Insecurities.

We all have them. We all wish we didn't.

In trying to live my life in a happy, healthy, and carefree manner, I've realized that to practice self-love effectively you must also come face-to-face with every insecurity that has been holding you back.

Accepting your flaws and loving them as the things that make you unique is hard.

Today, living in a society that perpetuates a picture perfect, size zero, must have the newest, biggest, hottest, thousand-plus-follower type subculture doesn't make loving yourself any easier.

Social media has made owning your individuality and uniqueness a foreign concept.

Am I skinny, thick, tall, short, smart, dumb, pretty, athletic, rich, poor? In today's social media dominated world, we are always comparing ourselves to one another. The 5'8" blonde hair, blue eyed, Instagram influencer that has over 80K followers further drives this idea that beauty and status are achieved only when we meet the same physical and social status as her.

A type of culture that places beauty and popularity higher than individuality is severely detrimental to the personal development and understanding of self-love.

Think about it, how many times a day do you go to tweet, comment, or post something only to delete it because it 'flopped immediately'? How many people do you send your selfies to before you post them to make sure that they are 'gram-worthy'?

We start to question our self-worth based on how well other people perceive our lives.

Am I quirky and relatable if my tweet doesn't get at least 27 retweets? Our Snapchat streak ended, were we ever really friends? I only have 948 Instagram followers, do people not like me? They didn't like my most recent Facebook post, am I an annoying person?

We have become so concerned with how our social media profiles reflect our lives that we search for validation in numbers. The number of friends, followers, likes, and retweets. This need for instant validation weighs on relationships with ourselves and other people in our lives. It's a twisted way to determine self-worth and genuine friendships.

As cliché as it may sound, I've found that the more you compare yourself to others through photos, and the more you try to define status and beauty through likes, retweets, comments, or shares, the more you lose what you genuinely want to share with the world.

Trust me; I am just as guilty as the next person at letting how I wish to be perceived on social media control not only what I post, but how I feel about myself.

I've quickly come to understand that I will never be able to love and appreciate the things that make me the most me I can be if I am always comparing myself to content that is posted online. As the saying goes, "comparison is the thief of joy."

I like to think that growing up falls hand-in-hand with falling in love with who you are, even the things that you don't like about yourself. However, falling in love with aspects of yourself that society has conditioned you to compare to others online is a slow process that takes both time and patience.

To do so, you must continuously impress upon yourself that there is no set definition of beauty, regardless of the stereotypical image that is perpetuated across social media platforms. Every one of us is so individually, beautifully, and wonderfully made in our own unique ways.

Learning to love yourself isn't easy. Learning to love yourself in a society where impossible standards of beauty and status are continuously impressed upon us is even harder. Keep in mind that you are beautiful despite the number of likes, retweets, comments, or shares that your posts receive.

Instead of tearing yourself down for your flaws, praise yourself for the natural things that make you unique. Find something beautiful in yourself every day and make yourself feel good about it.

Loving yourself in today's complex social media-driven society takes work, but you are worth every second of it. Keep at it, one day you might love yourself so fiercely that all your insecurities simply fade away.