Many people, including myself, talk about the importance of loving yourself. personally, the most important thing I have to share on this subject is that loving yourself and being confident in the skin you’re in is a journey, not a destination. Even for me, as confident as I am now, it is still a work in progress. I get comments from girls all the time, saying “I wish I had your confidence” but honey, when I was your age a couple years ago, I didn’t have my confidence either.
Learning to love yourself in a society that benefits from your insecurities is difficult, I know. But I didn’t magically wake up one day with all the confidence in the world either. It was a process. My selfimage crumbled a lot, and along the way I picked it up and it grew stronger.
To help all you gorgeous humans on your own road to selflove and personal acceptance, here are some things that helped me along the way… Print out this list and stick it on your fridge, cause I’m not going anywhere until all of you feel totally amazeballs.
14 THINGS I LEARNED ON THE ROAD TO SELFLOVE
- Stop comparing yourself to others. We all fail and succeed at different rates, at different times in our lives. Just because you took longer than others, doesn’t mean you failed.
- Exercise because it is good for your mind and soul, not just for reasons of physical appearance. Your body does a lot for you, learn to appreciate that instead of only focussing on what it looks like.
- Find something you’re good at and love. It doesn’t have to be functional or meaningful, just something that makes you happy. In fact, do more of what makes you happy. Even if it is collecting stamps. (okay, maybe not actually collecting stamps… but you get the point right?)
- Do stuff alone. It will be scary at first, but after a while you will learn to appreciate your own company and how awesome you are. I learned to eat alone, go out alone, have fun alone and travel alone… and it was a huge confidenceboost to know that I am good enough on my own to have a good time with.
- You can not please everyone. You are not nutella. Some people will not like you or what you do… and that is okay. Don’t waste time or energy trying to convince them… Just let that shit go.
- In fact, let more shit go. People that hurt you in the past, bad stuff that happened, things you can’t change, people that won’t change… not worth hanging on to. Negative energy has a way of multiplying itself and punching you in the face, so let. it. go.
- If you’re in love with someone, tell them. I know it’s soulcrushingly scary, and there is a possibility the other person won’t feel the same way. But you’ll survive. You’ll see.. You’ll Always survive. And you did something that took a lot of courage. Be proud of that. It is better to go for it and have it explode in your face than to spend the rest of your life thinking “what if?”
- Meet people in real life. I’m not saying you can’t have amazing connections on the internet -you can, and I have. But it can still not compare to having someone hug you and laugh with you in real life. So go out and make meaningful connections in the offline world as well!
- Eat well. Your body deserves it. Make the effort to treat yourself well. You are worth it.
- And if you want to eat fries sometimes, that is also cool. Enjoy it. Don’t call it a guilty pleasure or punish yourself afterwards. In fact, never feel guilty about pleasure. Ever.
- Wear whatever the fuck you want. Life really is too short to worry about your butt looking fat in that pair of jeans. Put on a bikini and live a little!
- Your boyfriend knows what you look like. You can do your best to suck it in and find flattering poses (you all know what I’m talking about girls, I know you do!), but he has seen you with your hair messed up, bending over, in bad lighting, from a bad angle, with your muffintop exposed, with toothpaste in your hair (oh is that just me? oops), asleep on the couch, drooling, sick, without makeup… He knows what you look like. He still wants to be with you. Believe it.
- Treat yourself. Whether it’s that overpriced coffee you love, or some nice lingerie, or that strawberry bodylotion you’ve been sniffing all month, or that fancy olive oil,… Treat yourself every now and then. You deserve to have nice things in your life.
- Be less judgemental. More often than not, judging others is a reclection of your own poor self-confidence. Next time you see a woman on the street and you think “she should really not wear that dress“, ask yourself why you think this. It’s probably because YOU think YOU could not wear that dress… Don’t bring other people down just to lift yourself up
picture credits: Helyos Photography – Hans Huylebroeck – Inge Van den Broeck