How do you feel confident if you don’t feel attractive? It’s one of the common problems among so many people is that, “I really don’t, I don’t look in the mirror and think that I’m hot. I don’t think that I’m sexy. I don’t think that I’m desirable. So how am I supposed to feel confident? And then I’m told that being confident is what makes me attractive, but I don’t feel confident because I don’t feel attractive. So I get into this negative loop that I don’t know how to break out of.” I like to think of confidence as split into a distinction, there’s self-acceptance which is accepting ourselves for who we are today, what we look like, our limitations, our body shape, our face, our hair, the things that we are, and have right now. And then there’s self-esteem and self-esteem is different from self-acceptance because self-esteem is the things we do that make us proud of ourselves.

Self-acceptance is really just saying, “What ingredients am I working with right now? Those are my ingredients. I’m not going to wish for others. It is pointless to wish for other ingredients. This is my face, this is my body, this is my life. This is the age I am. This is where I am right now in my life.” Self-acceptance is the stopping of wishing for other people’s ingredients or a different life and instead just accepting a radical acceptance of my life and me. The real art of our lives comes from how good of a chef we are, not wishing for different ingredients, but going, “How great of a chef could I be? I don’t get to work with different ingredients. I have to work with the ingredients I have, but how interesting of a meal could I whip up with these ingredients today, this year, in the next decade of my life.”

That to me is exciting. That to me is the art of our lives. And then doing the hard things that enable us to make the most of those ingredients and that’s where we begin building self-esteem. And like I said, self-esteem to me is distinct from self-acceptance. Because self-esteem can only be born out of doing hard things, pushing against resistance in ways that make us proud of ourselves. The things that build character, the things that reveal character. Now, how is all of this tied to looking in the mirror and feeling unattractive? I believe that we put more and more focus on the superficial aspects of our worth when we don’t feel we’ve built the deeper ways of being worthy, when we haven’t done the things that make us proud.

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