In the LGBTQ+ community, many people are living others’ expectations instead of their own truth. Growing up different exposes queer people to a lot of negative messages connected to their sexuality which can leave a lasting mark on our lives. While criticism mostly comes from straight people, interestingly enough, it also comes from fellow gays. Every gay man and lesbian woman have set of expectations before them when it comes to how to dress, how to talk, where to go out, how much money to have, etc.—and it can all affect one’s self-image. So what can you do to replace your poor personal image with a more positive one?
This tip might sound silly, but it works. If you showerf yourself with affirmations and tell yourself that you’re beautiful, happy and excited instead of anxious, your brain will believe you. It’s impossible to develop a positive self-image and high self-esteem when you’re constantly bombarding your brain with negative phrases. So no matter if you’re struggling with your appearances, relationships, career, potentials or talents, it’s important to avoid self-deprecating comments and replace them with something positive. You’ll start believing that you’re worthy of happiness and progress and you’ll become delightful to be around.
Learn to accept compliments
Many people who struggle with their personal image have a habit to deflect compliments. It’s an annoying habit, so try to replace it with a simple smile and a “thank you”. Every time you reject a compliment, you’re sending a message that you don’t deserve praise. Instead, learn to accept it, be proud of yourself and the people who compliment you.
Ditch your old harmful habits
Harmful habits you’ve collected over the years might be comforting to you, but they are not doing anything positive to improve your health and self-image. Many of us know just how hard can it be to let go of habits like getting drunk every weekend, binge-eating burgers after a week of strict dieting or smoking a pack a day, but it’s more than possible to leave these habits in the past. It’s important to take things slowly. For instance, you can ditch tobacco and buy an electronic cigarette that’s less harmful. Plus, you will also stink less and waste less money! Stock up on healthy snacks to kill your cravings so you don’t reach out for burgers and chips. In time, you will develop better habits you’ll be proud of.
Work on your appearance
Unfortunately today, one of the most common reasons for a negative self-image and doubt in the LGBT community is physical appearance. We are always expected to look perfectly put together. Of course, everyone who has a job, family and other responsibilities know that keeping up with Instagram models is practically impossible. But, you can always introduce some healthy habits into your life. For instance, you can increase physical activity, take better care of your hair and skin, learn about how to dress better and many other little improvements. And don’t think these will cost you a fortune. Instead of paying for the gym, you can go running around the block. Instead of Botox and plastic surgery, you can opt for creams and makeup. When it comes to your fashion style, you can find a lot of help online and hit thrift stores to find cheap yet stylish items. Every issue has a solution and you’ll soon fall in love with yourself every time you look in the mirror.
Enjoy your uniqueness
Keep in mind that there’s no one like you in the world—that’s what makes us all uniquely beautiful and special. You have an opportunity to lead an authentic life, to build your family and create something you’ll be proud of. It’s easier said than done, but you can try to spend your days with people who love you instead of lamenting over the fact that you can’t afford an apartment in Manhattan or trips to Dubai.
It certainly takes a lot of courage to live your own truth, but your colors are beautiful and deserve to be shown to the world. Use your style to express yourself, be proud of your queerness and you’ll see that you’re special and worthy of everything positive in this world.