identify all the characteristics and qualities that don’t match up to this perfect ideal.
Do you ever use these to beat yourself up. The effect can go deep in your psyche. Some people even go so far as to have plastic surgery for the physical defects whilst other people create masks for themselves to cover up the emotional and psychological defects. Men commonly create masks, masks of masculinity, masks that show how great or capable they are.
It is important to separate things that genuinely need work from those imaginings that go on in your mind. Look at yourself objectively when thinking about this.
I’m happy being myself, which I’ve never been before. I always hid in other people, or tried to find myself through the characters, or live out their lives, but I didn’t have those things in mine.Angelina Jolie
I was born with a club foot, a physical defect that I have never been able to ignore.
When I was young I went through many operations and much physical therapy. I could never get away from my ‘defect’. Going to a shoe shop to buy shoes has always been a major issue for me and my limp is always with me.
I have never let it interfere with my life but that doesn’t mean I have come to like it. I use it as a anchor to prevent me drifting into the idea that I am perfect. Perfection is not a great standard and I use it to ensure I never go down that road. I am comfortable with it but I don’t like it.
Accepting it but being comfortable with it is crucial for me. It allows me to create ways of dealing with it. My wife comes with me when I go shopping for shoes and she takes great pleasure in understanding what shoes will fit me and why I dismiss most styles. It’s a point of honour for her to like my foot. That means a lot to me.
- What don’t you like about yourself? Is it something physical or is it a personality trait?
- Write down what it is and really own it. Focus on it and develop another perspective on it.
- Can you change it or is it something permanent? How are you limiting yourself by thinking like this?
- Have you created a mask to cover up what you don’t like? Is the life you life not quite you? How could you be more yourself?