I am stopping in to share with you my very first guest blog post. I hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday & I’ll be back tomorrow with an awesome Christmas Sweater idea!
As you know I am participating in #elf4health and we decided to do a massive blog swap today to the challenge of sharing our expertise. I am really excited to have Katie guest posting here with some great advice for being the best YOU, you can be!
Well, hey there! My name is Katie and I blog over at Peace, Love & Oats! I am a 20-something recent law school graduate on the job hunt and enjoying my life in Chicago! One thing that I have worked a lot on over the past few years, and consequently write about often, is self-confidence and learning to love and appreciate who you are. On that note, I thought I’d share some thoughts with all of you on that subject!
Growing up, I was taught that appearances are important. I’m not just talking about what you wear and looking appropriate, but how you act and come across as well. Obviously manners were important, but so was making and sticking to commitments, succeeding and trying hard in any activity that you joined, making a good first impression, doing well in school, having a good application or resume; the list goes on and on. I’m not saying these aren’t important aspects to life or good values to learn, but they were all very important to me. Appearing “perfect” became very important to me.
Recognizing that aspect of myself was necessary, but the most critical thing is learning how to place a lower value on my appearance to others. A piece of advice I was given once was to check in with myself throughout the day, ask myself why I’m doing the things that I’m doing. Am I doing this because of what someone else would think of me?
Why am I wearing this? Why am I so anxious to talk to that guy? Why am I avoiding this subject with someone? Why am I going out when I don’t feel well and just want to go home? Why am I not speaking up if I have something to say?
I realize this sounds like a lot of questions, but stopping and asking myself just a couple of these questions each day, has already made me relax a bit and let my guard down. The point behind this exercise, and of this post really, is to learn how to just be your “true and honest self.”
The reason we all try to keep up appearances is to avoid rejection, but if you love yourself and are confident in yourself, then being rejected won’t shake you up or upset you as much. Why is that? Because this “true and honest self” is the person you really are. This is the person you want people to love and appreciate. If they can’t love and appreciate you the way you really are, then they aren’t the right people for you.
Having that confidence in yourself and believing in yourself is how you put yourself in situations that make you happy and surround yourself with people that make you happy. If you have to “keep up appearances” for someone to like you, is that person really right for you? I don’t think so.
So do you. Be you. Love you. Everything else will fall into place. And if you’re someone who struggles with self-love and acceptance, then here are a few tips that you can add into your daily life that might help:
1. Tell yourself how great you are. Every time you catch your reflection in the mirror, give yourself a compliment. You are gorgeous! You’re pretty amazing. Great hair today! Whatever it is, make it a habit.
2. Dance. Dance freely, like no one is watching. Dance to your favorite song from middle school, dance to a holiday song, dance to hip hop or classical. Whatever you’re feeling! Just moving to music without worrying about how you look always makes you feel better!
3. Smile. Having a bad day? Getting frustrated by work, a workout, standing in line at the grocery store? Take a deep breath and smile. Trust me, it really does improve your mood!
4. Say yes. When you get out of your comfort zone and get out there and socialize, you tend to forget about all the things you’re worrying about. And remember, if you’re self conscious about something, I can almost guarantee that no one else notices or cares as much as you do. Taking a risk and going out on a limb is always better than doing nothing.
5. Be nice. Helping other people, or even just complimenting them, not only improves their day, but it improves yours and your own self-image. Make giving back to others a part of your routine, whether it’s volunteering or just holding the door open for someone, and soon you’ll see more value in yourself.
6. Surround yourself with uplifting people. Last but not least, you have to love yourself but if the people around you are bringing you down then it’s just not helping. Be sure that the people who you keep close, whose opinions you value, are the kind of people who love and support you no matter what.
I hope you all enjoyed these tips, and if you ever have any questions or just want to chat, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Do you worry too much about what others think of you?
What self-love advice would you give?
Thanks again for all the great advice Katie. Make sure to check out my guest post on Katie’s blog along with all the other Elf’s posts you can find the link party over on Elle’s blog.