I came to this realisation completely by accident. When I was a student one of the houses I moved into was partly furnished. One of the items that did not form part of the furniture in my room was a full-length mirror. Being the poor student that I was, I didn’t want to fork out on a mirror, especially if I might be moving again in a years’ time, plus there was a mirror in the hall I could use and a small round makeup mirror on my dresser.

What I started to realise very quickly was that I would no longer spend minutes of my day looking at myself (naked) in the mirror from every angle when I was getting changed. I had stopped standing in front of my mirror looking for my “faults”. It made me realise how much of a negative impact it could have on my focus, as part of my brain would look for those “big thighs” every time I passed my reflection in a window and sometimes it even made me feel self-conscious, overcasting my day.

The less often I saw my reflection in the mirror every day the less I paid attention to my physicality. Yes, there were still days when I needed to stand in front of the mirror to choose which dress worked better for my upcoming social events, but the “irregularities” that I had so often pondered over no longer surfaced in my reflection. Instead I started paying more attention to my character, my personality, and my inner self, but also very importantly the internal qualities of those around me. I stopped judging the physical attributes of others, but paid more attention to the richness of their personalities.

Even after I moved to other houses with rooms that had mirror from ceiling to floor, my focus had been shifted and it no longer interested me to stand in front of the mirror and critically appraise my body. I am now far more interested in improving my character.

So stop looking outwards and start looking inwards.