Sometimes there are days where you want to hang towels over all mirrors and glossy surfaces and avoid any trigger that will make you think about yourself and your flaws. Learning how to like yourself can be a practice in patience but it's pretty high up there on the worthwhile scale. Everyone has their issues with their weaknesses: Some people feel annoyed they can't shake their shyness, while some feel embarrassed over how loud and excited they are. Some people wish dresses hung differently on them, while others wish they felt confidently enough to try a clothing item to begin with. We all have our small gripes, but sometimes those little annoying details snowball into something destructive.
No one deserves to look in the mirror and frown at the woman blinking back at her. You're supposed to be your biggest cheerleader — this is you and you're all you've got. While the road to self-love can be rough sometimes, the goal is to want to hug yourself hard at the end of it because you're so awesome. But how do you get there? Below are seven hacks for how to like yourself more. Follow them and you just might take down those towels from the mirrors. Get ready for happier days ahead!
1. For Every Negative, Add In A "But"
Body positivity is the name of the game, but sometimes you accidentally glance in the mirror when you're bent over, or you catch a quick peek of yourself when you're harried and stressed, and you can't bite back the groan. While you should always be kind to yourself, sometimes a mean thought sneaks through. During moments like those, accept you're annoyed, but then add a 'but' to the end of the sentence.
For example, "These dark circles are tragic today. But I do have beautiful eyes." Or, "Why did I eat a whole tray of muffins yesterday? Look at this stomach. But this butt is on fleek."
Negativity will snake through every once in awhile, but when it does, just remind yourself of how many beautiful sides you have along with it. According to Amy Spencer, blogger at The Life Optimist, "Tell yourself that out loud. 'Self, you are awesome and people like you.' Talk yourself out of your own nonsense." You're not just one part of yourself, and you're a gorgeous person, inside and out.
2. Turn Your "Flaws" Into Strengths
Life is all about perspective; your reality is what you make. If that holds true, then your flaws are only flaws because you decided they were. An easy fix? Turn them into strengths. Once you find that silver lining, you'll start focusing on that quality rather than its corresponding weakness. According to Dave Kerpen, blogger at LinkedIn, "Instead of trying to change your weaknesses, accept them. Don't try to fix them — it's too difficult. Instead, be sure to leverage your associated strengths." He then goes on to list some examples: If you're disorganized, you're creative. If you're stubborn, you're dedicated; boring, you're responsible; indecisive, you're patient. It's a whole new way of thinking.
3. Be Patient With Yourself
We're in constant growth; none of us stay static. Everyday you either move a little further up, or you trip up and slide a little bit back. But even on those days where we stumble a little — or even flat out land on our face — the nice thing is that there's always a tomorrow to start over. If you can't move past your negative qualities and accept them, then alright, that's what you decided. But now give yourself the time to work on them.
Have patience with yourself and give yourself the room to create a game plan on how to improve. According to Tess Marshall, courage couch and writer at Tiny Buddha, "Let go of urgency and fear. Relax and transform striving into thriving. Trust in yourself, do good work, and the Universe will reward you." If you're determined enough, you'll become the person you need to be. Give her some room to get there.
4. Do Something That Will Make You Proud
I have this planner-sized poster hanging over the harried stack of papers on my desk that reads one simple, go-get-em-tiger message: Don't stop until you're proud.
Don't finish off your day until you do one thing that makes you proud of yourself. Whether it's starting that photo album project you've been putting off for six years, opening a curious book, cleaning out your closet, planting basil, sending out a resume, opening the piano for the first time in months, or calling your grandmother; do one thing that day, every day, that will make you want to hug yourself with a "good job." According to Amy Spencer, author of The Happy Life Checklist , "In between the silly stuff, do something that will make you feel proud of yourself and accomplished. Sew on a button. Paint your bedroom. Plant some rosemary. Learn two chords on the guitar. Give yourself an easy reason to like yourself today." Don't stop until you're proud.
5. Imagine What Your Life Would Be Like If You Accepted Your Worth
Negative thinking is a habit and almost like an addiction. It seems like it's easier to point out what's wrong with us rather than to be proud with what's right. Being braggy always feels a little uncomfortable, right? And with that annoying habit, we build what our reality looks like. According to Calm Down Mind, "You have to be willing to let go of your 'defensiveness' and acknowledge that your negative thinking is the only reason for the negative reality you are living in. Stop coming up with excuses to defend your addiction to negative thinking."
Imagine how your life would be without that constant cloud of negativity. Say you're always angry over the fact that you have decided you could stand to lose a few pounds and haven't managed to do so. How does that inhibit you? Do you hate to go shopping? Do you always feel self-conscious when you go out with your group of girlfriends? Do you not like going on dates? Would you rather stay home and sit in the dark? Now imagine what your life would be like not if you were skinnier, but if you didn't have those negative thoughts.
You'd be excited to try on that dress, you'd curl your hair with relish on a Friday night, and you'd walk into a restaurant smug with the fact that your date will be knocked over with your wonderfulness. Your life would be completely different, and all it would take is for you not to change, but to let go of your put-downs.
6. Make Others Help You
Say you're tired of constantly groaning about your thighs, or you don't want to beat yourself up anymore over the fact you work slow or have a bossy attitude. You've made it to the first step: Deciding to let go. But the next step, actually letting go, can be a little tricky. But the nice thing is, you don't have to do it alone.
Make your friends and family hold you accountable. Ask your mom or your best friend to remind you you're not worrying about your pant size anymore every time you gripe how you look in a dress, or have a cubicle buddy remind you being bossy with an intern only means you have an instinct to be a leader and to teach. When other people are calling you out for reverting back to your negative ways, you'll stick to the script more.
7. Let Go Of Perfection
This is almost a cliche one, but seriously, that glossy, picture-perfect image you have of yourself is super destructive. Woman, no one can make that standard, no one! You'll be so much happier once you accept that you're being the best person you can be. And if you're not? Well, set the bar to be her, but not Version 2.0 of her. According to Daylle Deanna Schwartz, self-empowerment author, "When you love yourself, you try to be the best person you can be in the body that you have, and that's as much as you can do." That way you're striving to be yourself, rather than an unreachable, scarily perfect version of yourself.
Liking yourself is a process, but it's the most important thing you'll learn to do. Life is so much better when you love yourself. Promise.