Imperfections? What Imperfections?

Have you ever been part of a group photo, and looked at the result only to groan because you look so terrible but all of your friends look fabulous?  Although you've probably only vaguely registered that they are in the photo because you're too intent looking at what you think are your imperfections.  Then your friends say "What a hideous photo of me" and you think they must be saying that to make you feel better?

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Yep.  Thought so.  Many people do.  

Last week, I was away for a couple of days with my boyfriend and we tried to do selfies.  Now, there's a technique to selfies and I don't have it.  I'm getting better but only if there are a dozen or so discarded photos to choose from, and when you have two people in the photo, you might as well forget it as far as I'm concerned. 

We were looking at the results and my boyfriend did the whole "I look awful" thing then said "but you're so photogenic".

Photogenic - Me?

This is not a description I would ever use about myself.  When I look at photos, I usually don't see the person I'm very happy to look at in the mirror.  The one exception is photobooth photos.  I look like them.  And I must be about the only person who was more than happy to wave their passport about as it was the best photo I ever had taken - before the wonderful Jen Hart took the photos you see on my bio.  

No, when I look at photos, I generally lament how unphotogenic I am - as I know that there have been fabulous pictures taken of me in the past.

Imperfections what imperfections - bad selfies

But the reality is that the vision we hold of ourselves from looking in the mirror is a snapshot​, as we brush our teeth, put on make-up, or comb our hair.  And it's a mirror image - so immediately it's not really the face that other people see.  They see the faces we pull as we go through the day: the grin; the frown of concentration; the flicker of uncertainty; the arched eyebrows of boredom setting in or whatever.  So, other people are far better placed to comment on how close a photograph is to your likeness.

​Even when we look at things about ourselves that aren't a mirror image, we have different perceptions of behaviour because of our Cognitive Biases. People are often unfairly harsh on themselves, focusing only on the negative, and giving no credence to the positive because their filters and conditioning are blocking that out - because the positive doesn't fit with the story they tell themselves.   The latest Match.com advert demonstrates that pretty well:

I love the title of the video: "Love your imperfections" because it's so true.  Other people do not hold the same image of you that you do, and it can be (nicely) shocking sometimes to hear an honest appraisal of how they view you.  

What you see as an imperfection, somebody else may believe to be an adorable trait

#selfimage #coaching

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So, next time you are starting to let your own negative self-talk make you believe all sorts of unpleasant things about yourself, just ask what external evidence you have to believe you are not good enough.  Treat yourself as though you were a friend and say the things that you would with the evidence you have to hand.  

Now, if you're in the habit of telling fibs to friends to protect their feelings, you might not believe that anybody saying positive things is telling you the truth but there are two ways to look at that:

  1. Other people might not be fibbing 
  2. If they are fibbing, they are doing it to help you feel better about your circumstances

Unless you hold unreasonable expectations about your singing voice and you're planning on attending the next Britain's Got Talent auditions, sometimes forgetting the fib and accepting the kindness of others is the first step towards being kind to yourself 😀

Forget the imperfections.  They're probably just in your head xxx

I'd love to hear your comments on this post

Gillian Lewis
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Gillian Lewis

Self Image Coach at Gillian Lewis: Spectrum Coaching and Consultancy based in Darlington, County Durham, UK
What on earth is a Self-Image Coach I hear you ask – it’s cross between a Confidence Coach and Image Consultant.

I help clients become happier and more confident by giving them a Makeover from the Inside Out to change their internal and external view of themselves.

I'm not really interested in fashion, just what clothes can do for your self-image - that's where the Forget Fashion blog title originated, so I won't be doing much commentary on the latest catwalk styles.Instead, I write about things I come across in life that make me reflect.Sometimes it's serious.Sometimes it's just fun.Hopefully you'll like my writing style, find what I write about interesting and enjoy the experience.If you do, share the love using the boxes below - thank you 😀
Gillian Lewis
FOLLOW ME
About Gillian Lewis

What on earth is a Self-Image Coach I hear you ask – it’s cross between a Confidence Coach and Image Consultant.

I help clients become happier and more confident by giving them a Makeover from the Inside Out to change their internal and external view of themselves.

I'm not really interested in fashion, just what clothes can do for your self-image - that's where the Forget Fashion blog title originated, so I won't be doing much commentary on the latest catwalk styles. Instead, I write about things I come across in life that make me reflect. Sometimes it's serious. Sometimes it's just fun. Hopefully you'll like my writing style, find what I write about interesting and enjoy the experience. If you do, share the love using the boxes below - thank you :-D

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