When I was a child, I hated my hair color because it made me stand out. Like most children, I wanted to fit in. I wanted to be like everyone else.
I hated being called “Redhead” or “Carrot top”. I hated it when people stopped my mom and asked if my hair was naturally red or if it was real. I would have given almost anything to have black hair like all the other African-American children I knew.
By the time I was a teenager, I learned to accept my hair color and to just deal with it. I focused on keeping it healthy. However, I still didn’t appreciate its unique color. As a result, when I received compliments, I quickly dismissed the kind words.
No matter how frequently I heard something positive about my hair, it was always drowned out by my own negative perception. I’ve since learned that nothing is more powerful than how I view myself.
If I view myself as unworthy, it doesn’t matter who views me as worthy. I will still feel unworthy. If I view myself as unattractive. It doesn’t matter who views me as attractive. I will still feel unattractive. When it comes to how I view myself, it’s less about what is true and more about what I believe is true.
I can recall times when I was offended and became angry because negative comments were made about me. Truth is, I had those reactions because the person spoke aloud, what I had silently believed about myself. In many cases, I had been rehearsing the same negative thoughts in my mind. I lashed out at them because they had actually verbalized it. How dare they read my mind? 🙂
So, how did I overcome my negative self-image?
I built an arsenal of positive facts. My hair is healthy and it matches my complexion. It was chosen for me by my Creator. It is a gift. Yes, it’s different, but so is my DNA and, as a matter of fact, so is my journey. I was uniquely made. I’d be cheating my Maker and myself if I tried to conform to a mold. I’m supposed to be different!
At the end of the day, my hair color did not change; my perspective did.