It's easier said than done, but there's only one you
There’s no better time than now to be yourself and not conform to an ideal. So be gone toxic masculinity and goodbye sexist rules, as it’s time to make your own! Remember, you’re a work in progress and once you realise that, the sooner you’ll be happy with yourself. But we know how hard it is – one day you’re ready to take on the world and the next you only brush your eyebrows, not your hair. And that’s okay, too. Read through our tips on how and why you should embrace who you are.
Make peace with your body
This sounds deeper than it is and won’t happen overnight, but there are small (and big) steps you can take to do this…
Step away from the scales
You aren’t defined by a number and life’s too short to be. When you look back, will you be glad you let an insignificant number define you or will you wish you’d eaten more cake? (Because who doesn’t want more cake?).
Appreciate your body for what it does
We don’t always give our body enough credit for what it does for us. So instead of hating the way your thighs look or the size of your nose, think about what those parts of your body actually do for you. Our bodies can literally heal themselves which is amazing!
Adopt more neutral behaviours towards your body
If you think you’ll never learn to fully love your body or it’s simply too far out of your reach right now, find peace with it instead by adopting some of these behaviours towards yourself:
• If you look in the mirror to criticise your looks, instead look in the mirror to check how great your eyeliner looks
• If you follow social media accounts for body motivation, instead follow them for happiness inspiration
• If you measure your body by its appearance, instead measure it by the things it can do like grow a child, walk 10,000 steps or hear music
• If you feel let down when you don’t love yourself, instead feel okay that your feelings fluctuate
Ditch the comparisons & negative thoughts
We’re our own worst critic but each of us has something unique about us, whether you think you do or not. Ask yourself if those negative thoughts are actually helping you – guess what, they aren’t! So banish them and focus on the positives about your body, your life or your personality, trust us, you’ll feel liberated once you get the hang of it. If you find yourself constantly scrolling through social media comparing yourself and your life to others, maybe it’s time to take a step back or a break from it. And remember, what you see on social media isn’t always real life – people don’t always show you the bad things they’re going through or their own insecurities.
Be your own cheerleader
You probably have a great set of friends who are always there to cheer you on, but compliments from others can sometimes go in one ear and out the other – especially when you don’t believe them. So you also need to be your own cheerleader in life – especially with all the pressures in life to have it all, a little kindness-to-self can go a long way.
Shush your inner critic
Try speaking to yourself like you would one of your friends, you wouldn’t tell your friend they’re a bad person for eating a bar of chocolate or if they didn't exercise, so don’t tell yourself you are.
Don’t hide behind a mask
You don’t always have to be happy, smiley and skipping through the woods singing to animals – that’s not real life. So embrace your emotions but don’t let them control your life. Instead, be kinder, gentler and generally more forgiving of yourself – you’ll thank yourself in the long run.
Make space for your emotions
Even if they don’t make sense a lot of the time, feel them and accept them. Try not to censure them or be embarrassed by them; no matter how “extreme” or “unreasonable” they are to others, they don’t make you weak they make you strong.
Most importantly, be yourself
If you love experimenting with different eyeshadow colours but don’t think you could pull off a yellow, rock it anyway. If you want to wear a blue lipstick but don’t feel confident enough, wear it anyway. If you want to dip your face in highlighter but think it’ll be a bit over the top, dip away. If it’s a hot day and you haven’t shaved your legs, put on a skirt anyway. If you want to wear purple, blue and orange mascara all at once but fear people won’t get it, go bolder. If you’re going grey and think you should cover it up because you’ve been told you should, rock it anyway.
You’ll only regret the things you didn’t do, even if it’s something as trivial as make-up.
You’re not going to suddenly wake up one day and love yourself. It takes time and that’s okay. So whether you’re 15 or 50, you deserve happiness and that starts from within.