These tips will help you learn how to be comfortable in your own skin. Use them to overcome insecurities and develop confidence.
How to be comfortable in your own skin while you understand that you are constantly being judged and you should not care about it, but you still care and it hurts?– Miss Chloe
I have written in My Story: How I transformed from being “ugly” to a confident and attractive woman, intensively about how people´s constant judgment about my looks and economic status had ruined my self-esteem. But I´ve also shown in my story how I rose above those judgments, overcame my low self-esteem, and proved my bullies wrong.
I was told I was “ugly”. I was bullied because I was too thin. People looked down on me because I and my family were poor. And I was told that “no quality guy would ever like me“.
For the most part of my life I had a high self-regard and I saw myself as a high-value woman. But it was difficult to keep that positive self-regard when people´s judgment of me seemed more like my reality at the time.
I was indeed not much to look at and was always single.
It´s easy to be told to just ignore the bullies. Don´t let them get into you. But as you rightfully said, “You know you should not care about it, but you still do and it hurts.“
The good news is despite being constantly judged by others you can still learn to be comfortable in your skin.
It´s a gradual process. You may have to fake it first until you make it. But once you do make it the noise of people´s judgment will simply fade in the background.
You´ll realize that the most glorious moment has come if someone throws a dart on you and you just shrug it off because you´ve become so comfortable in your skin (for real) that their judgment no longer matter.
Here are the steps I took to be confident in my own skin and to not care what people think and say about me, steps that I recommend for you to try:
1. Examine People´s Judgment Of You.
List down the judgments that people have said about you. Try to look at each of them with an objective eye. See if there´s any truth to it.
The following are the hurtful things people have said about me that I had to learn to overcome:
a. How to be comfortable in your own skin if people tell you “you´re ugly“?
Different people have judged my appearance at different times in my life. They used different words but it still all boiled down the same — that they found me ugly.
Growing up I was always too thin. Classmates and neighbor kids constantly bullied me and called me names such as “corpse“, “malnourished“, “stick“, etc.
When some distant relatives would see me at family reunions they`d comment with disdain on their faces — she´s too thin.
To me, “thin“ meant “ugly“. This continued until my high school years.
In high school I met a cute guy a few years older than I was when I visited a classmate´s hometown. Several weeks later my classmate informed me that the cute guy had seen me in his own town (which was also my town).
The conversation between my classmate and the cute guy went something like this …
Cute guy: Hey, I saw your friend walking in the street when I went home last week.
My classmate: Which friend?
Cute guy: The thin one. Does she live in Narra too?
The news broke my heart. Did he describe me as thin? That means he found me ugly! I was so sad after that.
In retrospect, did the cute guy really find me “ugly“? Or was it just my interpretation based on my past wounds?
When I was a freshman in high school in the Philippines, 12 y.o., the trainer for our school´s drum and lyre corps picked me to be a flag bearer. As a flag bearer I only had to wear my school uniform.
It was an act of kindness from the trainer, who was also my Maths teacher, because he knew that I couldn´t afford to be a lyrist. I had no money to buy a lyre and a band uniform.
All the top students in my class were either a lyrist or a drummer. And I was one of the top students in my class. But I was the only one who didn´t join the corps.
I happened to be a favorite of my Maths teacher because I won several challenges and competition in our Maths class. Out of pity he designed a way to include me in the corps.
The flag would be provided to me and I didn´t have to buy an outfit. Hesitantly, I joined the corps.
When our PE teacher heard about the news (most likely delivered by the mean girls in my class who were lyrists), she confronted me in front of some students and a few teachers.
She asked, in a very judgmental manner (facial expression and all), if I joined the corps as a flag bearer. I said, “Yes.“
She then turned to the teachers who were listening and bashed the corps trainer for having such a bad taste in choosing band members.
“Why wouldn´t he choose students who are presentable and good-looking? Why would he choose someone like this?“ She complained. To which the other teachers nodded and murmured in agreement.
Those words were to stay with me for the rest of my life.
I left the corps because of that confrontation. Soon after the flag bearers were demolished from the corps.
But I still wanted to join the corps as a lyrist.
The next year school year, with the help of my mom, I combed our town high and low looking for a second hand lyre and band uniform. With determination, albeit my scarce resources, I was able to join the corps as a lyrist.
b. To overcome people´s judgment of how you look, focus on improving your appearance.
