Everyone has insecurities and sometimes, because of these insecurities, it is difficult to completely accept and love yourself for who you are. If you feel this way you are not alone because this is a very common feeling. There are countless reasons why we feel unconfident, although, if we try to strengthen our own perspective of ourselves, we will be able to eliminate our negative outlook and learn to love ourselves.
Recognize Your Good Qualities
If someone asked you right now to name five negative qualities about yourself I bet that you would be able to list them without a problem and, maybe, even more than five. Although whenever it comes to thinking about positive qualities about ourselves we always seem to struggle. The way we think about ourselves is so important because we will not treat ourselves with respect or think highly of ourselves if we do not believe we are worthy of self-love. Therefore, we must recognize that we have positive qualities. Here is your task: think about one thing (or more) that you like about yourself and think of a new quality every day. As a journalist, you already know that I am going to suggest for you to write your qualities down because I believe that by literally seeing your good characteristics on paper or on screen you will believe them more quickly and commit to your task. However, saying them out loud in front of a mirror or at least thinking about them works too. Repeatedly endorsing positive feedback to yourself will help you eventually learn that you do possess so many great qualities and you will gain a sense of self-worth and self-respect.
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Reflect On Negative Qualities
I am not going to tell you to pretend that you do not think negatively about yourself because we all know you won’t do that. Yes, it is important to recognize your good characteristics but you cannot ignore your own negative perspective because to truly gain self-respect you must also accept that you embody these flaws. We should take our criticisms and think about why they are concerning us in the first place to truly get to the root of the problem. We need to think about why we have negative thoughts about ourselves and then grow to accept that these flaws are a part of who we are. Here is your task: everyday write down (or think about/say in front of a mirror) one flaw that you think you have and say that you recognize that you have a problem with that quality, that you accept that it is a part of who you are and that you still love and appreciate who you are despite that flaw. We are human beings and we are not perfect so to truly love yourself you must accept your flaws as a part of what makes you unique and individual.
Ignore Negative Opinions
We are human beings and it is a part of our human nature to feel affected by other people’s words whether they are intentionally directed to hurt us or not. Personally, I can tell you that once I realized that the only opinion about myself that mattered was my own I became so much happier. It is not easy to neglect other’s opinions of you, especially when they are from people who you care about and who care about you. However, the only person who has the power over your own life is you. You control your own mind, you control your opinions and you certainly deserve respect. Do not let other people’s negative opinions of you change your opinion of yourself. Of course it is not easy to ignore other opinions that affect you but you have to try to understand that at the end of the day it is your life and you cannot live life trying to please other people.
Do Not Depend On Acceptance From Others
Like I touched on before, you are in control of your own opinions and you control your own thoughts. You cannot try to please other people and fulfil the expectations that they have of you or the expectations that you assume they have of you. It is impossible to please everybody so why stress yourself out trying to figure out how to? Live life to make yourself happy and live according to your own standards even if your ideas may stray from the norm. When we constantly aim to feel accepted by others according to their standards we begin to lose ourselves and our own identities in the process. Build upon your identity according to your own morals and expectations instead of relying on others to have that power over you.
Realize Who You Are
To love yourself you have to recognize who you are and what you are capable of achieving. You have to try to understand that you are capable of achieving self-love without depending on the approval from others along with accepting your flaws. Every characteristic about you makes up who you are as a human being and there is no one on the earth like you so, that being said, appreciate who you have grown to be. In order to love yourself, you must understand that the love you should aim to have for yourself is exactly like the love you have for other people whether that be romantic relationships, familial relationships, or friendships. When you love someone you do not judge them for every flaw they have but, instead, you love them because of who they are as a whole (including their flaws). So, tell me… why do you not deserve to be loved like that by yourself? The key is to understand that you are worthy of love and acceptance of yourself which will lead to more confidence over time.
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When it comes to learning to love yourself it is crucial to realize that you are learning and learning takes time and effort. There is no timeline when it comes to loving yourself because it is just important and effective that you are making the effort. You will slip up and you will have bad days when it comes to your self-esteem. However, once you do have days where you just feel as though you will never accept yourself you have to remember that there is always a new day ahead, that everyone makes mistakes and everyone has flaws. My dad told me once to never sell myself short so that is what I will tell all of you. I hope that you benefit from my … fatherly… advice because it is so true. Always give yourself credit for who you are and what you have accomplished. Always believe in yourself and, even in tough situations, try to keep your head up.