Last year, I wrote this post about the sexiness of confidence, and the experience that led me to that conclusion. I don’t want to re-tell that story, so I’m quoting myself: “imagine, please, this stereotypical scene: a group of college boys in a bar, already fairly drunk, overtly staring at women and openly rating them to each other. Now replace this with three middle aged women in business attire, dead sober at a Chipotle, doing the same thing to any man who walks through the door. We’re here in fierce competition – me and two of my favorite coworkers – to see who can find a man we consider hot. Whoever fails to do so is forced to buy the others dessert.” Fast forward one year, add one more co-worker, and you have the beginning of this week’s story.
Last year, playing this game was a guilty pleasure. This year – despite winning an astonishingly overpriced cookie – I didn’t have any fun at all. Why?
I felt ugly.
Judging people like this felt repulsive. I hate to admit it, but even my normally beautiful co-workers were starting to look hideous to me. I felt somewhat toxic for the rest of the day. What changed? What was different about me this year?
Well, many things – it’s been a very dramatic year, but I picked out my top three practices to share with you.
Method #1: Look for the beauty in others
I know, I know. It sounds trite and Pollyanna-like. There’s a method, here, though. Usually our levels of judgment are universal. Usually when someone cannot see their own attractiveness, it’s because of a very strong internal critic. That critic, when turned outwards, is a very strong judge. I’m not suggesting that you are cruel to other people. I’m suggesting that, internally, you judge people by the same harsh standards which you judge yourself.
If you are like me, it’s very hard to change the harshness towards yourself. Looking for the beauty in others is much easier. Then, slowly, almost imperceptibly, the kindness with which I viewed others bled over into my own self-perception. Try it. Tell me if the same happens for you.
Method #2: Overprice your cookie
That sounds vaguely obscene, so let me explain. Our ‘reward’ for this competition was the dessert of our choice from this somewhat pretentious lunch spot across the street from Chipotle. Their food is delicious; it’s somewhat pricey, but the food is so good that it’s worth it once in a while. They also have a large selection of baked goods. Lately my friends and I have been trying these, convinced that any cookie priced at $4.50 must be the best cookie on earth.
It’s a decent cookie, but I bake better ones. It’s not $3 better than the cookie from the coffee shop in my building. One of the cookies we sampled was not good at all. Yet…we all pretended that it was incredible. We all talk about these desserts as if they are precious. We do so because the store owners priced it so high that it MUST be worth it. Right?
My hunch is that when it comes to your attractiveness, you are WAY “underpricing.” If we use the cookie example, you’re selling it for less than the cost of the ingredients.
Friends, here’s the truth (at least according to me and several major world religions) – we’re all living, breathing images of the Divine. We’re so beautiful we can’t even be captured in words. After employing method #1 long enough, I started to see flashes of this, and it makes me weep every time it happens.
So, here’s my challenge to you: deliberately “overprice” yourself. Decide you’re fantastically worthy and attractive. People will believe you because, generally, people will believe whatever we believe about ourselves. And guess what? Even when you try this, you’ll still be underpricing yourself. Unlike a cookie, you cannot overvalue the incarnate divine.
Method #3: Create or join a “Selfie” group
A Selfie is a self-portrait, for those of you who have never heard the term. I was recently invited to join a Facebook Selfie group, and very reluctantly agreed, mainly out of guilt for being so Facebook resistant lately. With this group, you post a selfie each day, as does everyone else in the group. We all comment on each other’s photos.
This does not sound profound, but it is. There is something about seeing yourself each day through the eyes of a camera and the eyes of others that is strangely healing. Check out this Flickr page and see if you don’t see something beautiful in each of these people.
Good luck, gorgeous. Come back and leave comment to let me know how hot you are!