We live in a day and age that places immense pressure on people to be ‘perfect’ and have everything in their lives together. Society and those around us often try to dictate to us who we should be, what we should look like, what kind of lifestyle we should live and so on. It’s no wonder many people experience identity crisis, depression and feel miserable when they fail to meet standards and expectations set and placed on them by others.
Every day, people from all walks of life confess to feeling inadequate and dissatisfied with their lives and themselves giving rise to the self-loathing epidemic that appears to, unfortunately, be perpetuated by social media. It turns out that self-loathing is a much more common issue than most of us would be willing to admit and doesn’t appear to hand-pick its victims as anyone can fall into its viscous trap regardless of age, gender, race, creed, social standing or even economic status.
The only way to ensure that we don’t fall victim to self-loathing and dissatisfaction with ourselves is through practicing self-love and embracing who we are. Although these appear to be simple solutions, they are rather difficult for many of us to master due to many years of conditioned thinking, limiting beliefs and social programming that has distorted our self-perception; however, I truly believe if we make a concerted effort to embrace the following suggestions, we can not only prevent ourselves from falling prey to self-loathing but can eventually learn how to love and embrace ourselves.
Making a choice to live life authentically and remain true to oneself in all situations and circumstances is one the best decisions we can ever make for ourselves as it prevents us from opening ourselves up to other people’s influence, seeking and defining our identity through them or requiring people and external factors to affirm and validate our worth .
Get to know yourself by developing a healthy relationship with yourself that allows you to discover your true essence and be proud of the person you truly are. Discover your own voice, define your own identity, and choose your own style and so on. There can and will only be one you, stay true to yourself.
Embrace your individuality
Dr. Seuss couldn’t have said it any better when he stated that we weren’t born to fit in but rather to stand out. It’s high time we all quit trying to fit into the cookie cutter mode and started celebrating our individuality. It’s okay to be different, it’s okay to do things differently, it’s okay to want different things, and most of all, it’s okay to think differently. If we spend our time trying to be like everyone else, who will be us?
If you want to color your hair orange, go ahead and do so and add some purple highlights while you’re at it. Don’t worry about offending your meat-loving friends because of your vegan lifestyle. Stand up for yourself and defend your opinion during the next office meeting. For crying out loud — be yourself and make no excuses while at it.
Dance to the beat of your own drum
Trust me, some rules were definitely made to be broken and beg to be broken. It’s about time some of us began making some rules of our own and living by them. Forgot about all those self-help books that tell you what to do or what not to do. Be open to doing what you know and believe is right for you even if it goes against the “experts’” advice.
Learn how to exercise your own judgment and discretion when it comes to your own life. You will never know what’s truly best for you or whether you’re even capable of making self-supporting decisions as long as you allow others to determine what’s best for you or how you should do things. Make your own rules for once!
Don’t dim your light
Make peace with the fact that you will encounter detractors and critics every time you try to make progress or do something significant in your life because your desire to better yourself often forces others to reflect on their lives, which is not something a lot of people feel comfortable doing.
No matter how much opposition you receive, don’t dim your light to accommodate others or make them feel better about themselves. Be proud of the strides you have made thus far in your life and continue striving to become a better version of yourself and do even bigger things. Let others around you learn how to raise up to your level, don’t lower yourself to theirs.
Be your own competition
There will always be someone smarter than you, more successful than you, more educated than you and so on; don’t allow that to become your focus or else you will find yourself paling in comparison to others plenty of times and end up thinking less of yourself. The only person you should ever bother competing against is yourself. Set high standards and expectations for yourself and meet them, set even higher standards and expectations for yourself after you have met them and measure your progress against your own accomplishments and not those of others.
You will experience more inner peace, happiness and contentment with yourself when you choose to define your own success and strive to live up to your own expectations. We all can’t do everything or be it all, find fulfillment in the things you are great at and excel in, and work on becoming even better at them; as long as you keep doing this, you will always be a winner!
Mind your own business
It’s often said that successful people don’t worry about what others are doing, I guess that’s because they are often too busy living their lives and chasing after their own goals and dreams. When we concern ourselves with what others are doing, we take our focus away from our own lives and the things we need to do.
We need to invest more time in and direct our energy towards getting to know ourselves, becoming the person we want to become and accomplishing the things that we have set out to do. Minding our own business allows us to focus on our lives, develop a better relationship with ourselves and know ourselves on a much deeper level.