If You're Not Happy You Might Have “Life Dysmorphia” -Karen Salmansohn

If You’re Not Happy, You Might Have “Life Dysmorphia”

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I recently received this old photo of me from a new client. It was taken waaaaay back, when I was in my 30’s.

I’m the one in the middle with the short hair and red lipstick.

My new client (the adorable one on the left in the beret) had taken this photo of us while I was on book tour for a business book I’d written. (Click here to find out more about this book!)

I remember that book tour well. I was nervous around cameras.

Translation: I felt fat.

It’s interesting to see this photo now – and recognize that I had a mild form of what psychologists call “Body Dysmorphia.”

Quick Definition of Body Dysmorphia:

a preoccupation with your body’s flaws – which thereby stops you from fully seeing the positive and beautiful aspects of your body clearly.

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Important Note:

Body Dysmorphia is a true body-image disorder which is characterized by persistent and intrusive preoccupations with an imagined or slight defect in one’s appearance.

My Body Dysmorphia was very mild.

I simply felt fatter than I truly was at the time.

The truth:

Many of us have something we don’t like about how we look: a nose we wish was less crooked, hair we wish was shinier, a stomach we wish was flatter, a tush we wish was smaller – or even bigger!

Meanwhile, back in reality…

  • All the many flaws we’re focused on might be so tiny that nobody else notices them at all.
  • Or our flaws might even be nonexistent.

It was interesting for me to see this photo of me from my 30’s – now – so many years later – for 2 important reasons.

  1. I felt good about how I’d finally conquered my body image issues – by “self-loving myself” into  eating more healthfully. Back when that photo was taken, I was at war with food and my body. I was eating like I didn’t like myself – or like my body. This created a negative eating cycle – which was unhealthy for me in mind, body and spirit. Now I’m at peace with both food and my body. I’ve worked on my issues – and now I eat like I love myself  – and love by body – which creates a positive eating cycle. (Click here to read more about the psychological tools I used to break free from Body Dysmorphia and negative eating cycles.)
  2.   Suddenly I clearly saw how I had foolishly wasted so much time in my 30’s – worrying about my cellulite – instead of appreciating my inner light. As a result I had diminished my overall happiness.

My “Body Dysmorphia” had wound up creating “Life Dysmorphia.”

Every time I focused on how big my tush looked, I simultaneously defocussed on the Bigger Things In Life – like the love I had to offer personally – and the impact I had to offer professionally.

As a result, I didn’t fully enjoy that amazing time in my life – when I was on book tour with my business book!

I should have been enjoying this amazing time – giving inspirational seminars not only in America – but around the world.

Unfortunately, my “Body Dysmorphia” wound up creating “Life Dysmorphia” – and interfered with the full joy and excitement I might have experienced.

In fact my reason for writing this essay was not even to discuss body dysmorphia!

I want to talk to you all about “Life Dysmorphia.”

Do you have Life Dysmorphia?

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Are you so focused on the flaws in your life that you don’t fully notice your life’s abundant blessings and beauty?

These flaws don’t have to be body-related.

These perceived flaws could be about things that bug you from many varied and different aspects of your life.

For example…

  • Are you so focused on toxic people who irk you, that you’re not fully appreciating the loving souls who “get you” – and value keeping you?
  • Are you so focused on what’s going wrong – that you’re not fully appreciating what’s going right?
  • Have you accidentally rendered all your many (many) blessings as completely invisible – because you’re so caught up in daily stresses?

I encourage to consider if you have full-on “Life Dysmorphia.”

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I don’t want you to have to wait 20 years to look back and realize how good you really have it right now. I want you to realize it right now – today!

I want you to make sure you’re not what I call a “negative evidence collector” – on the hunt for proof that life is awful.

Instead I want you to be a “positive evidence collector” – on the hunt for proof that life is awesome.

I want you to embrace one of my favorite words…


This is when you recognize that you can have flaws in yourself/your life – and you/your life can still be very AWESOME.

You don’t need for things to be perfect for you to feel perfectly wonderful – right here – right now – in this very moment.

Know this now: Perfectionism is a form of self abuse!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Starting today I want you to make it a daily habit to count your blessings – instead of counting calories -and/or –  instead of counting SO-CALLED LIFE FLAWS!

Love yourself – flaws and all – for the beautifully “flawesome” person you are!

You don’t need for things to be perfect for you to feel perfectly good about who you are and what you have right now in this moment.

Think happier. Think calmer.

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Karen Salmansohn (Founder)

Hi I’m Karen Salmansohn, founder of NotSalmon. My mission is to offer you easy-to-understand insights and tools to empower you to bloom into your happiest, highest potential self. I use playful analogies, feisty humor, and stylish graphics to distill big ideas – going as far back as ancient wisdom from Aristotle, Buddhism and Darwin to the latest research studies from Cognitive Therapy, Neuro Linquistic Programming, Neuroscience, Positive Psychology, Quantum Physics, Nutritional Studies – and then some.

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