The topic of loving yourself is not a popular one, but incredibly important. My life started when I was able to accept who I am and enabled myself to love the person in the mirror. I would love to share that with you, to help you open doors - and make you a happier and more radiant version of yourself.
How to learn to love yourself:
There is no one thing I could tell you that would make you fall in love with yourself - but I have used the following to help ground myself, and appreciate who I am.
Be grateful for who you are, and what you have
We all have something we can be grateful for, even if it's seemingly small.
The thing is - I don't think our generation is grateful enough for everything that we have, and the privilege we experience everyday.
Things that I'm grateful for:
My friends and family
My character and work ethic
I am sure you would be able to come up with a short list like this, so go on - in your head now: what are you grateful for?
You are extremely loved and cared for, you are special and unique - you are so gifted. So, what is there not to love?
Explore your passions
Everyone has a passion in life, even if you may not have found it yet. Hobbies are a great window into who you are, and what your 'why' may be. Explore your hobbies and passions in life, and then notice the beauty in what you do.
The simple fact that you are passionate about something makes you human.
If you're passionate about teaching the next generation of scientists to discover the next big thing in science, or making people feel joyful when watching you dance, perhaps it's just seeing a smile on someone's face when you help them out.
You are an incredibly important person, and your passion will drive you through life. Love that about yourself, love that you care, love that you're more than just another Karen.
Take a very very long look in the mirror
I know this may sound crazy - and it doesn't necessarily help that I'm confessing to this, but I love staring in the mirror. It's a way of getting comfortable with yourself. What do you see?
Realise that you are beautiful - even with all those imperfections.
I know that social media beats us down every single day to try to be the 'perfect' representation of a human - but we're not all Kendall Jenner.
I know it's hard accepting exactly what you see, you'll always want to do a little tweak here and there - but you were born as a unique and beautiful individual.
Don't try to be the next Kardashian, be the next you.
Why you should learn to love yourself:
It's so easy to point out all the things you don't have - or wish you looked a certain way, but you have so much going for you.
This is what I have experienced after accepting myself:
I am more open to opportunities and taking risks
Recently, I have been faced with so many opportunities. I'm not sure I would have taken them if I still had such a low self-esteem about myself. Some of these opportunities included being in an advert, helping a business grow, and writing about trans issues for my University.
Overall, I have become more open to everything in life, I've realised that there is no dream to big when you're prepared to put the work behind it.
I wake up excited
When was the last time you woke up excited for the day ahead? Probably when you were going on holiday, or when you had something exciting planned.
After learning to love myself, I realised that every day is a blessing - and I cannot take it for granted. You are a blessing to other people, so go spread positivity everywhere you go. Today you could inspire someone to pursue their dreams, how exciting is that?
I am confident
Confidence is a rather new concept in my life, but one which I have been building on for a while.
The thing is, you're not born confident - you just learn that everyone is just as scared and nervously crippled as you, so you learn to throw your hands in the air and say f it.
But if you really learn to love yourself, your confidence will come naturally. It may not be the confidence to speak in front of a thousand people - but you will be more quietly confident and happier to go into uncertain situations.
I trust myself
I know, it's a weird concept.
Since learning to love myself, I have realised that I am not in control of what happens in my life to the extent that I would like - however, I am in control of how I respond. I trust that I will make the right decisions, because I know what's best for me and my future.
I trust that I can take care of myself, because I love myself.
I've stopped comparing myself to others
... for the most part.
It's human nature to compare yourself to your peers, but once you love yourself, and realise that your journey is unique and independent of everyone else's - you stop comparing yourself to what other people are doing.
I know a lot of people are scared of big questions, but what is really important?
For me, it's to be happy in this moment right here and now.
Loving myself helped me realise that my dissatisfaction with my appearance and materialistic goods was destructive. Will you ever be satisfied with what you have? No. So, be happy with what you have here and now, unless you can do something about it. (But never settle for anything less than your worth).
All of the points listed above make me happy, and I am so grateful to have such a blessed life.
I wanted to share this blog post with you, because loving myself has truly changed my life.
From a little boy sat in the front of the class, to an independent teenager chasing her dreams.
You can achieve anything, if you work for it.