I wished I could tell you that I transformed my appearance à la Cinderella overnight, but it didn´t happen that way.
Instead, I waited for years to be able to afford nice clothes that would enhance my looks.
Looking back, my family was relatively well-off when I was in primary school. I had nice clothes and beautiful dresses. I enjoyed creating outfits, mixing and matching my clothes, shoes and little shoulder bags.
But in high school my parents´business was bankcrupt due to some major financial mistakes they made.
Unfortunately, adolescence is a very fragile phase of a child´s life. It´s the stage when a child tries to discover his/her personality and individuality.
Being thrown into deep poverty at that age, and then being bombarded by people´s demeaning judgment and put-me-downs, was incredibly difficult for me as a teenager.
I chose to rise above people´s judgment and criticisms by working hard on my studies.
I didn´t resign to poverty. I wanted to get out of it. I knew that if I had the resources I wouldn´t be the “ugly“ young girl that they said I was.
If I had the resources I would be able to buy nice clothes. I would be able to have some proper shoes instead of being forced to wear the worn-out leather shoes that my feet had outgrown, with holes to accomodate my hallux.
I would be able to buy an iron to press my clothes (because we couldn´t afford even an iron!). And I would be able to fix my crooked teeth.
Working hard on my studies was my only way to fight off the bullies. I quietly accepted their mockery. But in my mind, I was determined to prove them wrong.
All my hard work in high school paid off. After I finished high school, I earned a fabulous scholarship from a respectable university in our city. The program included free tuition and stipend allowances.
I used some of my stipend allowances to improve my appearance. I started buying some nice clothes. My personal style quickly evolved.
That´s when I realized the importance of clothing to enhance one´s appearance. The right clothes can improve our confidence.
The moment I had the financial resources, coupled with my eye for style, I catapulted myself from being an “ugly high-schooler“ to a “stylish and confident university student“.
c. How to be comfortable in your own skin if you are told that “No quality guy will ever like you”?
Three people had told me that I would be forever single because no quality guy would ever like me.
The first woman who judged me for my lack of love life was a teacher in profession. She was much older than I was, even older than my mother. She did not say it to my face but it was relayed to me by a trusted source. I was a new teacher myself and was still working in the Philippines.
The second woman who belittled me for being single was also a teacher, a colleague, when I was a new teacher in Bangkok, Thailand. She was also many years my senior.
The third woman who judged me, and she was the worst of all three, was also working as a teacher in Bangkok and was just a few years older than I was.
It´s interesting to note that all three people who judged me were 1.) women, 2.) teachers, 3.) my own people (all three were Filipinos). They felt that my love life, or my lack of it, was their business.
I overcame the impact of their negativity by examining myself and asking questions such as, “What can I do to improve my love life?“
This leads us to the next step.
2. Ask “What“ instead of “Why“.
When people judge us, our default reaction is to ask ourselves “why?“
- Why am I like this?
- Why am I ugly?
- Why am I poor?
“Why“ supposedly should help us explore thought-provoking questions. It´s supposed to help us explore our deepest thoughts and feelings.
The problem with asking “why“ when we´re dealing with negative emotions is that the answers that we´ll likely get are subjective. Those answers are affected by our wounds. The answers we´ll get are not necessarily the truth about ourselves.
That explains why oftentimes, if we ask ourselves “why?“ when we´re feeling down or when we´re dealing with other people´s negativity, we end up with self-loating.
- Because I´m worthless.
- Because I´m not attractive.
- Because I´m not good enough.
The better alternative to “why“ is “what“.
What can I do to change this? What can I do to improve myself?
Those were exactly the questions that I asked myself.
Since poverty was the reason that I didn´t look my best — no money for clothes and grooming, proper housing, not even food — I asked myself what could I do to overcome poverty?
To me the answer was a no-brainer. I needed to get an education. At the time getting a degree was my only possible ticket out of that tiny, depressing world.
Things have changed tremendously since the advent of the internet. People nowadays have better options than getting an education.
Some of my high school friends who were battling poverty just as I was dropped out of school to either work as sales ladies or to get married.
My mother had the same plans for me — to get me a job as a sales girl at a VCD store after I graduate high school. The money I´d make, albeit meager, would help put food on the table.
But I had bigger plans. I was planning to run away from home and find ways to support myself while going to university.
