We could all use a quick boost of confidence every once in a while to bring some light to our darkest days.
Most of the time, we think attention from other people is what assures us the most. We rely on likes, comments, feedback, and means of social acceptance to validate our worth. What we do not realize is our own acceptance is what we need the most—and that cannot be found through someone else's approval.
How can you wholeheartedly love someone else without first loving yourself? You simply can't. Even if you feel like you love them more than life itself, your own unhappiness and low self-esteem will eventually project onto your relationship. Finding self-acceptance, fulfillment, and confidence within yourself ultimately allows someone else to feel this way about you.
Do not close a door that deserves to be open. Loving yourself is freeing yourself.Here are a few ways you can love yourself more:
1. Accept your flaws.
Most "self-help" books and articles advise you to live a better life by becoming skinnier, hotter, or richer. To be blunt, setting unrealistic goals will only drive yourself crazy on the way to disappointment. For authentic self-help, it is important to focus on realistic, natural, everyday things like accepting, learning, and growing from your flaws. Besides, nobody is perfect, right?
Honestly, addressing and accepting you own flaws is easier said than done.
Start with forgiving yourself for mistakes you have made, stop blaming yourself for why you're unhappy, and be kind to yourself. Shit happens. We all make mistakes. Move on. You can only learn from it.
Some people get weirded out at the thought of meditation, but there are various reasons it can benefit your well-being. The National Institutes of Health conducted research suggesting that meditation can improve health problems like high blood pressure, irritable bowel syndrome, pain, psychological disorders, and as well as promoting healthy behaviors.
It's easy too. All it requires is finding a quiet, comfortable place, a focus of attention, and a good attitude. If you are feeling unsure, here are 5 easy ways to meditate without feeling weird about it.
3. Treat yourself to quality things.
Yes, it does feel good to get a great deal on something, or buy cheap stuff, so you have more money for other things.
However, do not cut yourself short of what you deserve in life. Treating yourself to nice things is a way to reward yourself. Spend the extra money on something that may be a little better quality. Get that extra thing you put back on the shelf and later regretted. Splurge on the extra charge for guac. You work hard, you deserve it!
4. Get an app, journal, or planner with daily motivational quotes.
Every single year, I browse through stores like Target, Marshall's, or Francesca's in search of one of those floral-print planners with pretty designs and inspirational quotes on each month. There's just something about reading some poetry while organizing your thoughts on paper that really inspires you to get your shit together. Whether it is a daily quote app, or a book of poetry, get some intellectual self-motivation any way that you can.
5. Prioritize your health.
So before you freak out at the thought of obsessing over dieting, losing weight, and eating healthy—don't—because this doesn't necessarily mean any of those things. You do not have to starve yourself, or count every pound, in order to love and accept yourself.
Just do a few health-benefiting things every once in a while: take some vitamins here and there, go for a walk to get some fresh air, and/or get a facial or massage to replenish your skin. The simplest things can benefit your health without driving yourself crazy. Taking care of yourself here and there goes a long way.
6. Exercise in a way that makes you happy and comfortable.
As stated above, this does not require much hard work. There are ways to be healthy without overwhelming yourself. Simply getting outdoors is important. Take a walk, ride a bike, play catch, join a rec league, take an easy workout class, etc.
If it's summer, go swimming.
If it's winter, build a snowman.
Do something comfortable for you, just make sure you actually do it.
7. Visit new places.
Sometimes we all need a change of scenery. It allows you to branch out of your shell and gives you a sense of exploration. Traveling gives you determination. You set a destination, embark on a journey, and learn things along the way. What can be more self-assuring? It makes you feel like you are capable of anything. And you are.
8. Stop comparing yourself to everyone else.
This is so important. Surround yourself with positive, uplifting people and you will have to worry about this less. Choose the type of friend that directs you to face the absolute perfect angle when they're taking your picture, not the friend that is "trying to be honest" by telling you your lipstick is too dark.
Real friends accept you for who you are and find genuine beauty in that.
9. Rely less on social media, and more on social interactions.
We should all know by now that living in a virtual world of approval will only damage your self-acceptance in the real world. Anyone can get likes on a picture. Not anyone can give a genuine compliment to a stranger on the street.
And that's where society has its priorities all types of fucked up. We live in a world where we value virtual relationships and status rather than real-life social interactions. Breaking this cycle will only help you love yourself more and rid of needing validations from others.
10. Find peace.
"For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind." –Ralph Waldo Emerson
A clouded mind leads to unclear thoughts, and unclear thoughts leads to being unsure. It's important to reassure yourself of many things in order to clear your mind and put it at ease. Most importantly, reassure yourself about yourself. Finding inner peace is the first step to self-love. It takes time, patience and acceptance. Most of all, trusting and having faith in yourself. Once you achieve that, things will soon fall into place.