Listen to the Full Episode:

Do you ever have those days where you just don’t feel like you’re being your best? 

How to love yourself and give yourself grace when you’re having an ugly day.

Maybe you don’t like what you see in the mirror, or you’re not feeling as switched on as you’d like. Well, welcome to the club. This is something every woman goes through from time to time, including me. 

I call these occasions ugly days. And while that may sound like no fun on the surface, the truth is learning how to handle your ugly days with grace and curiosity is what allows you to live a beautiful life. So, if you’re someone who jumps on the bandwagon and beats herself up on her ugly days, I invite you to listen closely.

Tune in this week to discover how to bring a little beauty into your life on those ugly days. I’m sharing why every woman experiences ugly days, no matter how beautiful they may look on the outside, and what you can do to meet yourself with love, curiosity, and compassion instead of more ugly thoughts.

Women have been asking me for years to do something around business. And I’ve also had many women ask me for a mastermind. That’s why I am incredibly excited to announce that we are opening enrolment for my new Business Image Mastermind! This is going to be a small group of extraordinary women, we kick off in May 2022, and applications are now open! Click here for more information and to apply. 

Have you grabbed your free copy of the School of Self Image Manifesto? If not, what in the world? Click here to get your copy and learn how to think and show up in treas of mindset, style, and surroundings so that you can transform your self-image.

What You Will Discover:

  • How to know when you’re having an ugly day.
  • Why our brains sometimes like to tell us ugly things about ourselves.
  • What an ugly day looks like in my life, and how I approach myself with curiosity on those days.
  • Why even the most beautiful women have their ugly days.
  • What ugly days are there to tell you about your relationship with yourself.
  • How to love yourself and give yourself grace when you’re having an ugly day.

Featured on the Show:

Episode Transcript:

Do you ever have what I call ugly days; days where you just don’t feel like you’re being your best, you don’t like what you see in the mirror? Yeah? Well, welcome to the club. We all do. And in this episode, I want to share with you how I approach and handle my ugly days so that I can live a beautiful life. Let’s dive in.

Welcome to the School of Self-Image, where personal development meets style. Here’s your hostess, master life coach Tonya Leigh.

Hello, beautiful friends. Are you feeling beautiful today? Because if you are not, this episode is for you. I am feeling beautiful today. However, last week, I had a few days that I call ugly days. You know what I’m talking about; days where you just don’t feel like you are your best. You have some ugly feelings about yourself.

And I want to talk about that because I know there are many of you out there listening to this right now who don’t feel beautiful. And you’re having way more ugly days than you are having beautiful days.

And so, the first thing that I want to say about this is that it is normal to have ugly days. If you think there will be a moment in your life where you’re always feeling beautiful, you’re setting yourself up for failure. You’re setting yourself up to feel bad because that’s just not the way life works.

And do you know why? Because we have human brains. And sometimes, our human brains are ugly. They like to tell us ugly things about ourselves. And so, one of the things that I’ve noticed from coaching women from all walks of life, from all nationalities, from all races, and from all different beauty standards – I don’t care who you are and what you look like, every single woman has ugly days.

I bet, if we were to sit down and have a conversation with Beyoncé or J-Lo or whoever you may think is the standard of beauty, they would tell you they have days where they don’t feel beautiful, they don’t feel like they are being their best selves.

And so, I watched myself last week have some ugly days. And it happened to be while I was speaking at my best friend’s conference. Brooke Castillo, she had the Life Coach School Mastermind last week and it was amazing. And I was onstage speaking to almost 2000 people. And all the while, you all, I was having an ugly day.

Now, for you all that were there, that I had a chance to meet, maybe you heard me speak, first of all, you all are extraordinary. I loved meeting so many of you. But you may go to, in your head, “But Tonya, you looked amazing. How could you be having an ugly day?” And this is where we get it wrong, folks, because it’s not about what the world thinks. It’s about what you think of you.

And so, this is not a cry for you all to send me messages saying, “But you look so beautiful.” Because I appreciate it, thank you, but ugly days are just an invitation to see what’s going on with the relationship between you and you.

