Feeling kind of lonely inside, emotionally drained? Waiting for that text back from a person that doesn’t see your brilliance? Comparing yourself with the people you follow on Instagram? The lack of self-motivation or self-esteem, settling for unhealthy relationships? Yes, I know. Unfortunately, we’ve all been there. However, throughout all of those obstacles, I personally have been in. I’m going to let you know that I’ve suffered, I have learned and I have overcome it all. I’m here to tell you that I have the secret to reaching the success in all your barriers and teaching you the courage on how to be on the winning team: Your own.
Self-love is the secret and I am going to let you know why.
1. GET RID OF THE NEGATIVE INFLUENCES IN YOUR LIFE.
To start off, get rid of the people that genuinely don’t love you.
Love is an action, a choice—not a feeling. So, anybody who claims they love you but doesn’t make time for you doesn’t make you feel supported, or treats you like you’re unimportant—they do not love you and they are a parasite. They are eating away at your self-confidence and happiness. If they don’t get you or your vision, don’t bother. Get rid of them. They are not good, not important, and most importantly, they are not worthy of your golden heart and time. You’re beautiful, unique, and amazing—don’t waste your time on people who don’t question why you’re not famous for being awesome, duh!
2. TAKE TIME TO DO THINGS YOU WANT TO DO.
If your friends call you up on your day off and they want to go out to the clubs, you don’t have to say yes. If you wanted to stay inside and watch all the episodes of Game Of Thrones or Insecure (one of my favs) while laying down practically naked with a mud mask on, do that. Just because the people around you do one thing, it doesn’t mean you have to do it too. Next time you’re invited out or you find yourself doing something with friends or family out of obligation, ask yourself if it’s something that you really have to do. If it isn’t benefiting you or something you genuinely want to do you don’t have to pursue it. Politely decline, and just continue on. You must learn to start putting yourself first. To be the best friend, the best partner, the A1 student, the greatest at your job, or anything else, you must make sure you’re well within. Reminder: When you’re loved within, you’ll begin to win.
3. STEP OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE.
Do you want to take a painting class? Are you interested in taking a yoga class at your gym? Do you want to talk to that cute guy/girl in your class? Just do it! You really won’t be sorry you did. After you do something that once made you nervous, after doing it you’ll realize how it was ALL IN YOUR MIND.
The things you are scared to do the most are the things that you’ll regret the least! I used to be so scared to go to the gym. I’d hype myself up the night before, doing research on all these cool exercises and routines that I wanted to try. Then in the morning, I would get to the gym and end up on the elliptical or stair-master for an hour because I was so worried what everybody in the gym would think of some newbie trying to go hard on the weights.
Eventually, I kept being consistent and looking up exercises and proper techniques on YouTube videos to help give me a confidence boost. Sometimes I’ll even go with a workout buddy that can teach me some things so it can be a fun, yet challenging experience. It totally worked. Now I hit the gym and instead of worrying about everybody else, I just work on shredding my routine and sweating all the stress away. It was also this mindset that helped me realize that most people are too concerned about themselves that they hardly ever notice those around them. So if you think people are watching or will judge you, it’s okay to feel like that, but don’t let it cripple you, or stop you. Just do whatever it is you want to do anyway. You’ll be great as long as your heart is in it!
4. GET UP AND DO SOMETHING, BE ACTIVE.
Active doesn’t mean two grueling hours of powerlifting at the gym.
It could be as simple as going out for a walk around the block, doing jumping-jacks while you watch your favorite T.V show, or doing 10 minutes of stretching when you wake up in the mornings.
If doing intense workouts is your thing, or maybe long hikes—that’s great, do that! Activity is whatever you want it to mean, but it’s important for you to get up and give your body a little workout every couple days or so. Not only does this mean positive results physically, but internally too. Your body releases endorphins (the feel-good stuff) when you’re active, so you’ll feel more energized, optimistic, and ready to tackle everyday situations that are otherwise frustrating.
On a personal note, exercising or going for a quick stroll around my apartment complex or to the park across the street near the forest, it gives me alone time that I otherwise wouldn’t get any alone time is necessary for a person’s individual growth. This brings me to my next point…
Take a few minutes once a day to do some deep breaths, to bring all your thoughts and emotions together.
I usually do this in the morning after an intense, sweaty workout. Or usually, before I go to bed, where I do most of my internal thinking. I call it, my mental check-up. I ask myself “How am I feeling mentally?”, “How am I feeling physically?”, and “What can I do to improve my mental health even more?” If it’s been a rough morning or a tough week and I’m just lost or sad, then I start taking deep breaths and start thinking positive thoughts to help reinforce confidence and security within myself.
The gag is, even if I’m feeling as well as JoanneTheScammer after a scam and ready to breathe rainbows and money signs, I still take my 10 deep breaths and I think of everything I’m grateful for which really is the cherry on top when I’m already in a good mood. Obviously, everybody’s version of meditation will be different, but meditation, in general, can make the world of a difference in how you feel about yourself and your life. It also helps to clarify and organize any mixed emotions you may be dealing with.
Depending on your patience or personality, try meditation regardless. Whether it’s sitting on the toilet while doin’ ya thang or in your car, taking deep breaths, praying, even meditating for 20 minutes in the mornings before you start your day, whatever works for you is what counts. Mental health awareness is key.
6. BE KIND, COMPLIMENT YOURSELF.
I don’t care if this one sounds silly or slightly vain at all. It works for me.
When I get ready in the mornings, I find at least one thing I genuinely like about my look/outfit that day.
This morning, I really didn’t like anything. My hair was being stubborn, extremely frizzy. I didn’t have time to iron my shirt. I gained 3 pounds this week, and it just wasn’t happening for me. I went to a doctors appointment and wanted to go back home and hide in my bed. Then I realized, I didn’t find something that I liked about myself today… So I went to the bathroom, made my hair work with some water and a ponytail, and I smiled at the mirror and thought to myself, “My hair looks cute like this!”
Now I’m in a much better mood, and it’s because I feel better about myself. Now, there will be days where it’s hard, just like me today.
However, I challenge you to fake it till you make it.
Look in the mirror before work, school, whatever, and tell yourself one thing that you like about the way you look. It could be as silly as, “My teeth look really white today.” That’s awesome! Blind the world with your pearly whites! Guess what? The more you make yourself find something you like, one day you’ll look in the mirror and you’ll find something you like about yourself right away. You’ll look in the mirror and you’ll say, “Dang, I look gorgeous today!” even if you’re just wearing a baggy pair of jeans and a sweater. It’ll happen.
Loving yourself is hard because nobody knows the exact steps to do it. It’s a personalized path you take. There will be no finish line. The process is as long as you live. Love is limitless. Love is transcendent. Truthfully, it’s a journey and your sad days, mistakes, regrets and stories are all but a chapter in your personal book. It’s so easy to beat yourself up when you miss something, forget something, or make a silly mistake, but I challenge you to be patient with yourself. I challenge you to follow some of these tips and to stick with them to see how loving yourself is achievable.
YOU’RE AWESOME AND I KNOW IT, SO IT’S TIME YOU KNOW IT, TOO.