By Kathryn Alice
A recent study on attraction
revealed something surprising. When a large sample of single people was quizzed
about what they found appealing, preferences differed wildly.
Only one quality was deemed
attractive across the board: confidence. Self-esteem is irresistible, which is
why I call it “The Universal Attractant.”
Not only is belief in yourself a powerful force, but it is a predictor of success
not just in romance but in abundance, career and many other areas of life.
If there is one change we
could make to improve our lives, it is boosting our self-image. We begin life
quite secure but over time, most of us are questioned: doubted by parents,
belittled in school, and confidence begins to slip.
Research confirms how widespread self-esteem issues are in the U.S.
Signs of insecurity include:
constantly monitoring yourself for appropriateness,
putting others on a pedestal or belittling them to feel better about yourself.
The insecure tend to fall into two categories: doormats and overcompensators.
The doormats give away too
much of themselves, have few boundaries and are people-pleasers in attempts to
gain the approval they can’t find within. They tend to think everyone is better
than them. Anyone attractive to a doormat is (in their eyes) hopelessly out of
their league. The overcompensators
project cockiness or defensiveness to make up for the self-assurance they don’t
feel. They seek mates to make up for the self-image they don’t have – i.e. a
trophy wife — an object rather than a soulmate.
GAINING THE UNIVERSAL ATTRACTANT
Here are 3 steps to
rediscover the self-confidence you were born with:
1. Become inner- rather than other-directed.
Self-assurance requires that we quit caring what others think. Being other-directed means that you seek societal approval, an
impossible goal. You can never make anyone but yourself happy.
As you find your own inner
guidance and sense of self, true confidence can emerge. Unraveling the pattern
of caring what others think is key to rock-solid
A Los Angeles psychologist
Dr. Joyce Aronsohn’s sums it up nicely:
“Never give away your
self-image to anyone.”
It seems an anomaly that
giving up the need for approval will result in more of it, but that’s what
happens. Nothing is quite as irresistible as someone convinced of their own
2. Cease self-denigration. Do not allow belittling
around you. At some point in a young life, questioning voices around us are
internalized. No longer do we need outward criticism. It is engrained within,
so you constantly look for things you have done wrong or self-flagellate with
critical thoughts like “I am so stupid.”
Begin catching yourself when
you go down that road of criticizing yourself, stop the voice and substitute it
with a better one that says things like:
“I’m doing the best I can.”
“I’m only human.”
“I’m learning.” or...
“I’ll do better next time.”
It can be even harder to draw
boundaries with others who patronize you. When you are a people-pleaser, you
attract friends who will gladly receive your overgiving
and are used to criticizing you freely. At first you can feel mean and find
resistance from those used to treating you badly. But you must force yourself
to raise your standards of how you are treated in order to attract better into
3. Rebuild your self-image
and self-acceptance. Begin to notice the things you do well and your value.
List compliments you get as well as your successes and virtues such as
kindness, sensitivity and patience. Think back over the reasons that past loves
have said they adore you.
And when you do fall short,
give yourself a break. Realize that your so-called weaknesses can endear you to
others and that your soulmate will find them “cute”
rather than repulsive. None of us are perfect. Accepting yourself “as is”
without needing to embellish yourself or lie about who you are is a key to
feeling lovable and attracting not only love, but all the things you want into
As you take these steps, you
will notice changes in your life:
• More energy as you cease
trying to prove yourself to anyone
• Admiration and potential
loves pursuing you
• You will ask for that long
• No longer will you worry
that your good will slip through your hands or is too
good to be true. You’ll know that you are deserving,
and that it’s here to stay.
• No one will have the
ability to bully you or guilt you into doing something you don’t want to do.
• You will take care of
yourself first, knowing that giving away more than you have will only result in
your own depletion.
• No one will be above you in
life’s hierarchy from your new perspective. If they’re on a pedestal, you’re
there right along-side them as equals.
One of my clients connected
with a man who she felt was too good to be true. He adored her, but she was not
used to dating someone so dazzling. She ended up in the emergency room with
severe stomach pains, a panic attack due to her fear he would leave her and
find someone else while on a trip. She had to raise her self-image to the point
that she understood she deserved him. While on the trip, he had been planning a
romantic proposal, which he enacted upon his return. The two are now married
and have children.
Her happy ending can be your
own as you embark upon your most important journey — restoring your
self-confidence. As you do, you put the Universal Attractant to work in your
life, and before you know it, everything you have wanted will land in your lap!
Kathryn Alice is author of
the bestselling book Love Will Find You. She teaches in 50 cities and on 5
continents. Tens of thousands have found love with her work. To find out more,