“A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it. It just blooms.” – Zen Shin Talks
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could all live like flowers, focused on our own growth and wellbeing instead of comparing ourselves to others? Unfortunately, the reality of our social media addicted, celebrity crazed society is that we’re constantly evaluating our self worth, physical appearance, intelligence and success in comparison to other people.
Being comfortable in your own skin is the first step in learning to love yourself, and something you can only accomplish when you stop competing with those around you. Although inner peace isn’t something that can be created overnight, you can slowly build self-confidence by changing the way you look at yourself.
Insecurity often stems from unique traits and qualities that we mistakenly perceive as flaws. We assume that, because we are different than someone else, there is something wrong with us that needs to be fixed. This is not only an absurd way to view yourself but it’s also extremely toxic to your self-esteem. Celebrate your differences and embrace what sets you apart from other people, because that’s what makes you the amazing person you are.
One of the hardest parts of learning to love yourself is admitting and accepting your imperfections. Most people hold themselves to ridiculously high standards and are severely disappointed when they don’t meet their own expectations. The next time you start to criticise yourself, mentally list three things you do well. Making a habit of this practice will train you to recognise that, although you’re not perfect, you have many more positive qualities than negative. Coming to terms with your shortcomings is challenging, but the benefits you’ll reap from doing so are endless.
It’s important to remember that you are a work in progress. You change every day, even if only slightly, and are continuously evolving into the person you will be tomorrow. If you make an effort to learn, experience new things and pursue your interests as much as possible, you’ll harvest a pride in yourself that no one can take away. Change can be scary, but when you start to evolve into the person you’ve always dreamt of being, the transformation is absolutely magical.
Embarking on a path of self-love can be frightening, but think of all the people you’ll inspire by doing so. Confidence is contagious, and it’s a gift that you can share with your family and friends again and again. Your quest to self-respect will surely motivate others to find their own happiness, creating a spark that could ignite a worldwide movement.
It’s important to love yourself every moment of every day, especially when you feel like you don’t deserve it. Remember that you were created just the way you are for a purpose, and don’t let anyone convince you otherwise. As Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”