It’s an opportunity to see what you’re thinking about yourself. It’s an opportunity to assess how maybe you haven’t been showing up for yourself. It’s an opportunity just to get to know yourself on a much deeper level.

And so, when you start to think of ugly days as an invitation to literally live your best life, you’ll stop feeling bad when they happen. And that’s what happened to me last week, “Oh, having an ugly day. It just so happens to be when I am about to speak to almost 2000 people.” And that made it even better.

Can you love yourself, can you appreciate yourself, can you hold yourself, can you extend yourself grace when you’re having an ugly day? And that is the secret to actually having more beautiful days.

I’ve been doing a lot of work around this recently. I’m working on the class for next month within the School of Self-Image and it’s going to be all around how to be attractive. When you feel attractive, you have more confidence. It boosts your mood. You show up in a more powerful way. And as a result, you begin to attract things into your life that are a fit for the future that you are creating for yourself.

But what happens when you don’t feel attractive? What happens when you’re having an ugly day? And what I can tell you is this; first of all, every single one of you needs to know that ugly days are a normal part of life for all of us.

So, don’t think, when it’s happening to you, that you’re special, that something’s wrong with you. It’s just a result of having a human brain.

Also, when you’re having an ugly day, the worst thing you can do is to beat yourself up and spin more into the ugliness. I want us all to practice loving ourselves when we think we’re ugly.

Now, you may not say to yourself, “I’m ugly,” or, “I’m feeling ugly.” That’s not the dialogue that I have in my brain. Last week, when I was looking into my brain, I was saying things like, “Wow, you’re just not looking your best. What’s wrong? Something’s off.”

And so, I used that moment to get to know myself a little bit deeper. And so, the first question I asked myself was, “Why am I feeling this way?” Now, what we often want to do when we ask ourselves this question is we want to go to our appearance, “Well, my hair’s not looking its best,” or, “I don’t like the outfit that I chose. I don’t like how my skin looks.”

And all of those things may feel true to you, but we also have to recognize that the reason why we feel anything ever is because of thoughts in our head, “I think that my hair’s a mess. I think this is the wrong outfit. I think that my skin is not looking good.” That is the reason why you may be feeling ugly.

And for this specific episode, I’m going to talk more about physical ugliness and physical inattractiveness. But there’s also emotional ugliness. I know sometimes, for me, when I’m feeling unattractive – I said inattractive earlier, it’s fine. But when I’m feeling unattractive, sometimes it’s because of my unattractive thoughts that I might be having about a situation in my life or about myself.

And so, there’s this emotional unattractiveness, but let’s just talk about physical unattractiveness and when you feel physically ugly. No matter which one it is, it is always because of thoughts in your head. Because when you are feeling at your worst, someone else is looking at you and thinking, “You are a beautiful, amazing woman.” And you are.

But you just can’t see it in that moment because of all of your expectations of yourself, all of your standards for yourself and what you think you should be looking like. And you’re not living up to that.

So, last week, I just noticed, “Oh, these are the thoughts that I’m having about my appearance.” And when it comes to feeling ugly, I think it’s a thought, and it’s also a result. Meaning, if you think in certain ways for long enough, we prove ourselves true, so we end up creating a result that matches what we originally thought about ourselves.

And so, I thought about that for me last week. I’m like, “Huh, what have I been thinking that has created this result that now I’m looking at myself and I’m not happy with what I see?” And this is where it got fun for me, my friends, when I started to look at what I’ve been thinking over the past few weeks that led to the result of me not feeling my best.

And it was an array of different thoughts. One of them was around my work. I haven’t been saying to myself, "I'm overwhelmed." But I have been saying, “I have a lot of things to do.” And that has created this sense of urgency. It’s created this sense of heaviness that I don’t like. I haven’t been managing my brain as well as I need to be over the last few weeks.

And so, the result of that was, I didn’t plan well for this event in terms of my clothing. I showed up in Austin. I did look at the weather and I thought it was going to be much warmer than what it was. But it was a little chilly. I didn’t have any kind of coat to wear. I did bring one sweater, but it didn’t match some of the things that I had.

