By Lauren Salamone, CollegeGuidanceGuru.com
Do you love yourself? I know that may sound like a crazy question, but think about it for a moment…
I’m a mentor to college girls, and lately we’ve been spending quite a bit of time on this question. It’s become clear to me that the more students can answer that question with a resounding “Yes!” the happier and more successful they become. I’ve realized, too, that the sooner girls understand and embrace the concept of self-love, the better!
I’m not talking about conceited, in-love-with-yourself love. I’m referring to a component of inner-strength that puts a spring in your step. And joy in your heart. It entails being kind and patient with yourself.
If you’re like most females, you’re most likely pretty hard on yourself. Where there are many compartments to your life – all of which demand your time, attention, and energy – that voice in your head can start questioning: “Am I good enough?” “Can I do this?” “How do I look?” “How am I doing?” “Who am I letting down?” “Why did I say that?” etc. And often this questioning includes the comparison game. It’s so tempting to compare yourself to the people around you, to the (airbrushed) models in magazines, to celebrities. “Oh if only I could be more like _____________, then I’d be truly happy.” In fact, sometimes it’s tempting just to take the easiest path necessary and stay in survival mode rather than have to deal with those discouraging thoughts.
But if you take a few minutes (every day if possible) to treat yourself with love and kindness, you’ll start to notice those negative messages and comparisons begin to dissipate. And you’ll realize you’ve got more control over your own success and happiness than you may have thought possible. You’ll also get to that magical place where you take a good look inside yourself and actually love what you see!
This exciting transformation doesn’t happen overnight, but it’s worth the effort because it’s a life-changing accomplishment. And the sooner you get started, the sooner you’ll be able to answer the question “Do you love yourself” with an emphatic “Yes!” To get yourself on the path to self-love, you can start with three simple steps. Try to remind yourself of these steps every day.
- Be Forgiving – Have you made some mistakes? Are there things you wish you’d done differently? Wish you hadn’t said? Join the club. And you know what? There will be plenty more to come. That’s what living is all about. Don’t expect to be perfect. Do learn from your mishaps. You don’t expect others to be perfect; why in the world should you expect it of yourself? The more you get used to forgiving yourself, the more comfortable you’ll be with yourself…and with others!
- Recognize your Beauty – You are a gift to the world. There is no one else exactly like you. And the world is eager to see you shine in all your glory. So, get to know what makes you uniquely you…and celebrate it! And on your journey of self-discovery, get into this habit: every time you look in the mirror, tell yourself, “You’re beautiful.” (And mean it.) Rather than looking for “what’s wrong,” see the amazing young woman in that reflection. Be sure to do this especially when you’re not looking your best. Zit on your face? Hair a mess? Say it! “You’re beautiful!”
- Live by this motto – “You underestimate yourself.” We females are so good at this! We underestimate ourselves all the time. And it tends to be when we’re closer than ever to achieving something we want. So just be aware of this fact and get used to telling yourself – whenever you’re questioning your ability – “You underestimate yourself!” See what a difference it makes!
Just these three simple steps will land you on the path to really and truly loving yourself. You so deserve this high-level treatment. You really do. And when you honor the beautiful person you are in this way, that’s when you can truly believe in yourself and get to that incredible place where – no matter what happens around you – you still feel in control, and you know you’re living your life on purpose. Self-love is the key to a happier, more confident…YOU!