You're Beautiful, Just How You Are
Want to know something crazy, but insanely true? I used to cringe being in my own skin. Call it low self esteem, or whatever you will. I could have sworn there was something about me that always just felt a little off. In addition to my glasses, wide nose, and flat chest – which I was frequently reminded of – I just thought I was weird. Maybe my limbs were too long or the way I moved wasn't cool. Maybe my belly poked out a little too much or I had too many freckles. I didn't really know exactly what I didn't like about myself. Perhaps I didn't like anything at all.
Then I grew up, and I realized that beauty was something that came from the inside, out.
I began to realize that the more I felt beautiful, the more beautiful (I thought) I looked. The more confident I became in who I was, the more other people seemed to accept me for just that. And yes, the more I told myself (and believed) that I was beautiful, the more the opposite sex seemed to be attracted to me too. There was definitely, without a shadow of a doubt, a direct correlation at play here.
After years of conditioning myself to accept myself for who I am, and building up my own self esteem, I can now say that there isn't a single day of my life where I feel ugly. I may make remarks like I look terrible, but I never actually feel that rising panic and discomfort associated with low self esteem. I hardly even put on makeup anymore.
Here are ways you can pump up your own self esteem and start feeling more beautiful, right now.
Make a "what I love about myself" list
Seriously, do this. Get out a piece of paper and start writing a list. You can include any little thing, and it doesn't only have to be physical aspects about yourself. If you get stumped, you can always add this little self esteem booster: I love that I am making this list right now.
Look in the mirror and say to yourself 'you're beautiful'
At first it may seem silly. But after a bit of repetition, you'll start to feel the words sinking in and you'll start to live and breathe them every day. Feeling beautiful is so much better than looking beautiful, but you've got to start with telling yourself. Getting compliments from others will mean very little unless you agree, because let's face it, you're your biggest critic and your biggest friend.
Take a lot of selfies (seriously)
A lot of women (and men) I know absolutely hate being photographed. It's as if all of their low self esteem is set aside specifically for being in photos, which really sucks because we live in a digital world where everyone has a camera in their pocket. I'm convinced that photography-induced low self esteem lingers elsewhere, so get to working on the problem: work your angles by taking a million selfies, and you'll feel a lot more comfortable in front of someone else's camera.
Consider hiring a professional photographer
I remember some of my first photo shoots I ever did, and I honestly believe they had a lot to do with some of my earliest self-esteem work. Most photographers are really good at what they do, and they'll work lighting and angles to capture your beauty in a way you've never seen before. The entire process of modelling for a photographer can be very cathartic and liberating, specifically if you've never done it before.
Work on self-development as a whole
The more projects you tackle and the more you learn about a particular field you're interested in, the better you'll feel as a whole. Working on self-improvement should be something you do every day, and sometimes it's as easy as practicing daily happiness rituals, which you can read more about here.
If you're reading this thinking, "yeah, easy for you to say," I implore you to remember one thing: once upon a time, a very long time ago, I felt like the un-prettiest person in the world.
Beauty really is skin deep.
What I'm wearing: Jewelry: OhKuol
Photography by Allyfotografy