Self-love isn’t easy. It includes accepting the parts about yourself that make you uncomfortable. It’s understanding that striving for better doesn’t mean you’re not already good enough. Self-love doesn’t happen because of career advancements, romance, affirmation of others, or achieving “body goals.” It’s a choice you have to make everyday.
Some days this choice is easier than others. But even on the days where you feel like a total #bossbabe ready to conquer the world, if you don’t have a strong sense of self, it makes it harder to deal with the inevitable difficulties of life that arise.
Learning self-love and creating a solid self-identity may not come naturally to you now. But, with these 6 simple changes in mindset and daily habits, it can become an engrained part of you.
- Reject labels
Self-love is realizing that other people don’t create your destiny, you do. You may have heard, “You’re not pretty enough,” Not smart enough,” “Too emotional,” “Too bossy.” Reject the labels that others put on you. They create artificial barriers that are limiting. Just because someone deems you as such, doesn’t mean you have to accept it as truth.
- Respect your body
You deserve to feel your best. Show your body love by giving it the movement and nutrition it craves. Stop treating your diet as punishment or emotional nourishment. Exercise and healthy eating should be in celebration of what your body can do for you, not punishment for what it looks like. Food should absolutely be enjoyed; it’s a fun part of life! But, it should not be used to mask uncomfortable feelings. Anxiety and sadness need to be addressed. They are huge opportunities to learn more about yourself; to grow and develop your self-worth.
- Be okay with feeling uncomfortable.
The beautiful thing about feelings is that they’re fleeting. The good and the bad. There’s always going to be moments in our life where we have to deal with uncomfortable situations. However, you can take relief in knowing that any stressful emotions will pass. Once you can embrace discomfort, you forgo fear.
- Challenge your mind
Whether it be listening to a new podcast, taking a class, getting a new certification, or trying a new workout, learning a new skill or increasing your knowledge helps build self-efficacy. The more you push yourself outside of your comfort zone, the more natural it becomes. In turn, the more heights you reach.
- Give back to others
Have you ever gone through stress, started doubting yourself, and then got even more stressed because you were doubting yourself? Yeah, me too. I like to call this “spiraling.” You start worrying about one thing and then all of a sudden there’s 20 other hypothetical situations clogging your mind. The best way to stop the cycle is to get outside of yourself and give back to others who need help more than you do. I am actively involved with a non-profit called Girls Inc. Just as I help empower women on Life in Spandex, their mission is to “inspire all girls to be strong, smart, and bold and to respect themselves and the world around them.” They mainly work with middle-school and high-school girls who don’t have access to educational resources pertaining to health, body image, risky behaviors, healthy relationships, and academic pursuits, while developing leadership, goal setting and decision-making skills. Pre-teen and teenage girls are so susceptible to media influences and bullying. It’s a pivotal time in a young woman’s life to build or damage self-confidence. I remember being in seventh grade and going through puberty totally confused and insecure. I love getting to share my own story with the young ladies of Girls Inc in order to empower them at such a young age. It’s so important to continue spreading a body positive message to the next generation so they can be the next voices.
- Take some credit
Quit underselling yourself! I am very guilty of always down-playing my accomplishments, my skills, my health, etc. It’s time we stop expecting more of ourselves without being grateful and at peace for what we’ve already worked so hard for. Acknowledging how far you’ve already come helps you see how capable you are at going after what you want, and succeeding at it!
How do you boost self-confidence? Tell me in the comment box below!