Let’s face it. So many teenagers are struggling with self-acceptance: 78% of girls in America are unhappy about their bodies by the time they reach 17, according to the Park Nicollet Melrose Center. That's an incredible number. When we’re caught up in comparing our bodies to others, our worth to others, it’s hard to find the things we love about us. Self-love is something that many teenagers lack, though it’s arguably the most important type of love. You need to be able to love yourself before you can love others. Self-love results in self-worth and self-confidence, all of which will lead you to live a more fulfilling life.
1. Write a list of qualities you love about yourself.
Write out your strengths; write out what makes you, you. Maybe you’re a good leader, a diligent student, or an empathetic friend. If you find yourself struggling with self-worth, it may be difficult to produce a list of things that you truly love about yourself. Or maybe you haven’t given it much thought. Either way, ask your friends or family members to tell you the traits that they love about you. You might be surprised to hear some of the things they have to say.
2. Write a list of qualities you don’t like about yourself.
Loving yourself means to fully embrace every aspect of yourself. Though celebrating your strengths is very important, recognizing your weaknesses is just as meaningful. We need to recognize that we aren’t perfect. Learning to love our flaws and imperfections is the only way we can become whole.
3. Use positive affirmations.
I like to tell myself in the mirror every morning, “you are beautiful. You are strong.” I often have a hard time finding beauty in myself and I used to hide from challenges because I didn’t think I could face them. I heard this piece of advice from an “older sister” I look up to. After repeating these affirmations for about a month, I started to notice positive changes in myself. I started to reach out to more people, I had the confidence to start my blog. I felt accepted.
Lavendaire, a self-care and personal growth YouTube channel, has a link to some really great affirmations you can download: https://lavendaire.lpages.co/affirmations/
Although doing so may seem a bit weird at first, the affirmations will eventually be ingrained into your mind, causing you to unconsciously believe in them. You can also write out the positive affirmations and repeat them to yourself daily. You’ll feel your confidence growing until you’ve finally reached the point where your self-worth is solid.
Find a mirror and try it right now. I am confident. I am loved. I am protected. I am beautiful. I am enough.
4. Write a list of 5 things you’re grateful for everyday.
At the end of each day, I try to write down five things I am grateful for. It challenges me to think about and appreciate the little things I take for granted. Just try it for a week, then maybe try doing it for a month. The more things you can find gratitude in, the more fulfilling your life will feel. The more you focus on the positive, the happier you will feel.
In order to feel at peace and ease your mind, it’s important to know that you are worthy. Learning to love yourself is basically building a relationship with yourself, and all relationships take time to grow. So, be patient with yourself because the end result is going to be so worth it.
“You have been criticizing yourself for years, and it hasn’t worked. Try loving yourself.”
- Louise L. Hay -