Imagine what life would be if we could stand before the mirror and focus on what we cherish about ourselves rather than what we wish we could change
It seems that a lot of times, most of us turn to negative thinking, paying attention to our so- called flaws. We are not only bombarded with pictures of famous people and “perfect” models on TV, magazines and billboards, even the app we refresh every possible chance we get – Instagram – can be a major culprit. Constantly feeding us with aesthetically-pleasing pictures of “perfect” people living their “perfect” lives, who have most likely gone through layers of filter to curate that perfection. And the result? A never ending supply of edited images and a load of viewers feeling inadequate and self-conscious in their own skin.
And just like that, you have endless unrealistic expectations you have to fulfill. What we should look like, the latest designer items we have to own, the tiny bikinis we have to start fitting into, the lavish lifestyles we have to start living! As technology advances and we’re more connected to the world wide web than ever, it seems that our self esteem is rapidly declining. My nerdy self has read a few articles on this topic and what I found is that there is a definite link between social media usage and low self esteem. It literally takes a person seconds on Instagram to feel rubbish about themselves. For instance, you can be on your feed and next thing you know you’re on your ex-boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend’s best friend’s page wishing you had abs as solid as hers. (true story bro!)
To top it all, many of us have internalised negative comments from our past that has stuck like glue in our heads. We’re more likely to remember one negative comment from a first-class asshole than we are to remember all the wonderful compliments. In my case, I’ll always remember when this moron told me I need to “make” a thigh gap, but I don’t remember when someone told me I have the nicest hair she has seen!
Building your self esteem takes work. If you have very poor body image, it can take years to repair. Why not start now? There are so many things you can do to build yourself up and undo a lifetime of low self esteem. So, here are a few tips I learnt to slowly come out of that bad phase and start my #selflove journey, and I hope I can help someone out there too!
Nobody is 100% perfect
What is the meaning of “flawless”? How does one measure “flawlessness”? When you ask yourself these questions, chances are, you won’t be able to think of a definite answer because “flawless” does not exist in the human race. It is merely an misogynistic idea than it is a reality!
Aiming for perfection will only let a person down because when you don’t achieve that perfect goal, you will be left feeling miserable. So, the next time you flip through a Cosmopolitan mag or click on the “explore” tab on Instagram, please do yourself a favour and take everything with a pinch of salt. Try not to get too caught up in it. If you’re feeling low about yourself, it might be a good idea to have a social media detox/cleanse!
I know this part takes time and effort, but I guarantee you, it works! When you have some free time, take note of everything you like about yourself and write it down. When you’re feeling rubbish about yourself, revisit the list to remind yourself of all your wonderful and positive attributes. As your self esteem improves, you might find more of yourself that you have started to notice and love. See the correlation here?
Confidence stems from you
Nothing bad happens when people compliment others. do allow yourself to accept compliments from people but don’t let this be your main source of confidence. Ultimately, confidence is going to come from within you. Sure, it’s nice to have reassurance from others that you look good, but you want to look and feel good from within and that means you have to do certain things to make yourself feel that way! The one thing that I have been doing is to set standards for myself and to catch myself when I think I’m not good enough, I can’t have, won’t get or aren’t good enough to get what I want. When that happens, I tell myself that my mindset is everything and so, gotta stay positive and dynamic!It’s not easy, but it is do-able!
Take Care of You
I know I have been slacking in this department lately, but this tip here is so effective in making you feel good about yourself. Move your body regularly and eat healthily. Working out and setting goals can help you feel great both physically and mentally. A balanced diet is key, as well. That being said, you shouldn’t compulsively over-exercise or obsessively count calories. Even though my PCOS and Hypothyroidism limit me from eating all that yummy carbs by the loads, I still occasionally indulge because what’s life without greasy fries and chocolate brownies! It’s tough to balance, but try to focus on the internal benefits of a healthy lifestyle rather than the external ones.
Conclusion: I learned to love myself, and in turn, developed a better body image than I’ve ever had before just by trying and executing these few steps. There’s no reason why you can’t too!