Attractiveness Isn't About Being Pretty — It's About Being Yourself

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smiling woman

Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” —Antoine de Saint-Exupery

This is one of my favorite quotes because it explains what it is to be that which we can be by removing the layers of our personalities that hide our true inner self. At an attempt to look more attractive, we attempt to gain riches and fame in order to stand out from the regular Joe.

The secret to becoming attractive, or your best self, is being fully accepting and aware of all of your thoughts and emotions. To accomplish this, you need to be your own source of positive emotions, not requiring people or things to complete you.

Because, at the end of the day, your true self, the inner child, is being blocked by the mental concept you’re trying to maintain so people can think a certain way about you. It’s about controlling what you can’t control— other people.

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This mental concept, or ego, needs to be fed through constant validation; ego naturally fears annihilation when its identity isn’t confirmed by its environment. That’s why you may feel a need to be more in life, because of this inherent feeling of not being “enough.”

A study was conducted to confirm women were more attracted to men who were mindful—men who were able to be present at the moment, not having their mind in the past (i.e.past rejections) or in the future (possible outcomes), without judging or labeling the thoughts and emotions that arise.

Being attractive isn’t being outcome-dependent—knowing your actions don’t derive from a need for an outcome to fill your cup, rather, your cup is so filled that you have nothing left but to give.

This allows you to fully be yourself; you aren’t thinking about if the other person will like you or not.

In order to remove the extra layers that conceal your true self, I’d like to present to you Pareto’s Law. In Wikipedia, the definition for Pareto’s principle “states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.”

In other words, rather than focusing on transforming everything in your life, focus on the 20 percent of things/people causing 80 percent of your self-consciousness and hesitations. Addressing this 20% is a way to fully be yourself and choose to be fully aware during those situations.

For example, if you are feeling self-conscious about the way you look, rather than overcompensating with more makeup, or getting “big,” focus on accepting who you are at this current moment in time.

No matter what happens, if you believe you are not enough, no matter how gorgeous you look, you’ll always find something wrong that will blind you from the good. Using ego, or attaching your identity to external things, is a system that always leads to unfulfilled lives, never having or being enough.

Why are we constantly unfulfilled?

The day will come when your looks will fade and the pain of not being enough will submerge into consciousness. I’m not saying not to work on your physical body; instead, what I’m saying is to do it from a place of acceptance. Don’t do it because you envy someone who’s “hotter” than you or because it’ll bring you more attention.

Now, if you use that as a form of motivation to push yourself harder, fine, but not with the hopes of the outcome completing you as a person. Those are two completely different perspectives.

Another example is attempting to find happiness through relationships. Similar minds attract each other, so if you’re seeking happiness in a relationship, what ends up happening is two unhappy people hoping to create happiness in each other. It’s like the blind guiding the blind.

Placing the responsibility of happiness on somebody else never yields well.

But that’s a pitfall that a lot of people, including myself, have fallen into. It’s easy to say, “finally, I found the right one, NOW I can be happy,” but as soon as it ends, your new and improved sense of self also dissolves.

We’re basically learning how to let go of needing “this” or “that” in order to be someone in this world.

Once you let go of the need for an outcome, the true self that’s underneath the mental concept of who you think you are will cause you to project natural attractiveness.

You must understand that your true self is full of positive emotions and is accepting of all things, including people’s flaws, and when fully expressed, most of the time is perceived as an extremely positive vibe that draws people towards you.

Can you imagine interacting with someone who has no agenda, does not judge you, but is fun and genuine? It’ll be easier for people to act like themselves around you because they’re not being judged. The permission you give yourself to be yourself is the same permission the other person will feel.

The world becomes your reflection.

But what makes everything come together is that you aren’t expressing yourself and being accepting in order to get a response; that’s the key because you are now back to where you started, you are seeking a positive response in order to feel good. People will always sense the hidden motive as a feeling in their gut.

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Where does neediness come from?

Neediness comes from a lack of understanding of who you are as the one who’s aware of being aware.

Ever ask notice people act differently around their crush? That’s because they know if the crush reciprocates, they’ll experience a rise in self-esteem; being with them would raise their self-image.

