At some point in our lives, we go through the motions of feeling unsure about ourselves. This causes us to doubt how we feel in our own skin. We then wish we could be like others. The reality is far from this.
For many years, I was stuck in a vicious cycle when I was battling with a low degree of self-worth, negative thinking and a real lack of self-love. I could not navigate myself around these issues, which made it difficult for me to look introspectively. If I were aware earlier about these issues, I would have made the necessary change. Our society pressurises us to be a certain way and this ultimately makes us feel inadequate when we are unable to measure up. However, we have the power to step away from these outside influences. At the end of the day, each one of us perceives life in a different way. The majority of the time, we perceive life through a distorted lens.
We do not realise how much energy we spend and lose by measuring up our self-worth against that of others. The moment you become comfortable and happy in your skin, you will feel less of a need to compare. We are all unique in our individual skins. This makes us who we are. Just writing this makes me reflect on the time when I desperately tried to impress people. I did this almost to the point where I became exhausted. Social media sites are a curse to those who are not comfortable in their own skin, since they view life via what they see on these sites.
I did not realise that for most of my life, I had all of the tools inside me. It’s just that I never addressed them. Being happy with who you are in your own skin also correlates with getting to know yourself.
Look out for you
One of the very first things you must do is to look out for you, since you are living for you and no one else. Do not neglect yourself, because this will make it challenging for you to appreciate yourself. I have been there myself and it’s not a good feeling if you do not put your needs first. Your quest for being happy for yourself will remain a constant struggle.
Make friends with yourself
Whilst reading this, you might think, why would I want to befriend myself? Well this is a very good point to raise! The relationship one has with ourself sets the tone for all the others. We identify aspects of ourself, which we may not ever have known before. If I were to look back, I wouldn’t have wanted to be my friend. I was not happy and I projecting the worst of myself. However, now I feel very comfortable with myself so I would befriend myself. It’s all about good vibes now!
Focus on things which make you feel good
Do you enjoy reading or playing music? These are two activities out of many others. Little do we know that when we do things which make us happy, this reflects a lot about us. When we decide to do activities which we feel good about, this shows that we are doing what is good for us and not what others want. We have a tendency to say yes to taking part in activities which do not make us feel good, because we are afraid to say no. When we face this, it shows a reflection of how we are truly feeling. In some of my friendships, I went along with activities which I didn’t like because of the way I viewed myself.
Learn to appreciate yourself
We are all individual and each one of us has something unusual about ourselves. We should learn to love these characteristics about ourselves and embrace them rather than suppress them. This makes us who we are and will help you appreciate yourself. If someone tells you something which they do not like about you, this is a reflection of them since they do not appreciate themselves. Avoid seeking validation from others. Since this is very short lived and in the long run this is not good for you! I remember being told that I had this self deprecating trait and agonized over it. This made me rather sad so I tried to change in order to be accepted. Never do this. If they do not like it, just ignore them and continue on with your life.
Reduce the need to think too much about others’ thoughts of you
When I have focused too much of my energy on what others thought of me, I slowly came to the conclusion that not everyone will view you in the way you would like. To be honest, there is nothing you can do about this. This is a fact of life! These feelings of self-doubt stem from the perceptions which we hold of ourselves. In order to move forward, just be you as there is only one you!
To round off, uplift your soul rather than pump it down. Aim to be happy with you and enjoy yourself and what you can bring to this life. Preserve your energy and remember what is yet to come and not what has been!
By Caroline Peart
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