Around 3 years ago, I started compulsively going to the gym almost every day,
now almost twice a day. I didn't do this to impress anyone or show off at all. I did this because I hate the way I look. I would look in the mirror and wish that I could change who I was. 3 years on this is still the case but I have come to the realisation that one of the most difficult things in life is accepting yourself for who you are. You look in the mirror and all you see is everything you don't want to see, whether it's the jawline you wish you had or the abs you thought you were going to get from trying out the 30 day ab challenge, only to resort back to Netflix. We are constantly surrounded by reminders of how we think we should look and comparing ourselves to other people around us wondering “why can’t I look like them?” You look outside and watch a sea of insecure and self conscious individuals flood the streets, each just as nervous as each other. You feel like you need to be someone else to feel confident in who you are. It doesn't seem to matter what people say to you, you just can’t believe it, whether it's convincing yourself what they say isn't true or finding all the negative things to pick out of every comment and then disproportionally blowing them up in your mind.
In reality, every single person is too wrapped up on focusing on their own insecurities and how they look to even notice how you look. We strive to impress people who are so focused on their own insecurities that they can’t even impress themselves, let alone you. I wish I could tell you that there was one simple way to suddenly look in the mirror and love the image that you see, at least if there is a way I haven't found it out for myself yet. There’s a quote from Judy Garland which I strongly believe: "Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else." You may never fully accept who you are or ever be completely confident in how you look. But you can realise there is no benefit in comparing yourself to unrealistic role models and beating yourself up for unachievable goals. The one thing you do have control of is the confidence you portray to others and that is the one thing people do actually take notice of.