I’ve seen a lot of blog posts about self love, confidence, wellness, meditation, mindfulness… basically anything you can think of to self improve in some way or another.
I decided to shove it all into one place, not just for anyone who reads this but also for myself – if I forget how to do any of the things mentioned in this blog post then I have no excuse to keep coming back to my own blog and rereading it – that’s how it works, right?
I’ll be crediting any website or blogs that I get information from, some of it will be from sources and some of it is my personal experience and tips that I have used forever; I’m sure those tips did come from somewhere on the internet but I’ve been interested in this stuff for so long that I’ve forgotten where they’re from!
This post is going to be really long, so I’m going to split it up into sections. There will be self love, self confidence, and wellness. You don’t have to read each section, just scroll to which sections you’d like to read and then you should probably get back to work, or cooking dinner, or looking after your kids. Whatever you were doing.
Let’s get started.
I feel like this subject is minorly touchy, since in the end, other people can’t really teach you to love yourself. People can give you tools, ideas, ways to be able to open yourself to it – but they can’t possibly retrain your brain on your behalf. Loving yourself is an ongoing project, there isn’t a day when you wake up and end up loving yourself and who you are forever and ever. Even people who absolutely adore themselves and are confident (seemingly) everyday, have days where they just feel ugly or fat or disgusting.
You’ll sometimes hear people saying that it’s selfish or arrogant to love yourself, but that simply isn’t true. The act of loving who you are opens you up to so many more opportunities in life. You won’t have to feel like you need to hide your face if you have a few spots or blemishes, you won’t need to wear what society deems fit to your body shape (Although, there are also a lot of tips on how to do that the correct way nowadays!), and most importantly you’ll radiate the self love onto other people. What better gift is there than that?
Loving yourself is hard. There isn’t any denying that, and I think every magazine or blog post or article you see on ‘How to love yourself’ or ‘how to be happier with yourself’ will tell you that it isn’t a walk in the park. I’ve been on a journey to love myself for at least 4-5 years now, and even though I’m relatively happy with what I look like on most days – I still have plenty of days where I don’t even want to go out of the house because of how ugly or gross I feel.
So, how did I do it? I got bullied ruthlessly in school about my appearance – meaning that for the rest of my life my self love was eternally affected. I left school nearly 5 years ago, meaning that as soon as I left the toxic environment, I started to try and improve myself. Like I said, it’s only NOW that I’m starting to notice the full effect of my hard work.
Affirmations – Affirmations are the best thing in the world. There are HUNDREDS of books, blog posts, websites, therapists and spiritualists who can give you lists and lists of positive affirmations. These are where you basically override your own brain to teach yourself a new way of thinking through repetition. Every morning, I would wake up and even if I was in the worst of moods I would tell myself that I’m beautiful and radiant. There are different things that you can say, if you don’t want to solely focus on your appearance, but for me I needed to focus on making myself feel pretty on the outside.
One of the best self love workbooks that I’ve used is from blessingmanifesting.com, as her workbooks are so simple but they work so well if you’re only just starting out at self love progress or if you’re far into your journey. I genuinely love the design of these and the way they’re so simple to use. Get yours HERE!
I read a really nice thing on mindbodygreen.com about just asking yourself WHY you believe the things you do. For me, this really helped to realise that the only reason I actually thought I was ‘ugly’ was because people had told me I was. I’d been told it so many times that I had given up and just believed them, but for what reason? Surely, that’s letting them ‘win’? I’m quite a competitive person, even within myself, so this really helped to spur me on further.
Another thing that really helped me was realising how much my self doubt was holding me back. I wasn’t doing things in life just because I thought I was ugly, or people would laugh at me, or people would think what I was doing was stupid or embarrassing. I was missing out on vital parts of life experience because I was terrified of what others thought of me. Personally, I think that’s a real shame. Self doubt is just an emotion, it’s just a feeling, and if you have the ability to overcome it through sheer willpower then why not?
In the end, nobody is going to ever give you enough reassurance. There isn’t one human, or one group of humans, or the entire world who can give you enough of the ‘You ARE pretty!’ comments to fill your insides. I started getting called pretty more and more the longer my self love journey went on – and it wasn’t because my appearance changed. It was because I radiated it and people could feel that. People felt that even if they insulted me I didn’t give a damn, because I knew I loved myself. That’s the most important thing.
Even though self confidence and self love are intertwined in many ways, I’m using them as different subjects in the post because loving yourself very much comes from within, and confidence is having the ability to do things on the outside of yourself. You can love yourself 100%, you can wake up everyday and think you’re absolutely beautiful and amazing (as unrealistic as that is), but you will still be terrified to go outside. Terrified to go to that shop that you once embarrassed yourself in, 3 years ago.
For me, I still can’t go into the town that my old school is in, since that’s where I was bullied. I’m getting better at it, and I can go there if I absolutely have to, but it’s difficult. I’m proud of myself for even getting that far in this timescale, as I know that some people suffer for much longer and it must be so much harder for them.
When people think about self love they mostly think about loving your appearance. They think that loving your appearance automatically opens up a whole new world where you can suddenly do anything you want. It just isn’t true, sadly. I can be having the best day of my life and I love how I look and what I’m wearing, and then when I go into town and see all of the other amazing people on earth, I suddenly feel really small.
