To me, 2014 was the year of Instagram and photoshop scandals. Fashion bloggers on IG slimmed themselves down, super stores like Target got into scandals of giving their swim suit model too big of a thigh gap, and even Queen Bey got caught more than once for her IG posts. But now that 2014 is finally over, it's time to turn over a new leaf.
For everyone who uses social media, and for me as well.
2014 was the year I started to really love myself.
I didn't really know what loving myself means until recently.
I was talking to my sister in the car as I was driving home and she told me that she thinks the phrase "love yourself" sounds very narcissistic and that was why she doesn't want to really "love herself".
I had so many things to say to that but I didn't want to argue with her while I was driving (also because she's so stubborn there is never really any point in arguing with her).
But inside my head, I was thinking the following things:
If you don't love yourself, then how can you love others? If you don't love yourself, then how can others love you? If you don't love yourself, then how can you stop second guessing yourself?
Maybe the term "love yourself" sounds narcissistic, but when you really think about it, is the idea really narcissistic?
I know that my Real Talks reference my relationships a lot, but I feel like my relationships really show me so much about myself. In this case, it showed me that I never loved myself. I was always doubting myself. I was doubting my intelligence, my beauty, my social skills. Almost everything I could doubt about, I doubted. And because of that, it was so easy for others to take advantage of me, to hurt me emotionally. I was giving all the people who wanted to hurt me the power to hurt me, and all because I didn't love and cherish myself.
But 2014, I learned to embrace the fact that I am beautiful (in my own way, without trying to sound narcissistic), I am intelligent, and I am a confidant woman who doesn't need anyone in my life to validate all those things. I don't need a man to remind me that I am beautiful. And I don't need a teacher to tell me that I'm clever.
And you don't either. No one needs anyone to validate their own existence.
It is a common misconception that we need the approval of those we love, the approval of society, and the approval of the government to be who we are. But we don't. We just need to live our lives the way we want to, follow the morals we stand by, and try not to break any rules.
2015 will be a great year. I don't ever make New Year Resolutions because I think they are a waste of time, and it's also an excuse for people to get motivation but then lose it in the end. But this year, I'm going to semi break that pact. 2015 is the year where I will learn to love myself even more, to accept who I am as a person, and as a woman.
Here is a few things you can do to love yourself:
1. Every morning, look at yourself in the mirror, and tell yourself this: "I'm beautiful. I'm confident. I can do this." Of course, you don't have to say it out loud, but say it in your mind.
2. Learn to appreciate the small things. Put down your cell phone and stop taking pictures. Learn to appreciate the color of the sky, the shape of the clouds, the sound of animals chirping (or the silence), and everything else around you. Of course, I'm not saying to not take pictures completely, but to just stop for a minute to actually appreciate the thing you are taking a picture of.
3. Count your blessings. Not everyone is as lucky as you and I to have what we have. I remind myself that I am a very lucky girl and to take advantage of everything that comes along my way. To live my life to the fullest, so I will never have to regret anything.
4. Ignore the haters and any sort of negative energy. Whenever my mother says things about me, like how I'm gaining too much weight, or how I am not good at grammar or math, I just ignore her. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. I don't strive for perfection, and neither should you. Perfection is a warped sense of what every person should try to achieve. But no. Do not strive for perfection. It will break you (trust me, I'm watching it happen to my younger sister).
5. Surround yourself with people who make you happy, who make you smile, and who tell you how amazing you are. I am fortunate enough to have an amazing boyfriend who literally compliments me every opportunity he gets, and amazing friends who, whenever I doubt myself, tell me how beautiful and clever I am. Trust me, when you surround yourself with positive people, you become inherently positive as well.
6. Accept that it's okay to doubt yourself some times. If I tell you stop doubting yourself completely, we both know that that will never happen. Self doubt is part of who we are, and it's also a mechanism for us to strive to be better. There's nothing wrong with self doubt until it becomes constant and you never stop doubting yourself. Then it becomes extremely dangerous. But accept that part of yourself as well.
Those 6 items are just a few things I have done to learn to love myself. I'm sure there will be more as this year goes by, but for now, that is enough to get you to start loving yourself.
2015's goal is to love yourself. To stop being someone you're not, whether in person, or on social media.