When it comes to self-love or self-confidence, the assumption tends to focus on the perception that insecurity is a branch attached to the stem of hating your physical appearance.
For me, as much as I grew up wanting to change just about everything – my out of proportion arms, big hips, fine hair – there was a real melancholy within me about whom I was.
I figured as a teenager that I was an introvert. My mother and sister are both remarkably extrovert and I do not think they knew quite what to do with me. I would follow my sister around at parties or gatherings; I would sit quietly like a garden statue as my sister held conversation. Trying desperately to create a sound with my voice, I would wait to see if I could jump in to a topic. At times, only a murmur slithered out. I was used to people not hearing what I would say.
If there is a dominant, secret society out there, they are portraying an idolisation that outspoken, loud individuals are confident and inspirational. Why focus on a lounging lion when an active one is next door?
Admittedly, I am drawn to them too. Any man with the charisma of a Hollywood blockbuster and an ease to gather a crowd like a theatre, is highly attractive in my books. I have always dated men who can flourish besides people. It is a kind of protective barrier; someone there to make a noise when I have previously been unable too.
You rarely read positivity regarding a softly-spoken, quiet tone. And I have grown up with the notion that popularity equals an extrovert – being a leader equals an extrovert. Whilst my friends may describe me as boisterous (I am not actually sure – I have not asked them), acquaintances could summarise me as demure.
Supposedly, you can say mysterious – that word makes it appear good and interesting. She is quiet and keeps to herself – or she is mysterious and keeps to herself.
When dealing with my low-self esteem, I took the route of modifying my looks. If I diet, dye my hair, learn advanced makeup skills and choose a sexier wardrobe, I could feel however I wanted. It was an easier system. You cannot dye your personality or edit your brains wardrobe.
I believe I was an awkward child. I kept to myself and always followed what my peers were doing. I stayed this way until my late teens. This meant that I lost years of opportunity to grasp the concept of me, leading to years of catching up.
There is not a fixed procedure on how to love your personality, but I am sharing various steps that have worked wonders.
Step out of your comfort zone
I was scared to share my opinion online and terrified of going against the norm. At times I have leaped and landed in the water, but the moments I make it to the other side, make it all worthwhile. Until you edit your routine or take a risk, you will never know your full capabilities.
Research similar successful people
When I had depression or bad anxiety, I looked to others who had relatable experiences. This can be applied equivalently to people who have your characteristics. Finding somebody who has embraced what you have, can be a huge sense of relief.
As discussed recently, travelling creates a “whole new world” (song now in my head!). Even if you cannot afford to go abroad, visiting different areas or locations nearby can introduce you to diverse attitudes. I grew up in the countryside and felt rather alone and ‘weird’. The minute I hopped on a train to London, I concluded that I had a collection of traits and habits that I had not been familiar with.
For example, I discovered that I can hold a conversation with a group of strangers and I was not as shy as once presumed.
Be selfish with your goals
You have to have your own set of goals that are entirely yours alone – my philosophy.
I think this came easy to me because I have spent the majority of my life single. Getting myself into shape and blogging for example, are personal pursuits and activities which belong to no one else. Being able to take on a challenge and achieve it, can cause you to feel immense proudness.
Laugh at your flaws
Laughter – the best kind of medicine. I think you have to be honest with yourself and admit to your less admirable qualities. It is part of the puzzle of acceptance. I am a complete grouch when hungry or tired and as much as I love sarcasm and dish it out like a dishwasher, I SO cannot handle it being used at or against me.
I am that person who laughs and then texts their friend like – is this true? My excuse is that I am the female version of Chandler from Friends – which makes it completely acceptable.
Do whatever you can
Often I read “spend time doing what you love”. On the other hand, how do you know? I for one despised cooking and repeatedly joked about my kitchen disasters – setting fire to a tea towel, cracking an egg on a hot stove. Then, in my attempts to be healthy, I started to cook all my meals which led me to include cooking as a hobby. I can finally muster up more than scrambled eggs.
When asked what I love to do, I can suggest further than shopping and eating (it was incredibly difficult writing my C.V after high-school). My answer is now blogging, photography, cooking and fitness. You have to experiment to know what you enjoy.
Ultimately, the art of loving your personality is a concoction of putting yourself out there and becoming happy with your quirks. There is no wrong or right.
Have you ever struggled to accept who you are as a person? What tips do you have for the art of self-love?