Inner beauty cannot be defined by your body shape or measured by your dress size. It can’t be calculated by whether you are tall or short, nor can it be analysed by whether you suit Winter or Spring colours. So, what exactly is this concept of “inner beauty”, why does it play such an understated role in our lives, and how can we start to nurture more of it within ourselves? In this first lesson of our Self-Image Bootcamp, Kate Redmond, Director at the Style Coaching Institute®, shares some insights that will challenge you to look beyond the mirror and start your journey towards deeper self-perception.
Mirrors. Oh what we can see when we stop looking. Yes, a mirror can show you what you look like, but never can it capture the essence of who you are.
Inner beauty cannot be defined by your body shape, or measured by your dress size. It can’t be calculated by whether you are tall or short, nor can it be analysed by whether you suit Winter or Spring colours.
However, those aesthetics we ponder in the mirror can become a source of creativity and lifelong enjoyment as we paint a picture of ourselves to share with the world. We can enjoy learning how to cleverly coordinate our outfits, accessorise as an expression of our personality, and choose styles that will fit and flatter the body we were born with. Consciously or not, our wardrobe choices tell a unique story about us. Our clothes can be like the words of a poem you never knew how to write, silently communicating a message that says, “This is me”.
How often I wonder do you look in the mirror each day? Who do you see? Do you smile at your reflection or do your eyes reflect judgement and self-criticism? How often do you see a loving and self-approving face staring back at you?
If our own mental image of ourselves is not a positive one, then we will never feel truly comfortable in our own skin.
So, what exactly is this concept of “inner beauty”, why does it play such an understated role in our lives, and how can we start to nurture more of it within ourselves? What is our intended meaning when we say that someone is a “beautiful person”? Often we are not referring to their physical attributes at all, but instead trying to capture the essence of who that person is on the inside.
- They have a beautiful personality that shines brightly because of their ability to be present, and ‘be themselves’ around everyone
- They have a beautiful mind because they think kind thoughts that cultivate positivity
- They have beautiful eyes because they see you clearly and without critical judgement
- They have a beautiful heart because they are caring, loving and compassionate towards themselves and others
- They have a beautiful face because they smile often and their laugher lights up the room
- They have a beautiful soul because their energy is gentle and their presence leaves a positive impact on the world around them
“The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or touched, they are felt with the heart.” – Antoine De Saint-Exupéry
There appears to be a common misconception or myth about inner beauty…
Believing in the concept of “inner beauty” doesn’t mean that have to also have a counter belief that says “outer beauty” has zero importance and should be regarded as shallow or superficial, time-wasting or vain.
Of course, most of us would instinctively agree that inner beauty probably sits higher on the majority of people’s hierarchy of values. After all, physical beauty counts for very little if you have an “ugly mindset”. However, the truth is this: both our outer appearance and our inner picture of ourselves impact the way we feel about our overall “self-image”, and so, they are both important.
Outer beauty fades, but inner beauty lasts a lifetime…
We all go through illness and times of stress that can take their toll on our physical appearance, or we might have lifelong insecurities and fears about the way we look. In any case, how a person feels about their appearance should never be trivialised or dismissed as unimportant.
For a moment, put yourself in the shoes of a woman who is undergoing chemotherapy and losing her hair. Some people find hair loss one of the hardest parts of having cancer treatment. This is because our appearance is closely linked to our feelings of self-esteem and trying to accept sudden changes in your looks can be traumatic.
Learning to love and accept a perfectly imperfect body doesn’t mean that you don’t try to look nice! It is natural and healthy to take pride in your appearance, but fixating only on the superficial will inevitably lead to feelings of inadequacy, and unworthiness at some point.
When we nurture a sense of our inner beauty, we make our self-esteem and self-image resilient, steady and strong when it really counts and at those times in life when we need it most. Our self-esteem is less likely to be diminished, or even devastated, by factors that are outside of our control. Inner beauty acts as a shield against emotional impact on our fragile ego, and it reminds us that we are not actually in competition with anybody else.
“A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly.
You can have a wonky nose, a crooked mouth, a double chin & stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams & you will always look lovely.” – Roald Dahl
If you enjoyed this free lesson from our Self-Image Bootcamp Series, then you’ll love our Style Coach™ Diploma Courses. We teach so much more than personal stylist training. As a Certified Style Coach™, you’ll learn image consultancy, personal shopping, colour consultancy and personal grooming, but you’ll also learn how to help people feel beautiful on the inside through body-image coaching, life coach training, self-image psychology and more!
If this inspires your mind, then you could have a career helping others to discover and express their personal style, love the skin they’re in, and enhance their inner and outer beauty! Get in touch with the Style Coaching™ team for a friendly chat to find out more 🙂