It’s an unfortunate fact of human psychology that we tend to hyperfocus on the negative aspects of life. Misfortunes, blunders and mistakes are what stick in our memories and keep us up at night; success and praise, though, are all too often disregarded, if not ignored completely. In the same way, we often focus on the aspects of our bodies or personalities that we dislike while completely ignoring all the reasons we have to be proud of ourselves. For those who struggle with body confidence, this often manifests as intense self-criticism and a tendency to shy away from any sort of praise, even when it’s being showered upon them.
Does that sound familiar? There’s no need to be ashamed; you’re not alone. Hundreds of millions of people all over the world are blind to all the ways they should be proud of themselves and happy with their appearance. You can overcome it, though, and learn to live confidently. By practising self-love and learning to embrace the things you like about yourself as easily as you acknowledge your flaws, you can become happy in your own, imperfect skin (after all, everyone has imperfections).
Looking to start loving yourself? Here are a few tips to get you started
Limit Social Media
Social media is packed full of photos and videos of apparently perfect people with seemingly flawless bodies. Of course, it’s all photoshopped and faked, but the psychological impact, the effect on your self-confidence is very real. While social media can be a great way to stay connected to friends, events and things you care about, there’s a good reason to limit your access to it. Spending too long scrolling through photo albums can skew your perception of what peoples’ bodies are meant to look like and make you resent your completely normal imperfections. By laying off the social media, you’ll gain a healthier perspective on your body and begin to notice the things you like about yourself when looking in the mirror.
Make Use of Affirmations
It might feel silly at first, but studies have shown that positive affirmations have a significant impact on our psychology and our self-perception. Are you used to looking in the mirror and pointing out your flaws with a self-hating ruthlessness? Self-hatred only fuels more self-hatred; those behaviours aren’t helping you at all. Next time, instead of criticising the figure staring back at you in the mirror, try verbalising all the things you admire about it. You’ll be amazed to see how quickly it can have an impact on your self-confidence.
Surround Yourself With Positive People
Sometimes it can be the people you associate with that determine your ability to love yourself. Positivity breeds positivity, and by surrounding yourself with warm, encouraging people that see the best in everything, you’ll become immersed in an atmosphere perfect for building a sense of self-confidence. If there are people in your life who seem determined to bring you down, consider whether you want them in your life at all.
Everyone has flaws, things they struggle with or physical imperfections. Just because people have flaws, though, it doesn’t mean they can’t embrace their gifts. Next time you’re stuck staring at yourself in the mirror, pointing out all the things that don’t look “the way they should”, try pointing elsewhere and notice the things that you’re proud of. You’ll be so much happier for it, and eventually, you’ll carry that happiness and sense of self-love everywhere you go.
confidence goals mood self-improvement self-talk