In the moment—like, say, when we wake up to a new zit—it’s only natural for us to be overly critical of ourselves. Zeroing in on a problem and seeing nothing but the problem is human. You may even be tempted to go overboard and attack the issue at hand—be it with harsh treatments, picking, or simply doing too many steps. So here’s an easy trick to pull yourself out of your self-sabotaging spiral. 

“When you’re outside of a situation—like when you’re a couple of years, months, or even days down the road—you are not going to remember that zit. So I always tell my clients they should have a visual to hold on to so they can start applying that shift in perspective for themselves,” Wood explains. “For example, I ask them, ‘Isn’t there like a photo of you from like five years ago, or even like a month ago, where you know you didn’t feel good when you took the photo—but now that you are removed from it, you realize you were way too harsh on yourself, and actually you look great?'” 

Wood goes on to use herself as an example: “There are a lot of photos of me in my 20s where I know at the time what I was thinking: I don’t like the way I look. But I am perfect, radiant, and as I was meant to be in that photo,” she says. So now on days where she doesn’t feel her best? She doesn’t let it get to her. “Even if I don’t fully believe it, if I can just know that my future self will appreciate me taking the route of being a little kinder and being a little bit more loving to myself. That usually helps me break through.” 

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