Learning to love oneself is a lesson we are often taught, yet it seems to be one of the most difficult things to put into practice. This writer can reflect on a few experiences with friends, getting ready to go to dinner, trying on a million outfits, doing our hair, and suddenly it turns into a “your body is so much better than mine” fest. As we all tried to convince each other that the sentiment was not true, in our own heads we were not convinced.

 

Why is it so difficult to believe that the multitude of talents, unique characteristics, and varying body shapes, make us individually beautiful? Why are we convinced that if we were just a little more outgoing, or had a flatter stomach, that we would be happier? We are so conditioned to believe that who we are is not enough, that in order to be happy we need to be in a constant state of improvement. Instead of celebrating the qualities and quirks that make us different, we cannot seem to get past the aspects of ourselves that we view as inadequate. As we all know, self-deprecation will only serve to make us feel more inadequate and further cement the idea in our heads that what we have to offer will never be good enough.

 

Unfortunately, there is no magic switch to flip that will make you love your body and yourself. Like everything else, it takes practice and patience. It takes a conscious effort to think more positively, and to be able to look in the mirror and be happy. It takes finding the things that make you unique and valuable, and focusing on those things. Learning to be happy with who you are and what you can bring to the table will make you feel happier and more satisfied. Of course, there will always be days when focusing on the positive will feel nearly impossible, and that is perfectly normal. But being stuck in a cycle of self doubt and loathing, will only serve to further those thoughts.

 

To start, whenever you find yourself thinking negatively about yourself, replace it will a positive thought. With time, you will find that your overall thought process is more positive. If you learn to love yourself, you will find that you are happier, and instead of feeling jealous of others, you will be happy for them, too.

 

Tell me how you fight the negative thoughts about yourself in the comments below or tweet at me @whatsthesich