Thankfully God had better plans. A scholarship dropped in my lap. I didn´t have to run away.
Through the years I continued asking myself, “What can I do to reach my goals?“
As you can probably guess, asking “what“ questions helped improve not only my economic status but also my family´s.
All of my five younger siblings were able to get tertiary education through my financial support. And now they´re chasing their own dreams and achieving their own goals.
Most of the people who belittled me in the past are now following me on my social media accounts, curious of what I´ll accomplish next. Oh, what a funny little world.
Being able to overcome something major, such as poverty and other limitations, can increase your confidence big time.
You know in yourself that you´re a winner. And this automatically helps you feel more comfortable in your own skin.
3. Take Action.
Asking what-questions is a better approach to overcoming difficulties and dealing with people´s judgements. It gives you the framework for a strategic plan, and allows you to explore many posibilities.
However, none of it will matter if you don´t take action.
What I discovered from my experience is that it´s easier to take action when it comes to the financial department.
How many women took action and overcame their financial difficulties? But how many women took action and overcame their lack of love life?
While many women are ready to go head to head at work, not many are ready to do something about their lack of romantic love.
To most single women, they leave love to chance.
In my case, I decided to do something about it. I took action.
I started with self-improvement. Really getting to know myself and becoming more self-aware.
For example, I wanted to know why every time I introduced myself to a new guy I focused on talking about my career accomplishments instead of about myself.
I also tended to put myself down first before anyone would. It was like a defense mechanism, protecting myself from others´ judgments by judging myself first.
Understanding the psychology behind my behavior opened my eyes to my need for self-love.
Taking care of my appearance wasn´t enough for me to be comfortable in my own skin, I also needed to take care of that little girl within. To help her heal. And to love her.
the next step was to identify what would be the best ways to help me overcome my deep-seated insecurities and issues.
Then I spent time learning about the psychology of dating.
Since I already transformed myself from inside-out, equipped with my knowledge on how to attract and capture a quality guy, I was able to alter the course of love life from zero to attracting several quality men at once, to finding and marrying my soul mate.
4. Understand the simple formula to becoming comfortable in your own skin.
The formula to becoming comfortable in your own skin is simple. However, it´s the process that can be a little complicated. Nonetheless, it´s doable.
a. Get to Know Yourself.
Discover your strengths and weakness. Capitalize on your strengths. Then develop or improve your weaknesses.
For example, if you know that you´re bright, sharpen it. Enhance your intellect and make it your goal to be successful in your chosen profession.
If you know that you have poor social skills, improve it. Read books about it. Learn how to communicate better. Develop your flirting skills. Focus especially on social flirting.
Practice, practice, and practice.
b. Enhance your physical appearance.
As I´ve touched on earlier, improving your physical appearance can do wonder to your self-esteem. Use clothes to propel your confidence.
Highlight your physical assets – whether it´s your arms, legs, derriere, neck, hair or face.
Embrace your liabilities. Everyone is imperfect. It´s that imperfection that makes you unique. So instead of being insecure about it, embrace and celebrate it.
Fix it. If something bothers you and you know that fixing it will make you more confident, then go ahead and fix it. It might be the best investment you´ll ever make.
I had my crooked teeth fixed and it increased my confidence tremendously.
c. Practice Self-Love.
The amount of respect and regard that people will pay you is mostly greater than or equal to the amount of respect and regard that you have for yourself.
So make sure you have a positive opinion of yourself.
Take time to nurture yourself — in terms of eating a healthy diet, exercising, having adequate sleep and feeding your thoughts with positivity, as well as discovering and following your passion.
Nurturing yourself is an effective way to practice self-love. In the long run this practice will make you comfortable in your own skin.
d. Shift Your Focus from Yourself to the Person Making the Judgment.
Remember that most people judge others because they have little regard for others. They only have regards to themselves and the people they care about.
When these people judge you, it´s really not about you but it´s about their behavior and their lack of awareness for the damage that their negativity will cause others.
Keeping that in mind will help you shift your focus from yourself to the person making the judgment.
Since you´re already aware that the negativity is about him/her and not you, you will able to shrug off.
When it comes to becoming more comfortable in your own skin, the journey is relative to each individual. But in general, the older you get and the more self-aware and self-actualized you become, the more that you feel comfortable in your own skin.