Whether we like it or not, the way we dress and carry ourselves communicate a lot about who and what we are. Most of us, however, fail to reach the peak of our fashion sense and sensibility, simply because of our self-limiting thoughts.

We know about not judging a book by its cover, but how come we find it so hard not to judge ourselves? Why do we nurture a mindset that always seems to tell us that, in order to look good, we need to lose a few more kilograms, or drop a few sizes?

To change this, read on to know what you can do to change your mindset and become the best, most fashionable, confident version of you.

1. Make the most of what you’ve got

Whether you’re a size four or a size 16, it doesn’t matter. People of all heights, weights and sizes feel insecure or unhappy with themselves, one time or another. What you can do to stop feeling inadequate is to look at yourself honestly and identify your assets.

Do you have long, beautiful, healthy hair but feel insecure about your extra weight and double chin? Are you proud of your height but hate the fact that you’re stick-thin no matter what you eat?

Know that there will always be things you will find likable and not so about yourself. However, to have a positive mindset about yourself, you need to focus on your assets or best features. All you need to do is to highlight these, and work your way from there. You’re a unique person, and you don’t have to look like somebody else to be beautiful.

2. Question your inner critic

Perhaps you’ve made a practice of self-criticism. While there’s nothing wrong with this if you are making honest assessments regarding your performance at work, for example, constantly criticising yourself for your looks and clothes can only do more harm than good. In fact, years of self-criticism can skew or distort your perspective of yourself.

Instead, what you should do is to look at what you’ve done right or accomplished. Congratulating yourself for both big and small successes can do a lot to boost your self-confidence. This can extend well into your fashion choices. Why can’t you wear that LBD you’ve kept in your closet for over a year? Why won’t you wear red lipstick even when you want to? Why haven’t you had that haircut you’ve always wanted?

Perhaps the answers to these questions aren’t justified, or make no sense. So, go ahead, express yourself through fashion. Try that LBD on. Be sure to wear it to your company dinner, after getting that haircut, and putting on some red lipstick.

3. Make time for self-care

Being of service to others and working hard are great things. But if all you do is work and do everything for others, you are doing yourself (and others) a major disservice. Spending all your time working and not giving yourself the time of day is unhealthy and stressful.

Make time for yourself; take a trip or a holiday somewhere far away. Get a massage or spend a spa day. Pamper yourself, and know that by indulging in some self-care, you’re giving yourself time to recharge and restart so you’ll emerge fresh and reinvigorated, ready to do more for others.

All of these tips are designed to enrich you and make you feel better about yourself. As they say, the moment you learn to love yourself, you lose the extra weight you’ve been carrying around for years.