As a result, there is something to be lost if the interaction goes wrong; your mind will begin to worry about the potential loss, and thus, you will begin to feel anxiety.

That’s why if your identity is based on being rich or getting with a romantic partner, as soon as you go bankrupt or lose them, you’ll experience deep emotional pain and a sense of losing yourself.

The fear of losing yourself is what causes neediness; it constantly needs to be fed to stay alive. But, if you recognize that you are the one who’s aware of being aware, nothing can take that away from you, and neediness naturally dissolves.

So who am I?

You are the one who’s aware of being aware!

Everything else — your past, your job, personality, and other physical and mental aspects of your life—is not you, rather, they’re just part of your awareness. You are the awareness that’s aware of the “experiences” of your life.

Experiences are the sound, and awareness is like the silence from where sound arises from. Without silence, sound can’t exist, but silence can be without sound.

Another analogy, without space, objects can’t exist, but space can exist without objects. The core of all things is nothingness, the space allows the objects to be. In our case, the core of who we are is awareness. It’s the awareness that allows the experiences to be.

Without awareness you can’t have thoughts or emotions, so who you are is the one who’s aware of your thoughts and emotions. Your personality may change over time, your body, friends, job, but the one thing that never changes, not even by the slightest, is the one who’s aware of all that is happening.

Why is it important to know that I am the one who’s aware of my life in relation to being attractive?

The behaviors that are deemed unattractive and needy derive from the attachment of “who you are” to the things in your life.

It continually needs to be fed through validation, accomplishing more with the hopes of happiness, but never attaining it. It’s looking for a sense of self, and this longing for a sense of self in things causes you to get attached FAST to people and things, and letting go becomes extremely hard.

There’s a certain “lacking” that you may feel you inherently have as a result of comparing yourself to others, and in order to compensate and keep up, you feel this need to attain this or that in order to elevate yourself above others which proves how great you are.

This need shows up in the form of needing to text back fast, needing to get likes on Facebook, needing to speed things up, needing to change your views in order to get the other person to like you. Stuff we can agree is unattractive whenever we’re meeting someone new, at least in my experience.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that the behavior is what causes the lack of attraction, it’s the source of the behavior that we tend to feel and react to.

So if I recognize neediness, how do I let go of neediness in relationships?

The first step in letting go of neediness is using what I call, “listening to the radio.” It’s understanding that you are not your mind through intentionally producing thoughts and listening to them as though you are listening to the radio but in your head.

Simply observe and monitor when mental chatter arises and when it descends. You’ll recognize that they are just objects of your awareness that come and go and you’ll have the choice to either act upon it or let it go. In the past, you acted upon it because your mind was living through you. But now, rather than thinking/feeling then reacting, you think/feel, observe, and then act.

But sometimes I get so busy and caught up with life that it becomes difficult to “listen to the radio.”

Start small. Notice whenever you are not being aware. Whenever you’re running around doing this or that, don’t get consumed by your thoughts. Just take a few moments to slow down and notice what you’re doing.

If you’re creating an email, slow and listen to the chatter in your mind for a few seconds. Notice yourself as the awareness. These little exercises throughout the day flex your muscles of awareness and create the habit of being aware.

Whenever you’re talking to your boss, notice the mental chatter that arises. Notice the emotional responses your body produces.

Don’t feel as though you are the one thinking your thoughts, this gives them more energy; rather, simply observe. If the thought stays, it stays, if it passes by, let it go, don’t hold on to it.

When on a date, notice any need for an outcome or the need to “make something happen,” and just observe those emotions and thoughts. While someone’s talking to you, listen to the silence between the sound as they speak, notice the space the person takes up in the room, and be present.

Find pleasure in conversation through bringing more of your conscious awareness. It almost becomes a spiritual practice to the point that the other person will see you as someone who has nothing to hide, someone who has an outcome in mind.

This feeling of outcome dependency will naturally make the person more receptive and trusting towards you.

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This article was originally published at MeetMindful. Reprinted with permission from the author.