I’m not perfect, but I’m learning to love who I am. Not even a couple of months back, would I have even said or made a post like this, but it is crazy how much your mindset can change in a situation like this. I’ve really spent this time in isolation working on myself and being in my own thoughts. And I do love who I am. That doesn’t make me perfect, far from it, but that isn’t the point. In this post, I want to share with you five things I did to help me love myself.
Stop seeking validation
My most important point! You are not defined by what others think of you. Your value and your worth are determined by your own feelings towards yourself.
I used to constantly seek validation from the people around me and to an extent, I still do. I’m a people pleaser, top to bottom, but I’m learning to value most what I think of myself. You don’t need someone to tell you you’re beautiful or that you’re worthy. You need to tell yourself that. It is all well and good accepting a compliment from others, but if you don’t believe it then is it really true?
The same thing goes for the other side. If someone tells you that you’re selfish or that you need to lose weight, do you really trust that they know you as well as you do? Do you really need their approvable to be happy with yourself? Absolutely not. Because if you know you are selfless, kind, and healthy, then why should their opinion matter?
That isn’t to say that you should never listen to what others think of you. Understanding new perspectives, gaining constructive criticism, and taking those things on board is what will help you grow and adapt but that doesn’t determine your value. If someone said that you should be more positive or you could have been more sympathetic in a certain situation than you can take that on board. Use it to work on yourself. But it doesn’t make you a bad person, it doesn’t make you unworthy.
Be your biggest cheerleader
I love this one and it is so true. The language we use to ourselves, we would never say to family or friends. ‘Wow I look terrible today’, ‘I really need to lose weight’, ‘I’m so worthless‘. You would never say these things to another person so why would you say it to yourself?
As soon as you communicate to yourself in a positive language, you are going to start feeling happy in yourself. Realise your strengths and give yourself a pat on the back. And it really can be the little things. Maybe you’re great at giving advice, taking amazing pictures or cooking. Or maybe you are a very giving person, your selfless or empathetic. Whatever it is, just remember that they are your strengths.
I’m not one for positive affirmations but if that floats your boat, go for it. Tell yourself what you are worthy of, what you love about yourself. Personally for me, I used to look in the mirror and the first thing I’d think would be something negative. ‘I’m a mess’, ‘I look fat in this’, or ‘I’m not beautiful’. Overtime I learned how toxic that language was and the impact it was having on me. So I changed it. With time, I started to look in the mirror and find something positive to say. ‘I’m having a really good skin day today’, ‘I look good in this skirt’, ‘I should wear my hair like this more often’. Although these are all exterior points and some would say ‘superficial’ things, you want to love who you are on the outside as well as the inside.
Surround yourself with good people
Forget toxic people. The ones that tell you you’re not good enough. The ones that make you feel unworthy and unloved. Forget them.
It can be hard to remove yourself from toxic situations, especially if you are in school with them, you live with them, or you feel obligated to be around them. And what I’d recommend for this, is to remember the first point. Don’t let them validate you.
If you are lucky enough to be around good people, doesn’t it make a difference? People who are good for you, bring out the best in you. They make you smile wider, laugh louder, and love harder. I also find that they give you a whole new perspective on yourself. They see strengths and weaknesses in a whole different light.
People who are good for you encourage you, they challenge you but they also support you when you day isn’t so great. If you have people like this in your life, keep hold of them.
It can be so draining to be around people that constantly pick on your insecurities, that upset you without realising or just don’t give you the support a proper friend should. Now that I’ve left sixth form, I know who I really want to surround myself with and the people I don’t. That isn’t to say that I hate the people I don’t want to stay in touch with. It just means that I want to make room for someone who is going to impact my life more positively.
Do it for you
At the end of the day, you live for you. No one else. It took me so long to learn this, much longer than it should have. However, it is never too late to build the habit of being selfish for what you want.
If something is important to you, if there is something you want to change, achieve, or complete, do it for you. Don’t do something because you feel like you have to or because someone said you should. Remember what it is you want out of life and do it. If you have dreams and aims, go for them. Don’t push your dreams to the sidelines because someone told you they were unachievable, give it your best go!
Don’t feel like you have to fit into the social norms, be who you are and do what it is you want to do. No one should be made to feel like they need to be a certain size, shape, sexuality, etc. Be who you want to be and if you want to change for yourself, do it for you.
Accept your ‘imperfections’
We all have them, like them or not. Whether it be exterior or internal faults and flaws, there are somethings that we can’t change about ourselves.
I know I spent a long time hating my stretch marks and hip dips, which are things I’ve had for years and will probably never get rid of. But nowadays, I try to go by ‘if I can’t change it in five minutes, then don’t spend more than five minutes thinking about it’. Accepting that I will have these stretch marks across my legs for probably the rest of my life has allowed me to love myself more. And my stretch marks for that matter. But maybe that is a whole other post.
What I’m trying to say is that we all have flaws and things we can work on. However, instead of dwelling on what we are bad at or the negatives we associate ourselves with, why not accept them and become a more positive version of ourselves?
I hope this post has provided a bit of advice and motivation on how you can love yourself a little bit more. If you have any others tips at all, I’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments!