Our failures, mistakes and everything around us can often influence us to think we are less than amazing. The reality TV shows, the Instagram accounts, the celebrities with their plastic surgery and unworldly white teeth, the girls you went to high school with, the catalogs and many other factors have the power to force self-comparisons and doubt These are all meaningless things that seem to disrupt the most important thing;loving ourselves and loving life. We need to be a generation of women who know our value and know our capabilities. It is in the small and simple things we do every day that leads us to this love.
1. Put down the magazine and close Instagram.
I’ll be the first to admit that I spend hours a week obsessing over the Instagram accounts of people I don’t even know. From the girls living the perfect boho chic life in LA to the mom who does amazing braids in NYC, it is so easy to take a look into their “life” and end up going 108 weeks deep in the feed. It’s impossible not to compare ourselves to what we see on social media. Why is it so easy for us to give these women we don’t even know so much credit? Why do we give them so much power over our lives and how we feel?
Well, for starters, they truly are beautiful. From the pictures themselves to the perfect life they paint. But no one’s life is actually like that. I’ve been posting a lot of blissful pictures of my engaged life on Instagram. But nobody would know that I’m actually beyond stressed with wedding planning, family struggles and pretty much every single other facet of my life. Social media is not directly related to your value of life. Yeah, that really adorable mom with the really adorable kids and the adorable clothes and the adorable house has like 14.7K followers. But news flash; no one’s real life is that adorable. It’s simply impossible. So whether you have 300 followers or 3,000, whether you have a high-traffic blog or keep your thoughts in a journal, whether you have the newest Kate Spade bag or one from Target (let’s be honest though, Target has some pretty darn cute stuff), your value is not determined by how you look on someone’s feed.
2. Set goals and achieve them.
Accomplishing difficult things is the best confidence boost. Nothing is better than looking at a crazy, stressful to-do list in the morning, then looking at everything marked off that night. Take time to look at where you are now and where you want to be, then make goals worthy of getting you there. Getting from Point A to Point B is such a great feeling. Being able to reflect on the things you’ve accomplished and the progress you’ve made will enable you to see just how much value you have as a person.
3. Look inward, not outward.
Again, I’d like to reiterate that your value is not based on anything other than yourself. If you are waiting for the world to validate you and your life, you’ll be waiting forever. Nobody on earth knows you better than yourself. They don’t understand the struggles you’ve faced, the shortcomings you’ve surpassed or the improvements you’ve made. Therefore, nobody can gauge your life and progress like you can. When you look to outside sources to prove your value, you will mostly be met with negativity and criticism. Nothing determines our own improvement and success like we do.
4. Forgive your mistakes.
We are our harshest critics. Sometimes I still lay awake at night, unable to sleep, thinking about that one time in high school I accidentally dyed my hair red. We hear it time and time again, even from way back in the preteen years we learned it from Hannah Montana, “everybody makes mistakes.” There’s no need to deny it and compare our mistakes to others. It simply doesn’t matter. Even the biggest mistake of your life doesn’t need to affect you today. Your mistakes need not hold long-term presence in your life. When we can accept, correct and forget our mistakes, happiness is inevitable.
5. Maximize today.
Every single person on earth has 24 hours in a day. We all have equal time to accomplish and work. Being able to maximize every minute of each day increases our productivity and happiness.This includes taking each day for what it’s worth. Some days it’s going to be okay to sleep in until 10am and sloth around all morning. Most days, it will do you more good to start early and get a good boost on your day. There is so much to be done in life and so little time. It’s also important to remember that part of maximizing our day is taking a breather every so often. You have to find the balance between productivity and caring for yourself.
6. Treat yourself.
Maybe, you’ve been working overtime with a new promotion and the money has been rolling in but you haven’t had a second to breathe, so you take time off and get your butt to the Bahamas. Or maybe, you’re a college student, it’s finals week, and through your tears you decide that a little retail therapy is deserved. However you decide to reward yourself, do it. Taking the time to treat yourself will better motivate you towards your goals and will make you happier in doing the work.
I am constantly reminding myself of the “apples and oranges” analogy. We are all different and cannot be compared. The only person you can compare yourself to is yourself. The self you were yesterday and the one you want to be tomorrow. You have to stop letting others determine your value and learn to love yourself enough that you don’t need it from anyone else. You are truly amazing and capable of things you can only imagine today. Practice loving yourself and loving life. In that, you will find greater happiness and true, remarkable fulfillment.