So, in celebration, I thought it would be fitting to create a rough outline on attaining and building self love. I know it might sound a bit corny, but it is an important aspect to cultivate your self esteem and self worth not only as a confidence builder but cultivates your own self respect can help hone your empathy to others, will help you own up to your personal decisions and can create an inner happiness that is sometimes lost.
I will start this off with a quick forewarning, that I am no expert, but a lot of what I've learned cam from amazing mentors when I was younger. I was a theater kid, so often times there were other participants who were shy so our instructors would guide us though esteem building exercises to get people out of their shells and gain confidence to perform on stage. Little did I know these exercises would roll over to influence my outlook and be a great aid to others.
A lot of what I will go over aren't quick fixes, as there are no easy paths in this life. Many of the things I will talk about are outlines and exercises, that will need to be done regularly over a span of time. Self esteem is something you need to tend to and be proactive in improving. It's not some magic cure, but in a few weeks, months, maybe a few years you can feel the difference in how not just the way you carry yourself but in how you view yourself and even interact with others.
~ Let's get started.
I like to start with positive affirmations. An affirmation is a specific statement that helps you visualize a positive change with[in] yourself. They are actually quite similar to how self fulfilling prophecies work, as they can set the tone for your day and the way can sink into your subconscious.
So, always start with positive affirmations ‘I am’, ‘I can’ phrases~
I love writing them down on post its or in my journals~ and with post its, putting it on my mirrors,
above my bed, and places I frequent.
Initially, affirmations don't have to be true, yet, but something you aspire to be or to accomplish.
Like, if you are inclined to be soft spoken, your affirmation can be something similar to, 'I am a
confident person.' 'I am just as worthy of being heard as my peers.' 'I enjoy speaking to new people.'
Something similar to that.
I found a bullet list of self affirmations, if you need any help.
- I love and accept myself unconditionally.
- I approve of myself and feel great about myself.
- I radiate love and respect and in return I get love and respect.
- I am a well loved and well respected person.
- I am a cultured and wise and yet, a humble person.
- My high self esteem enables me to respect others and beget respect in turn.
- I am free to make my own choices and decisions.
- I am a unique and a very special person and worthy of respect from others.
- My high self esteem allows me to accept compliments easily and also freely compliment others.
- I accept others as they are and they in turn accept me as I am.
- It matters little what others say. What matters is how I react and what I believe.
- All is well in my world and I trade love and acceptance with the world.
- I have high self esteem as I respect myself.
- I deserve all that is good. I release any need for misery and suffering.
- I release the need to prove myself to anyone as I am my own self and I love it that way.
- I am solution minded. Any problem that comes up in life is solvable.
- I am never alone. The universe supports me and is with me at every step.
- My mind is filled only with loving, healthy, positive and prosperous thoughts which ultimately are converted into my life experiences.
- My mind is full of gratitude for my lovely and wonderful life.
- I consciously release the past and live only in the present. That way I get to enjoy and experience life to the full.
Like for me, even little happy phases like ‘You're a hot mama’ on a post it note put on my makeup
bag can bring a smile to my face and boost up my confidence before stepping out the door.
Affirmations can be as specific as you feel they need to be, or as simple as you want. As long as it
can help you visualize a positive change for yourself, it's all good.
The next exercise I remember practicing in one of my classes and I felt was a great help to me and others. What you will need is a mirror or some way to see yourself/visualize yourself as a whole and take in what's in front of you. I personally find body mirrors are the best, but you make do with what you have.
I know that this exercise can seem a bit silly at first, but if you mentally prepare for it and take it seriously it can be quite emotional if you get into the right head space for it.
First thing first, stand or sit, which ever is most comfortable to you, in front of the mirror and really look at yourself. Take in what is in front of you and absorb that is who you are and what you look like.
Remove those thoughts in the back of your head that might pick and judge at what's in the reflection, and just take in as what's there is the truth and accept it for what might seem is the good and the bad.
Moles, freckles, beauty marks, wrinkles, folds, indents, imperfections and blessings. Every single part of you in that mirror is yours and you need to own it.
Once you take it all in, out loud, your task is to compliment the features that immediately jump out at you that you like. The list can be as long or as short a you want, it depends on you and where you are at personally on your journey. For me, it helps to keep eye contact with myself to drive home the point.
After that is done, you will again, out loud, compliment the features on yourself that are okay. Please feel free to stretch and build up that bravado. The aim is to condition yourself to create a more positive view on yourself. Yes, this step can be a bit hard to find the positives to some of your features but you can do it. Even if it's a simple 'I like my nose because it's my grandmother's nose and she is beautiful.' or 'The ratio of my hips to thighs are gorgeous.' will work.
The hardest step is acknowledging the features you don't like and complimenting them out loud. If you can't think of anything At least taking it in and telling yourself it's okay or good or complimentary phrases are still a positive step. I highly implore you to try this step. It's very easy to skip but it does get better with practice and time.
The point of these steps are similar to the positive affirmations and will help shape your self appreciation. Over time the list of features you like will get longer, it'll get easier to find the positive within yourself and the features you weren't fond of will be easier to accept and hopefully you will grow to love them, and yourself totally.
After the mirror exercise, I like to say a few choice affirmations [maybe affirmations specific to where you are at in life. Like, if you have an oral exam, an affirmation relevant to that. Or if you are feeling particularly low on the self love scale maybe an affirmation about your confidence or self acceptance.] I find repetition helps a lot in these instances. Again with the eye contact, I like to repeat the affirmations maybe in threes, and try to say it with confidence.
I personally like to end the mirror session with the affirmation, 'I'm perfect as I am and I love myself.'
I understand the mirror exercise can be a bit intimidating, but I find it very worth trying and practicing. If possible, once a week would be great to do. For me, I like to do a few affirmations out of the shower or after washing my face in the mirror just to pump myself up for the day.
Another practice is to treat yourself every so often~
Don’t forget to do something for yourself, if it’s a bubble bath, seeing that movie you always wanted
to see, take a walk in the park and read a book, draw or even just trying out a new hair part, do
something that will make you happy and that’s purely selfish~
You can also start getting involved in your community, and building up your own self value and
getting out of your head and focusing on a bigger picture~ You can look into cleaning up your local
wild life or helping out at an old folks home or even animal shelter. At least for those few hours you
can focus on something outside of your head space and feel like you are doing something valuable to
other people and making a difference. Because, remember, you are more than your physical self,
and worth more than what’s on the outside and sometimes we need a reminder of that.
Re-asses how you filter things and your self view, and try not to compare yourself to others, it’ll take
time to do but when you catch yourself doing it, actively rationalize how you are a different person
and how you are your own person with your own and different positive traits.
Remember building self esteem and positively changing yourself takes time, patience and
perseverance… It’s not easy but with effort you will see small changes and things will get