So, I’m sitting in this beautiful, large conference room, freezing, because I wasn’t prepared. And on top of that, I realized there were so many outfits in my closet that would have been a better fit for that event.

I also let a few of my self-care routines go over the last few weeks. For example, I usually go and get a facial. I did not get one. And I feel these things. I know these things because I know how I like to live my life. I know how I like to take care of myself.

And so, when I don’t, when I don’t show up for myself that way, it affects how I feel about myself. So, that was a whole planning thing, and the thoughts that led to my lack of planning. So, that’s number one.

The second thing that happened when I looked into my brain was, the night before I spoke at this event, my brain went into fight or flight. It literally was telling me that I was going to die the next day. It was telling me that my talk was going to suck. It was telling me that everyone was going to hate it. They were going to find out I was a fraud. And I laid in bed for hours.

And so, that caused me to not get enough sleep. So, I was tired on the day when I got up onstage and spoke. And the crazy thing is, you all, once I got up onstage, I was fine. I think I had already burnt out my adrenals at that point and so I had no more effs to give.

And so, I ended up – I thought in my brain I ended up killing it. It was so fun and so good to connect and to offer value to the world. That’s what happens when you get out of your own way and you stop thinking about you and just think about, “What is the purpose of me being there? What do I want to give? What do I want people to leave away with? How do I want to make people’s lives better?” You get out of your own way.

But the night before, I was all up in my way. And as a result, I was not sleeping. I was tired. So, I looked in the mirror and I was like, “Jeez, you look rough, sister. But it’s okay.” And then, there was my hair and makeup.

So, first of all, for those of you within the membership, I talked about this in Behind the Scenes, but I’ve been having some hair issues. I’m in a hair identity crisis. I’m trying to figure out the next version of my hair. And my hair stylist told me recently, she’s like, “You do realize that bleaching is not something that you should ever plan to do your entire life?”

And so, some of you may have noticed, but I’m not bleaching my hair like I used to. Even though I loved it when I was bleaching it. I look good. But it was not going to continue to look good because I was frying it and it was going to start falling out. Which it later has done.

But my hair’s been falling out. Some people say it may be a result of COVID, having COVID, who knows? It could be hormonal. There are all kinds of reasons why my hair may be feeling out. But I am someone who, when things like that happen, I don’t just hide under the blanket and think, “Well, this is my life.” I figure that stuff out. I become obsessed. I’m like, “How am I going to get my hair back.” And so, that’s where I am right now.

But I know that my hair, when I envision myself and the way I want to be, is healthy. It’s vibrant. It’s beautiful. And right now, I don’t feel like my hair is any of those things. And that is okay. But I had someone doing my hair who didn’t get my style and how I like to style my hair. So, for two days, my hair was not the way I would like for it to be.

And then, the same goes with my makeup. It wasn’t how I would have done my makeup, which tells me I should probably just do my own hair and makeup in the future.

But all of these little things led up to some ugly days. And here’s how I handled it. And this is the most important part. Number one, I did not beat myself up. I can’t imagine my daughter coming to me and saying, “Mom, I feel ugly,” and then me just reaffirming that for her, like, “Yeah, girl, you’re looking rough. Yep, don’t know about that face of yours.”

I would never say that to her. I would just hold her and be like, “Babe, I love you no matter what you think about you. I think you’re beautiful. I think you’re amazing. I think you’re smart and you’re funny and you have so much to offer the world.” That is how I would speak to my daughter.

And one of my rules is, if I would not say that to my daughter, I will not say it to myself. Now, if you don’t have a child, think about someone you love. Maybe it’s your best friend. Maybe it’s your mother or your sister. Maybe it’s your pet. And just ask yourself, “Would I speak to my beloved this way?” And if not, it should never, ever leave your lips or your mind towards yourself.

