Lack of self-esteem connected to body image problems and identity issues is one of the most common problems among queer individuals. We are constantly bombarded by perfect queer bodies and unbelievable success stories in the media and face discrimination at school, workplace, home and on the streets—all of that can wreak havoc on one’s self-esteem. However, with some help from your best Judies on the Internet, you can learn how to overcome obstacles in your head and boost confidence.
Keep a success diary
You are the only person that truly deserves praise for your successes. It often might not seem like you did much in your life, but if you put it on paper, you’ll see how far you’ve actually come thanks to your hard work and dedication. Every time you finish a task or reach a goal, note it down in your success diary. Every time you make an entry, you will be filled with pride and boost your self-esteem as a gay man.
Receive compliments and question negative comments
Are you one of those people who just can’t take a compliment for the life of them? This problem is very easy to solve, you just need to be a little more mindful. When someone compliments you, instead of reacting right away and start talking negatively about yourself, take time to say a simple thank you.
On the other hand, when you hear a negative comment about yourself, instead of taking it silently, think about whether you respect the person who critiqued you and whether you should care about their opinion. In the words of an icon, Mother RuPaul, “What people say or think about me is none of my business”.
Find the strength to change things you can change
While you shouldn’t be bothered by other’s negative comments, if your physical appearance makes you feel bad on the inside or stops you from living your best life, feel free to change whatever you like. It’s your body and you have the right to do with it as you please. Want to take a natural route and start working out/dieting? Consult with experts to get some help and get to work. Want to rely on modern medicine? Find plastic surgeons with experience and start saving up money. Want to get rid of your charming yet crooked teeth? It’s easy to find a reliable expert, especially if you live somewhere like Australia. People in Sydney are blessed with Chatswood orthodontics experts that can put a smile back on your face. If you can change something on yourself that you don’t like, do it for yourself, and not for others.
Start working out
Even if you’re content with what you look like, working out is a great way to improve your self-esteem on all fronts. When you’re physically active, you get a healthy dose of happy hormones that will allow you to focus on the important stuff—your happiness. Also, if you set a few small goals for yourself, you will get a sense of accomplishment that can do heaps for your confidence.
Invest in your mind
Self-esteem doesn’t only come from the aesthetic image but also depends on your mental health. No matter which phase of your life you’re in, find some time on the side to work on your mind, improve your knowledge or practice your skills. If you see that you struggle with body image, identity issues or self-esteem more than your peers, it’s also smart to seek professional help. Therapy is beneficial for every human, young queers struggling to stay afloat especially.
Stop with comparisons
It’s hard to stop comparing yourself to others, but everyone indeed has unique bodies, minds and personalities, and all of them are beautiful. You know that ripped guy you see at the gym every day and wish you had his abs? He probably wishes he had your amazing facial hair or your sense of humor. Stop trying to be perfect. We all have strengths and shortcomings, and as soon as you accept that, you will be much happier.
While it’s not easy to boost your self-esteem, it’s a task that deserves all your attention and effort. With some help from the community, friends and professionals, you can rewire your brain and become your fabulous self that was always hiding inside.