Have you ever asked a friend what they find most beautiful about a person? And what was their initial response? Did you find them gravitating toward a person’s beautiful eyes, muscles or gorgeous figure or instead fall head over heels for their humour, morals and loyalty?
It feels like nowadays were questioning what the true meaning of beauty actually is and whether or not it’s defined by inner or outer beauty. Society tells us one thing; our upbringing tells us another, and that leaves us with so little room to determine what beauty truly means to us on our own terms. But the ultimate question is, why is there even a stigma or stereotype around beauty in general? Why is there a “right” and “wrong”? There should be no golden rule or definition of what the term actually means. Beauty can come in any shape and size, and sometimes it’s even more than what the eye can see (aka, it’s not all about the looks beauty folks – shocker).
Your inner beauty defines who you are as a person, your dreams, aspirations and values in life – mixed in with your generosity, loyalty or even sense of humour. Beauty is not necessarily in the face or physical features but in an individual’s heart and soul – outer beauty may please the eye, but it’s the inner beauty that truly captivates the soul.
If we take a second to compare the two, some will say outer beauty takes the lead, and inner beauty follows. Meaning the look is the hook, and then comes the characteristics and values of a person. But it feels like we’re caught up with looks and how we physically appear rather than focusing on the simple fact that looks can fade and what’s inside is everlasting. Does that mean that someone’s physical features, meaning their body, smile and hair, are more important than their personality, habits and how they carry themselves?
Now, that doesn’t mean that focusing on your outer beauty is entirely wrong, but it’s all about finding a healthy balance between the two – not too much of one and less of the other. When you can connect with your own feelings and become in-tuned with yourself, you are then able to communicate with others and make better decisions in life. Inner beauty is what connects us, creates bonds and long-lasting relationships and friendships– it’s that common ground that connects the two. It leaves a genuine impression on others and takes away the thought of someone’s looks. The biological clock is ticking, and change is inevitable, so wouldn’t you want to be left with a shinning soul rather than someone’s looks that can fade over time? Think about it for a second.
Here are six steps to finding your inner beauty:
1. Remind yourself of your uniqueness and own it.
Name something more important than getting to know the person who has been by your side every single day, through thick and thin? I’ll give you a minute, but honestly, the most important relationship in this world is the one with yourself because just like how you check-in and take care of your friends, you should do the exact same with yourself. Do yourself a favour, grab a piece of paper and write down your favourite characteristics of yourself, whether that’s your kindness, love for animals or passion for keeping this earth clean and take a second to recognize your true potential and uniqueness.
Knowing yourself, your beliefs and what matters to you are the beginning steps to shaping yourself – and nothing is more attractive than someone who knows themselves and stands for what they believe in. Taking care of yourself should always be your biggest priority, so treat yourself, take yourself out on a date and give yourself all the love you need – you deserve it.
2. Create a solid morning routine.
Every morning take 30 minutes, an hour or even two for yourself. It’s always essential to start your day on your own time, rather than someone else’s. In between answering emails, texts and your morning Instagram scroll, our attention is taken away and redirected in so many different avenues that we forgot to carve time out for our own personal development, whether it’s mentally or physically.
If you’re a runner and love a morning jog, carve out time for that or whether you like making a fresh cup of coffee and reading a page from your favourite book – do it or even listening to a podcast – the options are endless! Focus on building a solid morning routine not only to centre yourself but make self-care a priority for you.
3. Inner Detox – redirect negative thoughts and avoid toxic people.
Sometimes we can’t help but feel bombarded by so many negative thoughts. From feeling like your legs could be more toned, wanting an hourglass figure or a nice jawline – the thoughts could go on and have an immense toll on our inner thoughts and how we feel about ourselves. Rather than letting those negative thoughts bring you down, take a moment to acknowledge them and how they made you feel, whether that was sad, mad or unhappy. Moving forward will allow you to recognize those situations and train your mind to become aware of those situations, so next time you’re in that same spot, you can surpass and overcome those thoughts.
Constantly remind yourself to let it pass, don’t resist, and enforce positive thinking instead. Remember, self-love and acceptance is a process. Beauty is not just a physical quality. It is internal, as well.
4. Create limits and boundaries.
Whether it’s unfollowing someone off of Instagram or disconnecting from a friend, focusing on your happiness and inner peace is the uttermost important thing you can do for yourself. Let me introduce you to creating limits and boundaries phase.
Remove anyone or anything that doesn’t bring joy or happiness to your life. The energy you let in is crucial and can impact you without even noticing. It can either bring you down or lift you up (and we all know which one is more important). Not everyone deserves your time and energy. Keep your circle small and focus on being around people who want to see you shine and bring the absolute best out of you.
Trust your instinct, and never be afraid of putting up boundaries to protect your inner peace.
5. Don’t get too caught up with social media; check-out when you need to.
Let’s be completely honest here, can you really trust everything you see on Instagram? I think not, so why let a social media platform impact your life and disturb your inner peace this much? Social media may have its pro’s and con’s, but the one thing we can all agree on is that we can’t help but compare ourselves to others when doing our late-night scroll. It takes that very moment to make us feel useless and down about ourselves. At that very moment, you need to stop scrolling, put your phone down and reflect on yourself, all while practising gratitude before bed. Social media can sometimes feel like a black hole, so feel free to unplug, log-out, or delete the application when needed (a social media break is a new norm, so do you boo). Scrolling has created an unhealthy habit for us, and without even noticing, it gets us caught up with looks and everything we don’t have when we should always focus on the good and be grateful for what we do have.
6. Practice self-love and be easy on yourself.
Take care of your mind, body and soul. Exercise, meditate, talk to yourself in the mirror and repeat words of affirmation. You are worthy of everything good this world has to offer, and comparing yourself to others will only bring you down. Allow yourself to make mistakes, and don’t be so hard on yourself along the way. Next time you’re thinking of calling yourself something negative for making an innocent mistake, ask yourself would you say this to your friend who’s feeling down, or would you support them with uplifting words? I’d say uplifting words, and you are no different than a friend. You are doing the best that you can, and that’s all that matters – never forget that.