Some things in life are beyond our control, but feeling happy with ourselves is not one of them.
Yet, despite endless opportunities, many people are deeply unhappy and most experience dissatisfaction in one or more areas of their life.
Perfection is a trap
As women, we tend to be super critical of ourselves.
Elizabeth Gilbert touches on this in her book Big Magic. She says: “Too many women still seem to believe that they are not allowed to put themselves forward at all, until both they and their work are perfect and beyond criticism.”
She goes on to say “Meanwhile, putting forth work that is far from perfect rarely stops men […] their absurd overconfidence, the way they will casually decide, “Well, I’m 41 percent qualified for this task, so give me the job!“”
Ladies, it’s time for you to stop trying to meet ridiculous and unachievable standards of perfection.
It’s a trap that holds you back and keeps you from achieving your dreams and feeling happy and fulfilled.
You must start to feel happy with yourself, as you are, right now.
Your dress size, length/texture of hair, skin complexion, relationship status and job title are not measures of your “worthiness”.
You are worthy, right now, at this moment, as you are.
It’s time to feel happy with yourself.
But how can you feel happy with yourself in a society that continuously highlights everything it thinks is wrong with you?
Here are 4 simple tips to get you started:
1. Do you
Stop trying to meet the expectations of others.
This includes your partner, parents, siblings, friends and anyone else who expects you to be anyone other than you.
Of course, this is easier said than done. Especially if those around you are accustomed to you meeting their expectations.
Prioritise time for you to explore and pursue things that you enjoy and have an interest in.
Make time for what matters to you.
2. Accept yourself
The media bombards us with messages of how to be perfect.
Just nip, tuck and suck a bit here and there and you’ll meet society’s ideals for perfection.
So of course, you buy the lotions, potions and pills and follow the latest trend.
You even get the results.
But then, the brands sell you a new vision of perfection and the cycle never ends.
You never feel good enough.
Take a good hard look in the mirror, naked. Have you ever tried it?
You know really look. See yourself. Every curve, roll, stretchmark, scar and mole.
Accept that this is you right here, right now and there is absolutely nothing wrong with you.
At first, it might be challenging, but over time, it can help you to start accepting yourself as you are.
Grab your journal and write down everything you love about your body and why.
Do the same with the parts you don’t love as much.
Finally, explore the reasons why you feel the way you do about every part of your body.
Are your thoughts your own or are they based on what you’ve been taught by society or loved ones?
Doing this regularly over time can bring you closer to self-acceptance.
3. Emotionally detox
This is vital.
Too often we underestimate the effect of other people’s negative energy on our own happiness.
Do you have people in your life who criticise you, your dreams and your goals?
Is there someone in your life who never expresses joy for your personal achievements?
Or do you have someone in your life who only talks about everything that is wrong in life?
These people affect you.
They drain you of your energy and zest for life and often make you feel bad about yourself and your life.
It’s not always easy to remove these people from your life completely but, you need to become more aware of the impact their energy, words and attitude have on you.
If it’s not positive, maybe you need to reduce your interaction with them.
Additionally, you need to look at the toxic emotions you are carrying around within you.
Are you carrying anger or resentment towards someone or a situation?
Do you have any unresolved conflicts that regularly play on your mind?
Are you feeling stressed, overwhelmed, fearful or worried?
All of these unresolved emotions have a powerful effect on your ability to feel happy with yourself.
It’s easy to think that if you ignore these emotions, they are not a problem. But, negative emotions left unacknowledged can have a detrimental effect on not only your happiness but also your overall health and wellbeing.
4. Laugh daily
There is a reason why the saying goes “Laughter is the best medicine”.
Because it’s true.
How do you feel after a good belly laugh, where you get a stitch and every muscle in your face aches?
This is what we should strive for every day.
Surround yourself with joyful people and spend lots of time with them.
Find podcasts, TV shows, films or Youtube channels that make you laugh out loud.
Make it a priority to belly laugh daily.
Remember, you matter and you’re important.
Stop trying to be all things to everyone.
Stop aiming for perfection, feel happy with yourself here and now and enjoy life to the fullest.
Journal prompt: What can I do to feel happy with myself each day?
Affirmation: I have everything I need to be happy right now.
Photo Credit: Eye for Ebony