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Lessons in Self-Love

Hey guys! This past week has been so crazy, but fun. I booked a photo shoot, caught up with some friends and started my internship at a local radio station. Through it all, however, I’ve been jet lagged as ever from Australia! Last night, was the first time–since Australia– that I managed to get a workout in at the gym. hopefully tonight, I can get another workout in and shake myself free of this dreaded jet lag, haha!

Today’s post hits a little close to home and it’s something I’ve been itching to talk about for the longest time. So I thought I would just open up with some stats (courtesy of http://cultureandyouth.org/body-image/statistics-body-image/body-image-stats/):

  • 20% of teens are either “rarely” or “never” happy with their body image
  • 52% feel that the media pressures them to change their body image
  • 73% of teens feel their appearance affects their body image

Bear in mind though, these aren’t the only stats I found and a lack thereof in self-love, isn’t just limited to teenagers, but also adults. It’s not just women who struggle, but men as well.

But I’m not going to spend this post, spewing statistics at you hoping that you’d understand the importance of how much of an issue body image, self-esteem, and self- confidence is. The bottom line is: It is still a problem. 

As far as I’m concerned, I hope that this post sheds a light on some prevalent issues of today and if you have something to add, feel free to mention it in the comments!

So remember when I said, that this issue isn’t limited to teenagers? A lot of times it starts in adolescence, but no one really talks about it following people into their adulthood, unless something serious, like an eating disorder, happens. Not saying that an eating disorder happens when you view yourself in a negative light, but a lot of things added to the mix can definitely take a toll on your mental health and perception of how things really are. It could go so far as seeing yourself inferior in not just a group of people, but when you’re alone too (more on that here)

Throughout most of my adolescence, I’ve gotten to so many low points where I felt that I was not worthy of a lot of things. Most of that stemmed from my low-self esteem.

This would follow a series of things that filled me up with doubt, surrounding myself with people who didn’t really value me. At one point, my self-confidence was a matter of  saying I was confident, but not believing it. Having that key component of believing in myself and in my endeavors further guided me and took me out of that comfort zone.

However, when I didn’t believe in myself, that became a different story. Whenever I didn’t believe in myself, I realize now that, I unknowingly refused to learn about myself and enjoy the process of being human. Like, if I didn’t believe in my abilities to do well on an assignment or whatever, then that would show through in my work.

The power of the mind is an amazing thing that should never be underestimated. When I talk about the fun adventures I have had, people often say “Wow, I could never do that!”, to which I reply with “not with that attitude” because if you think about it, no one is stopping you from doing the things you love, except for yourself. So unlearn those negative thoughts and begin to put yourself first!

It took me a while to unlearn a lot of self-deprecating habits. For example, to believe and actually love who I am, took me most of my adolescence to overcome. As an adolescent, I never thought that it was possible fully love yourself, just the way you are, and I thought that self-love was complete and utter bullshit. I thought “I love myself” was something people said on a good day, but never actually believed it on just any other day. Part of the reason why I thought self-love was bullshit, was also because I barely had any within myself to realize that I needed to be around different people. 

As a teen, I often put myself in groups where I seriously never fit in. It had nothing to do with size or skin tone, but it had everything to do with values and what I believed in. Granted, in life, we’re going to be around people who don’t really believe in certain viewpoints and that’s fine, but what is important is that the other people acknowledge those views and respect them as well (more on that here) .

Moreover, when I surrounded myself around the right people, I began to see how much happier I was, how much of a better person I could be and how I could achieve more with the right people by my side.

 

I feel like self-love flourishes more when you choose who you want to be around. A lot of times, our inability to engage in self-love is through fault of our environments. The more you say in a negative environment, the less able you are to have that energy you need to improve yourself. Many times, I have had to learn the wrong way, but there’s no fault in that because through it all I have learned to be thankful that those experiences have happened to me and they’ve lead me to the right people in my life.

Another thing I learned in my self-love journey, was to have positive mantras along my mirror. Positive mantras are amazing to have because they help you get into the right mindset for tackling the day. Here are some of my favorites:

“Don’t let your MIND bully your BODY”

“Work out because you love your body, not because you hate it”

“I am STRONG. I am BEAUTIFUL. I am ENOUGH.”

(source: greatist)

Too often, we wake up in the morning and we see ourselves in the mirror like:

and we don’t even give ourselves a chance to think about how good of a day we’ll have or anything! Then we mope along into the bathroom, take a shower, and get ready for our days.

Instead of doing that, try waking up more like

Think about how you will absolutely KILL IT, today and everyday! Stop being afraid of the day and just embrace whatever it brings.

Basically what I’m trying to say is, it is possible to love yourself and self-love goes such a long way. By focusing in on your own self-love journey, you can find the people, places and experiences to push you to become a better person. Always go down the path where you can grow and learn a lot about yourself in the process. The more you focus on your path of self-love, the more you attract people on a similar path. Love the skin you’re in and make it a goal to learn something new about yourself everyday.

Sending Love and Light your way,

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