In my experience, it’s been much harder to fall in love with myself than it has been with other people.
I still don’t know if I’m completely in love with myself, to be honest.
I still stare in the mirror and pick apart my flaws; I still beat myself up over past stuff I wish I would’ve done differently; I still have negative “you’re not good enough; why do you even bother?” thoughts.
Just last night, I stepped on my scale and realized I gained a couple pounds. Now, the common sense side of me realizes that my weight fluctuates depending on the time of the day, time of month, and many other things. But the insecure side of me tells myself that I’m not good enough. It looks in the mirror and longs for that hour-glass figure that my up-and-down sides will probably never have.
I’m human, and I’m overly aware that I’m not perfect.
And you know what? That’s okay. But today, I’m challenging myself to fall in love with who I am. And for you to fall in love with who you are.
10 ways to fall in love with yourself:
Take care of your body.
There was a time, way back when (okay, not so long ago but whatever), when I didn’t take care of my body. I wanted it to do things for me, but I wasn’t willing to return with anything. I fed it foods that I thought would make me skinny, not healthy, and in return, I ended up with many days of binging, of stuffing myself full with food to the point where I would literally curl up on my bed because my stomach hurt so bad.
It doesn’t sound fun, and it wasn’t fun. In order to fall in love with yourself, though, you have to take care of yourself. This doesn’t mean that you have to be skinny with huge muscles, it just means you have to make the right choice. Be aware of what you’re putting into your body. Be aware that you need to exercise–but that you also need days off from exercising. Be kind to your body, and in return, it will be kind to you.
Stop comparing yourself to other people.
This is an obvious one, and a tough one to do. In order to love yourself, though, you have to stop comparing yourself to other people. So many times, I’ve looked at other girls and thought “I wish I had her hair,” or “I wish I were as skinny as her.” This isn’t self love, though, not at all.
In order to love yourself, you first have to realize that you’re a unique individual. You will never be the same as any other person–and you shouldn’t want to be, either. That girl might have a super outgoing personality that you’re jealous of, but you might have a more gentle way with people that she’s jealous of. We all have our good qualities, just as we all have our bad, and self love comes from acceptance of our differences. When you catch yourself comparing yourself to someone else, instead think about your own good qualities. What qualities do you love about yourself? Know them. Appreciate them. Embrace them. And accept the less-than-perfect ones, too–they’re what make you you.
We’re human. We all screw up from time to time. And a lot more than “time to time” if you’re anything like me. We have to accept this, though, and move on. We can’t get caught up on past wrong-doings or humiliations. Live in the present.Keep pushing forward, and take this opportunity to learn from whatever it was that went wrong and to do better in the future.
Spend time with yourself.
This one probably sounds weird. Actually, it probably sounds pretty hard not to spend time with yourself. But ask yourself: how much time do you actually spend with yourself? How much time do you spend getting to know yourself? Probably less than you would initially think, right?
So change this. Take some alone time for yourself. Spend time by yourself, doing the things you love. Spend time appreciating silence and the absence of company. Get to know yourself.
Cut out negative thoughts about yourself.
This one’s similar to the “stop comparing yourself” one, isn’t it. And it’s probably just as hard to do. But in order to love yourself, you first need to stop criticizing yourself. Remember all those bullying presentations, when they talk about people who are bullied for so long they start to believe the bad things that people are saying about them? Well, don’t bully yourself. Think positive things about yourself, not negative, and you’ll start to believe these things.
Do things that make you happy, and be around people who make you happy.
Self love comes from a place of internal happiness. Don’t let other people or things drag you down. Don’t let people stay in your life if they don’t deserve to be there. Do what you love, and do it with people you love–even if the “people” you’re doing it with are really just yourself.
Accept that you’re not perfect. Find the beauty in your imperfections.
It’s our imperfections that make us unique. If everyone were perfect, we would all be the exact same person. Life would be obnoxiously boring. So love yourself for who you are. Your imperfections make you quirky. They make up your personality in the same way that your perfections do. So love them, because without them, you wouldn’t be you.
If we keep expecting ourselves to be perfect, we will always fall short of our own expectations.
Know that outward appearance is essentially meaningless when compared to inner.
One of my favorite quotes goes something along the lines of “darling, you’ll never see yourself with the mirror in the way.” Oh, how true that is.
A big step in self love–for me, at least–is accepting that outward appearance is nothing more than superficiality. It’s vanity–and ultimately, it’s meaningless. It’s your inner characteristics and qualities that make you the person you are. And so instead of getting down on yourself because your makeup’s not perfect that day or you didn’t have time to do anything to your hair so you just threw it up in a bun, try to remember that, in the end, it doesn’t matter. Beauty doesn’t last forever, and fifty years from now, when you’re old and gray, it’s gonna be what’s inside that counts, and what’s inside that has always counted.
Realize that you don’t need to be accepted by everyone.
It is literally impossible for anyone to have absolutely everyone like them. And if you think that it’s not, I would love for you to tell me how you manage this. If you’re waiting for the day that everyone likes you to finally start liking yourself, well… I’m just telling you now that you’re not gonna get it.
However, as a disclaimer here, this doesn’t mean you should be giving people reason not to like you. Be nice to everyone. Love them as you should be loving yourself. And if they don’t like you–hey, it’s their loss. Don’t take it personally, and, if you can, find room to love them even more than you already did. It makes you the stronger person to care for someone who dislikes you.
Try new things.
Okay, so this one might seem a little random, but it’s more about discovering yourself than falling in love with yourself. It’s about falling in love with life, and every aspect of it that appeals to you–finding new interests and new hobbies to better find who you are. It’s about getting to know yourself–and falling in love with the person you discover.
You have to love yourself before you can love and be loved by anyone else.
Lots of love (and self love!),