I used to think I wasn’t good looking enough for people to like me
I used to say that my only insecurity was that I wasn’t good looking enough. If I was better looking I’d have everything. I’d be more popular, I’d be funnier, I’d have a beautiful girlfriend. It never crossed my mind that this was a story I created and it was massively holding me back.
My unhappiness was purely my creation. It all started when I was 11 or 12. I wasn’t particularly popular. I had friends but I definitely wasn’t part of the IN crowd. I was a high achiever in both sport and academics, but I was nerdy, unconfident and a little over sensitive. I had a reverse bite (still do), meaning that my lower jaw protrudes in front of my upper jaw. It was around this time that girls and boys in my class started ‘going out’. But not me. Because I didn’t get a girlfriend or kiss a girl at 11 I decided I wasn’t cool enough or good looking enough to have a girlfriend. Without ever even asking a girl out, I decided I was unlovable. My story was created and I lived into it for 15 years.
Next I went to boarding school. An all boys boarding school from 13–18 years old. I was determined to be more popular so I really toned down my nerdy side and started trying to fit in. However, I still wasn’t confident. The spots that started to appear during puberty didn’t help my confidence. Inevitably, every time I fancied anyone or was chatting to girls, I had the story that I wasn’t good enough running through my head. No surprise that I once again had little success with girls, bumbling my way through to the occasional kiss but never getting the girls I really fancied. My story had more evidence, “I’m not good looking or cool enough to get the girls I like.” Nothing really changed at university. Only this time I did manage to become part of the IN crowd. I was popular for the first time, or at least hanging out with a popular group. But I still wasn’t successful with girls. I still didn’t get the girls I really wanted because I believed I wasn’t good looking and as a result I thought I was unlovable. The impact this was having in my life was huge. I was battling with confidence issues, my life was missing connection and I felt lonely.
My story continued to have an impact into the world of work. By now I was more confident, I didn’t have spots, I was spending plenty of time with girls and I was in my first proper relationship, but my story was still holding me back. I was still struggling to connect with my girlfriend, I still felt like I wasn’t good looking enough. It was costing me real connection with her as I felt like a fraud the whole time. She was so beautiful and she couldn’t really fancy me.
I was lucky. I got introduced to the concept of my story and I got to see how it was costing me happiness.
I shared what was going on in my head with my girlfriend and it changed the way I looked at everything. I saw how ridiculous what I was saying was, I had this beautiful girl going out with me and a story I had created when I was 11 was costing me connection with her. The best part was she even told me how stupid I was being, that she really fancied me, and that even if what I was saying was true by general consensus, looks were so low on her priority list and I had so many qualities she valued as more important. I really got how much she loved me. From that moment I decided to remove my story and replace it with one about how I am good looking. No facial reconstruction, no hours spent in the gym.
Just a new story.
So, what is possible for me now?
Sharing my deepest fear with my girlfriend gave me so much freedom. I got to reconstruct a story that has been holding me back all of my life. Now I know my story, I’ve been able to create the most amazing relationship with a gorgeous girl. Looking back, all those failed encounters with girls seem so silly now. I like to think about the real reason I didn’t get those girls. It was probably because I wasn’t funny enough or interesting enough or attentive enough, or maybe a drunk awkward 17 year old just isn’t an attractive proposition.
Actually who cares… That’s all story anyway. 🙂