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In the Hot Seat: The Ugly Duckling Turned Swan

In the Hot Seat: The Ugly Duckling Turned Swan

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder–at least that’s what we’re told. Many of us agree that personality and intelligence are far more important than physical appearance. A person’s attractiveness should be a superficial concern.

All of this sounds great, but science tells us that attractive people have an easier time in life than less attractive individuals.[1] How does it feel to be an average-looking person who doesn’t meet beauty standards?

Some people turn to plastic surgery to improve their appearance and end insults and bullying. Plastic surgery has its risks, and it can be dangerous. We’ve all heard of plastic surgeries gone wrong or seen the person who is addicted to having more work done. For some of us, though, becoming more attractive is well worth the risk.

Today in the hot seat, we’ll talk to Jackie, a young woman who underwent an elective rhinoplasty (nose job). We’ll explore how she felt before and after her surgery. We’ll also chat about how her family and boyfriend felt about her decision to get surgery.

Changing faces

Lifehack: Why did you get plastic surgery?

Jackie: I always had a really big nose. It wasn’t just big–it was crooked. Kids were pretty harsh to me in school. They called me “the goblin,” beat me up, and mocked me mercilessly.

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Even as an adult, I could tell people were staring at my nose when they talked to me. I know that it affected me socially because people didn’t want to be associated with me when we went out. My nose made me look ugly.

I knew that as soon as I could save up enough money, I wanted to get a nose job.

Lifehack: What have you learned from the experience?

Jackie: I learned that surgery doesn’t fix poor self-esteem. The recovery for my nose job took a long time. When I got out of surgery, I looked like I had been in a bar fight. The swelling didn’t totally disappear for almost a year.

Even though my surgeon talked to me about the recovery timeline, I was still shocked when I saw my face without the bandages for the first time. The surgery helped with my self-esteem, but I also had to learn to love myself.

Lifehack: Does your family know you went under the knife?

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Jackie: They were very supportive of my decision, and they helped a lot during recovery. They saw this surgery as a chance for me to take control of my appearance like never before.

Lifehack: Would you recommend plastic surgery to others?

Jackie: It depends. A surgery to repair an injury or help with breathing problems is definitely a good choice.

If there’s no medical reason to make the change, do lots of research first. My surgeon did a great job, but the changes she made were permanent. I had to adapt to a new face. My smile looks so different now. It took me a while to feel good about my choice.

Lifehack: Will you have more work done in the future?

Jackie: No. I think I’m going to be happy with myself just the way I am. I’d only do it if an accident or illness caused me to need reconstructive surgery.

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Lifehack: Did you have any stories of getting back at your bullies after they see your new face?

Jackie: A guy that used to harass me in school tried to pick me up in a bar when my boyfriend stepped away to get us a round of drinks. The guy didn’t recognize me, but I knew who he was. I said, “My memory must be better than yours. Since you didn’t want anything to do with me when I was a goblin, I don’t want anything to do with you now.”

His jaw dropped. Then, my very attractive boyfriend returned with my drink.

Lifehack: How does your boyfriend feel about you now that you are different?

Jackie: He’s my husband now! He loved me before, and he still does. He says that if I’m happy with the way I look, that’s all that matters to him.

Lifehack: Are you happier now?

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Jackie: I am. It wasn’t the overnight miracle I thought it was going to be, but through time I’ve built confidence and learned to love myself.

Lifehack: Do you believe that beauty is more important than brains?

Jackie: No way. Substance beats style every time. Beauty is fleeting, but you’ll always have your mind and your sense of humor.

You have to change more than your face

Getting plastic surgery is a big decision that can have life-altering effects. Even though Jackie’s experience was positive, she had to do a lot of inner-work before she felt good about her new nose.

Reference

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Anna Chui

Anna is a communication expert and a life enthusiast. She's the editor of Lifehack and loves to write about love, life, and passion.

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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