Sure, makeup can hide imperfections, plastic surgeons can fix what we don’t like on our faces or bodies, but at the end of the day, how do we love ourselves when we are surrounded by a media culture that preys on fear, and an advertising culture that keeps enforcing the idea that you’re irrelevant if you’re not up to date with all the latest trends.
Growing up, I was bullied in grade school for having crooked teeth, a nose that was broken after a classmate hit me in the face with a football and did I mention that I was socially awkward?
I spent most of my childhood and teenage years behind books trying to escape reality. I loved writing because it was something that made me feel better after getting bullied and laughed at. Singing was also something I used as a tool for blocking out the negative people in my life. I used to drown myself in songs like “Hero”, by Mariah Carey or that one by Randy Newman, “You’ve got a friend in me”. I always remember crying myself to sleep wishing life would someday get better in my new Jeep and dream home out in California where the sun is always shining and people are always smiling. It was helpful having an escape or a fantasy world that I made up in my head so that I would feel better about myself but that wasn’t enough for me as I got older.
I’ve learned so much since the days I cried myself to sleep hating my teenage self. Since then, I’ve learned so much and have fought many battles along the way. If you are having trouble loving yourself, there is nothing wrong with you. It’s a side effect of our crazy times filled with false images of beauty and public figures that rose to fame for no good reason. Fortunately, loving yourself means mastering the skill of learning exactly how important you are and without you, the world wouldn’t be the same.
Stop Worrying About What Other People Think of You
Relax. Just learn to relax. Do what you want and stop living for other people because you’re so worried about what they’ll think of you. One of my friends who wanted to pursue a music career ended up ditching that plan and focused on pleasing the family instead of being happy doing what they love. Is that person happy today? Probably not. Some ‘problems’ in life, such as not really knowing for sure what others think of us, are not really meant to be solved. How people perceive you may have more to do with them than you anyway.
Make Time For Yourself Each and Every Day
Value your time and what you do during your spare time. Try meditating, reading, listening to music or spending time alone working on your goals. Make sure you are taking care of yourself: prioritize sleep, eating healthy and exercising. It is so important to make time for yourself even if your friends want to hang out. Focusing on yourself and learning to clear negative thoughts from your head after a long and stressful day is crucial when you are on the road to learning to love yourself.
Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
Let’s face it, we live in a world of selfies and picture filters which only adds to the unrealistic ideal of beauty we are surrounded with on a daily basis. Do you think that the girl you are obsessed with on Instagram looks the same in person? Chances are very slim. Filters these days make everyone have flawless skin, hair that looks healthier because you set the contrast way up, and don’t forget the makeup techniques that can instantly slim your face and take you from 0 to 100 real quick! Stop comparing yourself to the celebrities on social media, chances are, they have had plastic surgery and have been sitting in a makeup chair for hours trying to get that perfect contour.
Accept Who You Are and Share Your Gift
To be human is to be both stormy, cloudy and sunny. You won’t always love yourself and that’s okay. Learning to share your talents and gifts with others is a process. We all possess unique qualities that are meant to be shared with others. Don’t be too hard on yourself when you mess up, simply move away and take something with you; a lesson.
The more you act like someone who loves yourself, the more you’ll feel like someone who loves yourself.
Treat yourself to a delicious mocha latte. Watch a few funny videos guilt free. Go for a walk with your dog. Take that trip you’ve always wanted to take. Wear your favourite shirt. Giving yourself small gifts throughout the day signals to yourself that you’re an awesome person worthy of a good and happy life. Appreciate yourself by treating yourself as much as you can.
“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is You’er than You.” Dr. Seuss
xo, Yvonne K.