shy young woman hiding her beauty

Gorgeous, grab a coffee and settle in for some selfcare. You are beautiful, but Im willing to bet that you don’t know it, not in your bones. You catch a few glimpses of it in the mirror now and then when you think you might have a few good angles but you don’t believe in it deeply. In today’s social media landscape, the pressure to look perpetually picture-perfect can feel overwhelming. Hours spent sculpting brows, chasing trending wellness rituals, and comparing ourselves to flawless online faces – it’s a recipe for stress and sadness, not your true, radiant beauty.

Wanting to look pretty is natural but how we pursue it matters.

Studies tell us a key truth: how we see ourselves shapes how others see us. You could look as good as any of the TikTok influencers but if you don’t see it yourself no one else will. So why do we prioritize surface-level tweaks when cultivating genuine beauty shines from within?

The Beauty Myth

The simple reason is that it seems easier and under our control. Perfectly sculpted eyebrows do have an instant impact on our appearance, but sadly once we solve that issue our brain seeks out and finds the next “flaw” to fix.

And then there’s the confidence myth. We tell ourselves that meeting societal beauty standards equals feeling beautiful. But that narrative is often fueled by industries profiting off our insecurities.

This cart-before-the-horse approach creates a cycle of striving and falling short, pushing our self-confidence further from our “glow-up” goal. In extreme cases, it can even lead to Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD), a debilitating condition where perceived flaws become all-consuming.

But here’s the powerful truth: you can flip the script and stop caring altogether. It’s not about apathy, but about shifting your focus inwards. Here are 10 keys to unlock your inner radiance, naturally:

  1. Embrace self-compassion. Accept your current state, quirks and all. You can’t change what you deny. Loving yourself where you are is the foundation for authentic beauty.
  2. Challenge “flaw-finding” thoughts. Write down negative self-talk like “My cheekbones are too hidden” or “My hair is ugly.” Then, ask: Would I think this about a friend? Apply that kindness to yourself. This, called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), reprograms negative thinking and frees your true shine.
  3. Move your body for mental fitness. Exercise isn’t just about the physique; it boosts circulation and releases mood-enhancing chemicals. Choose activities you enjoy, and bonus points for group workouts that keep you outward-focused. The feel-good chemicals that are a byproduct of a good workout will make you more magnetic to the people in your orbit.
  4. Fuel your body, not your insecurities. Find a diet that supports your health, not weight loss goals. Research, experiment, and discover what makes you feel your best. Processed food contributes to inflammation and the very issues we seek beauty fixes for.
  5. Connect with something bigger than yourself. Whether it’s nature, spirituality, or a cause you care about, finding purpose beyond yourself adds a radiant dimension to your being.
  6. Practice gratitude. Shift your focus from lack to abundance. Take time each day to appreciate the little things, a warm cup of coffee, a friend’s smile, a breathtaking sunset.
  7. Be the light in someone else’s day. Kindness is contagious. When you make someone else feel good, you tap into your own internal reservoir of joy.
  8. Pursue your passions. What sets your soul on fire? Dive into activities that spark your curiosity and enthusiasm. Passion is an inner spotlight that illuminates your true self.
  9. Disconnect to reconnect. Take mindful breaks from the constant noise of social media and the outside world. Breathe, be present, and reconnect with your inner wisdom.
  10. Forgive yourself and others. Holding onto grudges weighs you down. Forgive yourself for past mistakes and let go of negativity towards others. Forgiveness liberates your spirit and makes your light shine brighter.

The Science is in: You look to others as you think (or better yet, don’t think about at all.)

Several scientific fields contribute evidence to support the idea that our self-perception influences how others perceive us. Here are a few articles exploring different aspects of this fascinating phenomenon. Take this data in and make not caring your number one beauty hack.

  1. Social Psychology:

  1. Neuroscience:

  • “Embodied self-cognition” (Gallese & Sinigaglia, 2013): This article proposes that our perception of others’ mental states is partly based on the simulation of those states within our own brains. This suggests that our self-image and body awareness might influence how we interpret and interact with others on an emotional level.
  1. Cognitive Psychology:

  • “Self-schema and social judgment” (Markus & Zajonc, 1985): This paper discusses how our internal self-schemas, composed of beliefs and attitudes about ourselves, influence how we process and interpret information about others. This suggests that a positive self-image can lead to more positive interpretations of others’ behavior, while a negative self-schema might create a bias towards negativity.


These are just a few examples, and the research in this area is constantly evolving. However, the evidence presented in these studies provides strong support for the idea that our self-perception plays a significant role in shaping how we interact with the world and how others perceive us.

Remember, while self-perception plays a role, it’s important to recognize that other factors influence interpersonal relationships as well, such as individual differences, cultural norms, and situational context.

Remember: you do have control of your pursuit of beauty if you know the real way to cultivate it.

Outer beauty fades, but inner beauty radiates forever. Ditch the filters, chase your passions, and cultivate kindness. These are the keys to unlocking your true radiance, a glow that no makeup or trend can ever replicate.