“I am powerful even when my voice trembles.”
The ways that I’m overcoming this problem are still ongoing which means it’s easier for me to share them accurately with you and we can learn together. At the moment, my favourite way to feel confident is to compare myself to people in a different way. Everyone compares themselves to other people in such a negative way – “I’m not as pretty as that girl” or “He has better hair than me”, etc. Whereas now, when I catch myself doing that, I’ll turn it around. I’ll say “That girl is so pretty, and so am I. We’re doing great!” or “He is so successful, and I can be too, if I work as hard as he did!”. This has helped me immensely because again, you’re retraining your brain to be positive even after it’s tried to be negative.
I read this blog post from success.com about confidence, and I found one of their tips extremely helpful – to raise your curiosity levels. They explain it better than I can on their post, however I used it to my advantage by asking myself more questions. In a situation where I thought I couldn’t do something, I would just think “Well what could happen if I did do this?” and it would make me think about it before I said no or flat out refused to let myself try.
This last tip people are probably going to roll their eyes at and think I’m just regurgitating some random Tumblr quote – but I promise it worked for me. At this point in my life, I’ve taught myself to just not care. I know that sounds stupid, and you’re sat there thinking “Wow Chaz good for you, that doesn’t help me one bit.” but I promise that you can do it too. It’ll take a lot of time, probably, like it did for me; but you can get to that point of just not caring about things that used to worry you or hold you back.
The most amazing thing that I took into account was how meaningless we are. That sounds really pessimistic, but think about it more deeply. In the grand scheme of things, we’re on a tiny floating ball in the middle of absolute nothingness. People use that as a negative thing to reinforce the way they’re already thinking – but I turned around to use it for my benefit. If nothing matters on a grander scale, then I don’t think me going to the shops and seeing someone from school whilst not wearing makeup is going to make the world end. It’s not going to change anything in my life, and if they end up laughing at me or being mean about me, what is it going to change for me? Nothing. They’re going to walk away more negative than before, full of their own issues, and I’m going to walk away feeling empowered by the fact I simply did not care.
The definition of wellness according to google is this: “the state of being in good health, especially as an actively pursued goal.”
This includes mental wellness, physical wellness, spiritual wellness, all of the wellness! Wellness has become an increasingly popular subject in my generation and I think that’s great. People are finally realising how important it is to not only love yourself, or be confident, but also to be healthy and happy. Loving yourself and being confident both contribute towards mental wellness as they are positive steps towards looking after your mental wellbeing – but what are other ways we can do this?
I won’t go too much into the physical health side of wellness as – don’t tell anyone this but – I’m SUPER unhealthy. I eat so much refined sugar, I’m going to turn into a sugar cube by age 30. I don’t exercise because I’m lazy, and I don’t drink enough water. However, at least I’m honest about it, right?!
For me, the three main things that have helped my mental wellness have been these: Organisation, laughing, and letting go. We’ll start at the beginning with organisation. I’m a naturally organised person when it comes to listing things, organising events, holding more than one thing in my brain at a time, having diaries, etc. This makes it a lot easier for me to use this to my advantage, but it doesn’t mean that if you’re not a naturally organised person, you can’t do it too.
You don’t have to make it complicated – you can do anything that you’re into. If you’re into art, try bullet journalling or art journaling. One of the best ones for this is Rose Minded Journals for mental health – I even got you a discount code for her mental health journals. Use charlotte15 at checkout for some money off of a new ebook journal! Or, if you want to learn from scratch – use this journalling information tutorial from blessingmanifesting.com (can you see who I really like to use?) HERE.
If you’re into lists, try the millions of different listing books and listing journals that are available (or make your own!). If you’re into making things neat, you can use a diary that includes mood trackers and things like that. There’s so many ways to implement it into your life, and by doing that, you’re effectively organising your brain at the same time.
Laughing has been a big thing for me to accomplish. I never used to laugh because I was scared about people’s opinions on my teeth and my jaw. Thankfully neither of those things are as bad as they were, and they’re still not perfect, but that’s fine. I managed to use my tips from the self love and self confidence sections enough to be able to laugh freely without worrying what I looked like. Laughter really is an amazing medicine, even when what you’re laughing at isn’t that funny to other people or when it’s not even that funny to you. Just laugh. You’ll be impressed by the difference it can have on your brain.
Lastly, letting go. This is slightly tapping into my spiritual side, but I relied heavily on that to help me let go of certain things. I haven’t let go of some things in my life, as they take more time to be able to allow myself to let go. However, I’ve made a lot of progress, and let me tell you that letting go of the little problems in your past has a monumental effect on your mental wellness in the present day. You can do this in many ways, but you have to be fully willing to just breathe, and let go. There isn’t going to be a way to do this if you don’t accept that in the end, that’s all it is. I use every single tip from the tinybuddha website to help me with this, so I won’t go into each one, but definitely check their website out if you’re interested in learning more!
I hope that these things that have helped me greatly and continue to help me in present day can help you too. Like I’ve said throughout this post, it really is just time, age, and a lot of hard work. Different parts of your life are going to be easier than others, so when you’re having an easy part of life, remember to keep going with everything I’ve mentioned – otherwise when you are having a bad day, you won’t be able to carry on with what you’ve learnt.
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