Your Mirror, Bad Hair, and Your Self-Image

by Kalinda Rose Stevenson

Are You Stressed-Out Because of Your Self-Image?

The person we believe ourselves to be will always
act in a manner consistent with our self-image.
Brian Tracy
How much stress in your life is related to your self-image? What do you think about your appearance? What do you think other people think about your appearance? The following excerpt is from Stress Relief That Works.)
Rooster Self-Image

Stress and Your Self-image

How much stress in your life is directly related to your self-image? An image is a picture, a visual representation of something. Self-image concerns your perception of your appearance. What do you think about your appearance? More significantly, what do you think other people think about your appearance?

Do you have bad hair days? You didn't do something well? An unexpected problem occurred? You got unwanted news? You can blame it on a bad hair day. The origin of this phrase is uncertain, but it seems to have originated in the United Kingdom from the words in the 1992 film, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, when Buffy says to the vampire:

I'm fine but you're obviously having a bad hair day.

The phrase about bad hair quickly became a catchphrase for days when everything goes wrong days and you feel completely stressed-out. On such days, your stressed-out frame of mind isn't really about hair at all. However, before we're too quick to disconnect bad days and bad hair, it's worth thinking about the relationship between how you feel and what you tell yourself about your appearance.

Although self-image is not just about appearance, what you think about the person you see in the mirror can be a powerful stressor in your life. What you see, and what you tell yourself about the person looking back at you in the mirror, can turn all of your days into bad hair days.

Who Do You See in the Mirror?

Who do you see when you look into the mirror? Are you satisfied with what you see? Do you primp and preen with pride at the person looking back at you? Or do you look in the mirror and see only flaws?

The classic story, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, tells a story about a vindictive, jealous woman and her relationship with her magic mirror: 

Queen: Slave in the magic mirror, come from the farthest space, through wind and darkness I summon thee. Speak! Let me see thy face.
Magic Mirror: What wouldst thou know, my Queen?
Queen: Magic Mirror on the wall, who is the fairest one of all?
Magic Mirror: Famed is thy beauty, Majesty. But hold, a lovely maid I see. Rags cannot hide her gentle grace. Alas, she is more fair than thee.
Queen: Alas for her! Reveal her name.
Magic Mirror: Lips red as the rose. Hair black as ebony. Skin white as snow.
Queen: Snow White!

The Evil Queen couldn't bear the thought that any other woman could be prettier than herself. The result was an obsessed woman determined to destroy the one who was fairer than she was.


Ego does this. Ego turns everything into a comparison between your self-image and everyone else. Ego always brings out the worst in you. Whether the worst in you is your sense of superiority or your sense of inferiority, ego is responsible for your jealousy, envy, pride, disdain, scorn, and shame.

Ego is a fundamental reason why many people feel so stressed-out much of the time. If you believe your ego, life is an endless competition. Winners succeed. Losers fail. People love winners and they boo the losers. And then, as soon as the winners are built up, the wrecking crew goes to work to tear them down.

Ego will urge you to do all kinds of things to make you look better than others. Ego will run you into the ground to protect its fragile self-image. It's a tough life in a tough world  when life is about constant competition to be the best and fear of rejection and ridicule if you don't measure up.

If your sense of who you are is based on what you think that other people think about you, you'll live a life defined by too much and too little. Consider how well it turned out for the Evil Queen. She was forced to wear red-hot iron shoes and "dance" until she dropped dead. A life lived by measuring yourself with others is exhausting, joyless, and relentlessly hard. In other words, it's a guaranteed recipe for feeling stressed-out.

[Original Post October 12, 2015]

If you are feeling stressed-out and want to read the whole book, Stress Relief That Works: How To Think Your Way from Stressed-Out to Peaceful  is available on Amazon in either Kindle or paperback versions. Click Buy Now From Amazonu00a0to get your copy right away!

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