“Until you value yourself, you won’t value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it. ” -M. Scott Peck
My dad told me once that you can only truly be happy in life when you’re happy with yourself. Self acceptance is something that you don’t just wake up and have, some people struggle with finding self acceptance all the way from when they’re a teenager into their adult life. Whereas others have never suffered with lack of self acceptance and couldn’t care less what others thought about them. Those people are normally the happiest and most content with life.
Growing up in today’s age, as both a female and a male has gotten a lot harder due to the pressure of social media, magazines and reality TV, we are constantly comparing ourselves to others. Young people get it into their heads that there is a “perfect” way to be and they insult and ridicule themselves because they don’t fit into the “perfect” mould, causing unhappiness within themselves and a low self esteem.
Too many people are seeking perfection; despite the fact that no one is perfect, everyone is different and that is what makes the world beautiful and that is what makes you who you are. So many young people are spending so much time and money in order to perfect themselves, but that isn’t what life is about. I admit that looks are important to a certain extent, yes it is important to look presentable and to have your own sense of style but just because you don’t look a certain way doesn’t mean your life isn’t going to be as fulfilling, you should be embracing your individuality.
People constantly want to have the “ideal look” and go to crazy extremes to achieve it. They compare themselves to men and women in magazines because they want to look like that, but the celebrities themselves don’t even look like they do in the magazines. Airbrushing is used profusely in all the magazines portraying a false perception of how celebrities look.
“When you start seeing your worth, you’ll find it harder to stay around people who don’t.” –Emily S. P.
The way we treat ourselves is just as important as the way we treat the people around you and once you start noticing your worth you’ll find it difficult to stay around people that don’t. Once you accept yourself for who you are, your eyes will be opened to how your self acceptance has made a difference on your life. Your mind won’t be full with worries and comparisons but with your achievements and your dreams. If your friend was worrying about their looks and was constantly putting themselves down then you would tell them they are wrong and to have confidence within themselves. If you’d say that to your friend then why can’t you say it to yourself?
“If you had a friend who spoke to you in the same way you sometimes speak to yourself, how long would you allow that person to be your friend?” –Marc and Angel Chernoff
Don’t get me wrong, confidence won’t suddenly appear overnight however the first step to confidence and belief in yourself is faking it. Walk around with your head held high and sooner or later not only will you have convinced everyone else that you have confidence in yourself, but you will have convinced yourself too.
Another way to see the beauty in yourself is to begin seeing it in other people, when you see someone with a engaging appearance, exquisite sense of style, special talent or achievement, you should acknowledge it. Tell yourself to compliment them because when you begin to see the beauty in everyone, you will realize that you are everyone too.
Stop walking around embarrassed of your looks and lacking self belief in your achievements. You need to realise that you are all you have, your body is your only body and instead of being ashamed of yourself you need to realise that there is no one else you can be and instead of treating yourself as a major flaw you need to make the most of what you have and use it to make the most of who you are.
“People truly at peace with themselves are far too rare.”-
Take Katie Piper for example, she was a beautiful and talented girl and then her life took a turn for the worst when acid was thrown on her face in a vicious attack. I recently read Katie’s book, Things Get Better which is incredibly inspiring as she uses her story and experience to preach about positive thinking and self belief. She writes “Good self-esteem and strong self-worth are the foundations of a happy life.” For someone who completely lost her looks, this is a very courageous and inspirational thing to say. Any girl who loses her looks and her identity would feel as if it were the end of the world. Yet Katie managed to think positively and her experience taught her that life isn’t about looks and as long as she has strong self esteem and believes in herself then others will believe in her. She also mentioned in the book that she felt after her accident her personality shone through a lot more than before her attack and she learnt things about herself that she wasn’t previously aware of. This is a prime example of how people care so much about their looks that they forget about their personality and they let their identity be what they are on the outside instead of the importance of what is on the inside.
“We now know that whatever you vibrate, you create and attract to yourself. So, you work on healing yourself in order to create peace around you. You become peace. If there’s conflict living within you, you cannot live in a world of peace.” -Alberto Villoldo, PhD
Don’t get me wrong, I am not preaching about having good self esteem and a huge amount of confidence because I am someone completely at peace with myself, because like most teenagers growing up in such a “beauty” obsessed world I still worry about my looks as much as the next person. However I have really started to see and feel a huge change in myself as I grow up and realise that there is so much more to life. As long as you are happy with yourself, and you love yourself then it is okay. Your friends love and appreciate you because of who you are not what you look like.
“That always seemed so ridiculous to me, that people want to be around someone because they’re pretty. It’s like picking your breakfast cereals based on colour instead of taste.” -John Green
As you start to accept yourself and grow in confidence the possibilities are endless, you concentrate your thoughts and your energy on things that really make your life worthwhile. If you can look back on photos of your memories and get the same feeling you had when you experienced that memory instead of looking at the photo and thinking you look horrible, too fat, too skinny or “not perfect”, then you can experience your life as you deserve to. How can you expect someone to believe in you if don’t even believe in yourself? How do you expect someone to love you if you don’t even love yourself?
So I urge you to look beyond the outside and focus your thoughts on the “real” you. Accept yourself for who you are and appreciate your uniqueness instead of attempting to fit into the impossible expectation of “perfection”.