Being yourself, when world falls apart
I read a lot of interviews and quotes by famous people. They are often asked about the one life advice they would give. How to be successful and how to have a better quality of life. Quite a few answers to that question the exact same way:
What does it mean to be yourself? How can you be yourself? I've struggled a lot at accepting myself. I've had to learn things the hard way and that has caused a lot of emotional anxiety, depression and yet also discrimination from others who didn't want to support me on my path. But that's why it is my path, not theirs to walk. I feel that I am still far away from my goals and only beginning to learn more about self-confidence.
However, I wanted to list the top 5 things that have helped me value my own self and accept myself
- 1. See the beauty in others and you will see it in yourself
Everyday you see your reflection on the mirror. Loving your own reflection is a good way to begin self appreciation.
My own self-confidence has been really bad when I was younger. I was never enough or as much as others were. Until I begun to love my own body the way it is. We all have our own unique features we shouldn't be comparing to others. I started to see that uniqueness in others and actually adore it. There is something beautiful in each one of us. Were it on the outside or in the inside or both. When I started giving compliments to others, I started to feel more beautiful myself.
I've been told that I am ugly more than once, but I understand. I used to think I was ugly too when I thought other people being ugly. When I started to think the opposite, this type of comments didn't bother me no longer. When I decided that I am OK with my own body and what I am, I started to understand others better too.
- 2. Decide what you want within your strengths and weaknesses
It is important to reflect your own life by setting goals. Goals, further away or in the near future. Through your goals you learn to more about your own strengths and weaknesses. When you can recognize them you can level up your skills. Your own goals also help you to know more about your own interests and about your personality.
Try to create a mind-map about the things that make your curious, about your better traits and your not-so-good traits (but then think, are those traits something that you can turn around to work in your favor!). Next, set your goals. What do you want? This week or in 5 years. Just play with the mind map and see how it helps you with the whole picture of your own future and how to achieve what you want to achieve.
But most importantly. When you recognize your strengths and weaknesses; you can learn to accept them. Love your weaknesses and aspire to be even better through your strengths. Be truly what you are.
- 3. Don't please others. Choose your own values
You have your own opinions and even those opinions that others disagree with. Your own values might be completely different than the person next to you has but the point isn't in getting along with everyone. If a person or a thing doesn't seem to fit in your life or it gives you negative feelings... let it go. Don't try to keep it in your life if it hurts you.
When I can't achieve something in my life immediately or when a person doesn't want to get to know me... It only leaves more room for those opportunities and people who are supposed to be in your life. "When one door closes, another one opens."
- 4. Collect experiences
I believe that through different experiences you will learn more about yourself. Travel somewhere, new city locally or on the other side of the world. Try new activities or hobbies. Don't be afraid to get to know new people. (The worst that could happen is that you will never ever hear about this person again, or you end up being friends). Even the tiniest new moments and experiences will shape who you are.
- 5. Smile
By smiling you send your brain a important message. You activate happiness and little by little it becomes more naturally. I used to hate my own smile since I can remember. To be honest, not until this year 2015 I have started to like my own smile. Especially it was hard to smile in pictures. At some point though I just decided that whatever... and begin smiling. Slowly I learnt to accept my own smile and now I think it is one of my best features.
If only at 23 years old I have learned to accept my smile I am sure there is still so much more to learn. One way to learn about your own self is to practice positivity by gratitude. I try to write down three things that I am grateful for at the end of the day at least few times a week. Hopefully it becomes a daily habit soon.
Enjoying the moment and those tiny daily things that put a smile on your face is easier said than done. But at least start doing it. It doesn't matter how slow the progress as long as there is progress.