I've broken my share of New Year's resolutions. But over the last few years I've managed to keep one very important one: to love myself. As 2015 gets underway, I'd like you to join me. That is, I hope you will remember to love yourself. Although you can love me, too, if you want!
I haven’t always had the best relationship with myself. I spent a lot of years (and a lot of tears) convinced that I wasn't good enough, or smart enough, or pretty enough. It occurred to me a few years ago that I had to stop what I was doing and rebuild my relationship with myself. It wasn’t easy, and I still have days when I feel less than confident (I’m a human being, not a robot). Along the way, however, I figured out some helpful tips.
Find something you love to do and do it!
Naturally, I feel most confident and at ease when I’m doing stuff that I love. I’m not telling you to quit your day job, sell everything you own, and move to another country. I’m just saying take time for things you enjoy. I come alive when I'm discussing good movies or books, writing or talking about anything related to beauty, or when I’m singing harmony to my favorite worship songs Sunday morning in church. The joy I get doing these things make me feel happy and beautiful.
Surround yourself with people who will lift you up.
Somehow I managed to hit the friend jackpot, and for the most part I've been fortunate enough to have encountered some pretty amazing people. Still, I can think of friends who have made me feel horrible--serving up backhanded compliments on the regular, planting little ticking time bombs of doubt. My true friends, then and now, showed me what it’s like to be truly cared for, encouraged, and kept in check when necessary. They've helped me see my own beauty because they treat me beautifully.
Stop the comparisons.
My biggest vice (aside from lipstick) is comparing myself to other women. I’m not just talking about the “it” celebrity of the moment. I think it’s safe to say I’m not going to be looking like Jennifer Lawrence on the cover of Glamour any time soon (because Jennifer Lawrence doesn’t even look like Glamour-cover Jennifer Lawrence, if you know what I mean). I'm talking about comparing ourselves to the women we see in our daily lives. What's to be gained from this practice? I’m never going to look like anyone else because I’m me. So I try to listen as much as I can to my voice, and it tells me I’m beautiful.
Remind yourself that you are beautiful just as you are.
This has been the hardest thing for me to remember. Still, the more I tell myself that I’m beautiful, the more I believe it. At first, I’d leave myself cheesy little “Hey, hot stuff” notes around my room etc. And eventually I really started to believe it. My relationship with God has been a very important factor in my thinking. Through that relationship I was able to see that beauty is more than what you see in a magazine or on TV. Regardless of what you believe or don’t believe, you are as beautiful as you allow yourself to be, whatever lens you are looking through. So drown out all the thoughts of inadequacy and face the reality that you are beautiful exactly as you are, whether you like it or not!
- What have been your greatest hurdles in loving yourself?
- Are you into New Year’s resolutions, or do you find them silly?