A few days ago I sat down to film a spontaneous Q&A video where I asked you to send me your questions via Snapchat and Instagram. I got lots of questions on the topic of self-love and feeling confident in your own skin – it seems like a lot of you are feeling overwhelmed (I hear you girls!) so I thought I’d sit down today and write a dedicated post on this topic.
I CHOOSE LOVE
“I am in charge of how I feel today, and I choose happiness.”
I think it’s important to start by saying that loving yourself and feeling confident in your own skin is an active process and ultimately a choice that you make every day – it’s something we must actively pursue. From my own experience over the years, self-love and confidence is not something that you work on obtaining for some time, and BAM once you feel like you’ve got it, it magically stays part of your DNA forever.
It’s kind of like wishing to tone up your body and get super healthy – you decide to ditch the junk food and start nourishing yourself with lots of healthy food and exercise. A couple of months go by and you start to notice lots of positive changes in your body, you’re super happy, have more energy and start feeling really confident and sexy in your new figure – amazing! Then all of a sudden you might get a bit ‘too comfortable’ and stop putting in the work. You retreat back to old habits of unhealthy foods and lazy routines, what do you think will happen? Yep! You’ll go right back to where you started.
This principle applies to so many things in life – including healthy relationships. Unless we actively put in effort, attention and ultimately LOVE into everything we do in life, it starts to grow stale and looses it’s “life force”.
The great thing about this is that anyone anywhere has the power to choose to love themselves – even if it seems difficult at first. As with anything, the more a technique is practiced, the easier it gets, and hopefully it will come to a point where prioritizing yourself, being your own best friend and ultimately taking care of yourself from the inside out becomes a lifestyle. It’s all about creating healthy habits, accepting that life has it’s ups and downs, and not striving for constant perfect days.
“A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it. It just blooms.” – Zen Shin
The topic of self-love in general is really important to talk about, especially in today’s world where social media is more prevalent than ever and it’s gotten so easy to compare ourselves to thousands of other people (without even leaving our home!). Let’s just start by saying, although I LOVE social media and the endless inspiration I get from it, I take it with a grain of salt ie. I don’t take it too seriously.
As a blogger myself (and having connected with lots of other influencers over the years) I know that social media is a polished and curated representation of moments in someone’s life. It’s a place where we want to share the best of life – moments that made us really happy or events that we worked hard for and are ultimately proud of. When I look through my own Instagram for instance, it’s like looking through a highlights reel or the “Best Of” moments – it makes me so happy and that’s what I hope it evokes in you as well.
I am so grateful and happy for my life, but that doesn’t mean I don’t experience hardships, struggles and self doubt. I sometimes get comments under my photos and videos saying I have “a perfect life” – but this is far from the truth. What you don’t see are the difficult moments of my life, for instance me waking up at 5am panicking from an awful nightmare or my face full of tears after a difficult conversation with a loved one or trying to keep a positive mood after reading negative comments, or even being so hard on myself when a video I put so much effort into doesn’t perform as well as I had hoped.
I’m not the type of person to focus on the negative or difficult things in life. I find it really hard to even open up and express myself to my closest friends and family when I’m really struggling. I hate the idea of someone feeling “bad” for me or having pity. The idea alone makes me cringe. So sharing difficult moments to thousands of people on the internet? Ah let’s not even go there!
The point I’m trying to make is, never think someone else’s life is perfect. We’re all going through our own personal struggles that ultimately shape us into the beautiful, unique and amazing people we are. Can you imagine how much personal growth has come from difficult situations in your life? Let’s be grateful that these challenges come our way and we can use them as an opportunity to grow and become better people.
Back to self-comparison, it doesn’t always have to be a negative thing. Next time you see someone (online or in real life) and start comparing yourself to them, instead of allowing the automatic negative self-talk to begin (ex. “I am not as successful as her. Why can’t I be pretty like that? I’ll never be able to have a fit body. I hate my life…”) make a conscious decision to step back, take a deep breath and ask yourself, “What is it that I admire in this person? What do they have that I could also see myself having?” It could be anything from a physical object to their positive outlook on life or you may even admire they’re dedication to healthy living or entrepreneurship. My point is, instead of seeing someone and feeling negative, let them inspire you! Never feel negative towards another person because that will just bring more negativity into your own life – what you put out is what you get back. Always send good vibes, wish people well, and be thankful you came across someone who could inspire you to make some changes and help develop you to an even more amazing person. And remember someone else’s success doesn’t take away from your own, like that saying, “Admire someone else’s beauty, without questioning your own”. You have the power to choose and create the person you want to be. It’s all up to you!
“Treat your body as if it belongs to someone you love.”
Taking time for yourself is so important. I find it incredibly regenerating to just spend time alone and with all the responsibilities and things going on in our lives, “me” time is so essential. Take care of yourself so you have lots of positive energy to put back into your life, your family, your friends, your career etc.. “You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserves your love and affection.”
Self care comes in many different forms, and I think it’s important to first get “in touch” with yourself, look within and see what you really need. Self care could mean preparing yourself a really nice healthy dinner, saying ‘no’ to a night out to recharge your body, or saying ‘yes’ and really letting your hair down, taking time to finally clean out and organize your closet, starting that YouTube channel you’ve always dreamed of, going to the gym and sweating it all out, preparing a dreamy candle lit bubble bath, writing down all your thoughts in a journal and coming up with solutions (so therapeutic!), getting that new bag you’ve been eyeing the last few months or taking a simple brisk walk to refresh your body.
Whatever it is that you’ve been thinking of doing, DO IT! Life is short and we should all try to reach our highest potential, and it all starts with you.
Ok I know this was a pretty long post, but I wanted to make sure I covered some important areas when it came to the topic of self-love. I am of course no “expert” and I deal with lots of ups and downs, but I can share what works for me with hopes that it may work for you as well. I really hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I loved writing it. I’d love to hear your thoughts down below! XOXO