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Do you have a bit of dysmorphia?

Do you have a bit of dysmorphia?


Do you know what body dysmorphia is? It is a disorder that involves the belief that your own appearance is unusually “defective” and is worthy of being hidden or fixed. I think we all have some forth of dysmorphia, body or otherwise, where we look at someone else’s achievements, brains, talents or beauty and self-depreciate our own success, smarts or looks.

When we think others have something that we don’t, we either start sacrificing our own identity to be like them, or we go around feeling “less than” about who we are. For example, if we become infatuated with being “thin” – we will dislike ourselves for being “fat” and as a result, not love ourselves for who we are, and always think we need to be thinner in order to be loved or have beauty. Or, as another example, if we see someone we know as being talented, and fail to see our own talent in the unique form it exists, we will be infatuated by their talent, and not appreciate ourselves for our own unique talent.

This dynamic is self-defeating and self-depreciating and does not lead to living a balanced and inspiring life.

If you feel you are not successful, free yourself by making a list of the downsides of being successful in the form that you are infatuated with. Write down all the challenges that particular form of success brings. Then, make a list of the benefits of being exactly where you are. Most people I work with will say, “There are no benefits to being where I am.” However, if you sit with it, and are really open to seeing them, you will find them.

Keep going until you feel more balanced. It doesn’t mean that you cannot have a goal of being successful, you just need to be balanced about where you are, before you can move towards where you want to be. What you resist persists and with a shift in perspective that brings you to neutral, you can more easily move forward in the direction you desire!

Alice Inoue

Alice Inoue is the founder and Chief Happiness Officer of Happiness University. She is an expert life guide, and author of five nationally award-winning books on life wisdom, self-growth and happiness. She has two columns, one in MidWeek titled “A Mindful Moment,” and an award-winning column in the Sunday Star-Advertiser called “Go Ask Alice” that offers pertinent life guidance. Through Happiness U, she helps both companies and individuals develop positive mindsets in order to live more inspired in both their professional and private lives.

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