Because you don’t create beauty through ugly, meaning you don’t feel beautiful by thinking ugly thoughts about yourself. Now, they will pop up, as they did for me last week. But if you want to get out of that, you need to start immersing yourself in beauty. And that starts with a beautiful mind. What you say to yourself in those moments matters the most.

The next thing I did is, from a place of love – and this is super important – not from a place of beating yourself up but from a place of love and curiosity, I got really honest with myself, and I asked myself, “How am I not showing up for myself?” Because remember, ugly days are a result of your thoughts and it’s also a result.

Thinking something over and over, you create that result. And so, I know, when I am feeling that way and things are starting to show up in my physical appearance, there has been some thinking and actions or lack of actions that have led to that result.

And so, I just got really honest. I’m like, “Okay, where have you not been showing up for yourself and taking care of yourself at the level where you feel your best?” And I just journaled it all out and I shared some of it with you earlier, like lack of planning, not making some of my self-care rituals a priority over the last few weeks.

I also looked at my diet. Have I been eating things that have led to this result where I’m feeling not as energetic, not as beautiful, not as healthy. And I saw where, over the last few weeks, I’ve been going out more. And on the weekends, there have been a couple of nights where I’ve been out late and having some French fries and living it up.

And I don’t regret any of that. I’m not going to live in this world where you can’t ever have a French fry, you can’t ever go out. No. And I also know that when things start to feel out of harmony, I can just notice those things and make some adjustments.

And so, when I came home from that event, I was like, “Okay, we need to make some adjustments.” No big deal. I wasn’t dramatic about it. I didn’t beat myself up over it because beating yourself up is what leads you into these toxic cycles.

If I would have said, “You were bad for eating French fries. You can never have another French fry again,” I would immediately go into fight or flight, try to take my French fries away, fight or flight around here. But I would have immediately gone into deprivation, which would cause me to want to go and overindulge in French fries.

Right now, I don’t want French fries because of how I’ve done this. It’s from a place of love, of wanting the best for myself. And so, right now, I’m not craving French fries. I’m craving getting back into harmony way more.

So, if you are having a lot of quote unquote ugly days, just be curious from a place of wanting the best for yourself. Ask yourself, “Where am I not showing up for myself?” Because when we’re not showing up for ourselves in the way that we want to, it damages the relationship that we have with ourselves.

Imagine your partner, your lover, your spouse just not coming home for about three months. It would not make for a good relationship. They are not showing up for you in that relationship. And yet, that’s what we do to ourselves over and over again.

So, how can you show up for yourself out of the energy of love for yourself, of knowing that you’re worthy, of knowing that you deserve the best?

The last thing that I did is I just wrote down my response to this statement, “I feel beautiful when…” and I just allowed myself to brainstorm, “When do I feel beautiful?”

And I wrote down things like, “When I’m taking care of myself. When I’m eating beautiful foods. When I’m dressed in a way that feels aligned with who I am. When I’m thinking beautiful thoughts. When I’m looking for the beauty in others. When I’m doing beautiful things.” And that’s going to look different for all of us, right?

But notice when you feel the most beautiful and then your job is just to do more of that, if you want to have more beautiful days. And I know every single one of us want that. We want to feel beautiful. And it’s available to everyone because it’s a feeling that we get to generate form our thoughts, and then that will drive us to take actions that just continuously reconfirm that we are beautiful and amazing human beings that sometimes we’ll still have some ugly days. But never beat yourself up for it.

It's like beating yourself up for being human. And there’s no upside to it. Ugly days are just an invitation to look at the relationship between you and you. When they occur – and they will – don’t make them mean that you are ugly. Make them mean that it’s a chance for you to learn something about yourself, because underneath those ugly days is the beautiful woman that you truly are.

Have a beautiful week, my friends. And I cannot wait to see you in next week’s episode. Cheers.

Hey, have you grabbed your free copy of the School of Self-Image Manifesto? If not, what in the world? Head over to and get a copy that teaches you how to think and show up in the areas of mindset, style, and surroundings so that you can transform your self-image.


Enjoy the Show?

The Self-Image Manifesto

You’re Invited To Live An Extraordinary Life!