Written By


Expert Reviewed By

Dr. Lauryn Lax, OTD, MS

Dr. Lauryn, OTD, MS is a doctor of occupational therapy, clinical nutritionists and functional medicine expert with 25 years of clinical and personal experience in healing from complex chronic health issues and helping others do the same.

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I have a challenge for you:

One morning this week, when you get up to get ready for the day, I want you to look in the mirror and tell yourself:

“You’re ugly.”

Repeat this task for a week.

At the end of the week, assess how you feel and what you think about yourself.

What do you think?

Chances are…not too hot.


While this exercise probably sounds absurd…for many of you, it actually may not be too far-fetched.

You already speak to yourself this way everyday without even realizing it!

In other words: You are on auto-pilot—conditioned to believe that you are anything BUT beautiful.

  • You hate your nose.
  • You’re self-conscious about your weight.
  • You despise pictures that reveal your profile (side view).
  • You look down at your stomach and just wish it was flat—then you’d be happy. When you stand with your feet together, you can’t stand that your thighs touch.
  • You feel awkward in your own skin—too tall, too short, too frumpy, too soft, too lean, too bony, to muscley…you name it.

We all have insecurities.

Insecurities that dig so deep and keep us stuck in a sea of negativity when it comes to how we see ourselves.

You know those campaigns devoted to spreading the message of beauty?

“I am beautiful.”

“You are beautiful.”

 “Define real beauty.”

Easier said…harder to believe


Why is it that we can look at everyone and everything else around us and see beauty…but not see it in ourselves?

  • We see a friend’s post on Instagram and think, “Gosh. She’s gorgeous.”
  • We watch The Bachelor, and think, “She’s so pretty.”
  • While we are shopping, we walk past a Victoria Secret poster ad and think: “If only I looked like her.”
  • We think about our sweet grandmother—the one who would never hurt a fly and would bend over backwards for anyone, and think: “True beauty.”
  • We look at a sunset and think, “Magnificent. Beautiful.”
  • We spend time with a 10-year-old and think, “She’s a picture of true beauty—inside and out. I hope she knows her worth.”
  • We have a heart-to-heart with our BFF who confesses she hates what she looks like, and we tell her she has no idea what you see in her and she’s her own worst critic.

In our minds, there is ALWAYS going to be someone prettier to compare ourselves, and a flaw about our bodies that we do not like.


Me too.

For much of my life, I have wanted nothing more than to be pretty.

To be enough. From the time I was 9-years-old, until about the age of 24, that desire dominated my thoughts.

“If I am pretty enough, then I’ll be happy,” I thought.

“Pretty enough” was never attained.

Sometimes I’d look back on past photos on myself and think, “Why can’t I just look like that again?” But then, I’d reflect on how I felt atthat time—and the reality was: I’d remember that I still wasn’t satisfied.

So how can we ever come to terms with accepting ourselves or really seeing our own “beauty” like we see in others?

Thrive Project

I’ll state it again.

This week, every morning that you wake up in the mirror, tell yourself “I’m ugly.” (Or, “fat” or “worthless”—whatever NEGATIVE you tell yourself).

Say it aloud.

Ick. Those words you say every day (on auto-pilot) in your head sting EVEN GREATER when you say them out loud, don’t they?

(Disclaimer: Complete this exercise KNOWING what it is you are doing—an experiment).

Realize how much you’ve been beating yourself up (on the inside)…and then…get angry at that inner critic.

Imagine how your mind or worldview would shift if you spoke a different message to yourself—in your head or aloud—every day?


Do that.


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