I’ve always had a difficult time loving the person who I am. It’s not that I don’t think I’m deserving of love— I definitely am. But I pick holes in my appearance and personality all of the time.
I say things like, “I’m too boring” or “I look terrible today” instead of simply accepting myself. I see flaws that aren’t there. I give myself a harder time than I give anyone else because I have the highest expectations for myself. Instead of using this as a way to target myself, I want to use this to challenge myself to be the best version of myself that I can be.
This is how I’m learning to love myself.
Starting with a blank slate
If I want to love and accept myself, I need to let go of my past self. The person I was 2 years ago is not the person I am today. Even the person I was 2 months ago is an entirely different person. Every month, every week, every day, I grow as a person.
I accept that I’ll make a lot of mistakes along the way, and instead of using this as a reason to dislike myself, I’ll turn it into a reason to work on myself. I’m not where I want to be yet but there’s some underlying excitement about that. It means I can go in any direction I want.
Appreciating what I see in the mirror
Accepting what I see in the mirror has been the most difficult part of my self-love journey. I’ve always been unusually obsessed with picking apart my appearance, as though it was a painting that needed to be corrected. But now, I want to learn to love that painting. It will never be perfect— there will always be smudges and minor imperfections.
At times, I’ll feel like throwing it away and starting all over again on a blank canvas. But deep down, I know that it’s a masterpiece in its own way, and as long as I can realise that, then that’s enough for me.
Giving myself more compliments
I’ve never been the kind of person who compliments myself. It’s always felt strange and uncomfortable to me, as though I’m trying to force something that isn’t there. Then I realised that’s exactly what I need to do. Even if I don’t believe it just yet, I need to keep saying the things that I need to hear.
I need to be telling myself that I’m a strong, kind, talented, and beautiful person inside and out, so that the words have a place inside of me. And when those words are associated with me, I can love myself in a whole new way.
Putting a stop to comparisons
One of my habits that I need to kick is comparing myself to others. I do it all of the time, so much so that I’d consider it a hobby. I compare the way I look, the way I dress, my career, my financial situation, and everything in-between. It’s a relentless cycle inside my head that tells me I need to be someone else or be somewhere else.
The problem with this is it leaves me wanting more, so I’m never quite satisfied with my life. This is undoubtedly going to be one of the hardest habits to kick, but it’s essential if I want to move forward and learn to love myself. Going forward, the only person I want to compare myself to is my former self.