It's not all about looks.
I'm turning 30 this year, which is scary but also exhilarating and freeing. That's because I've basically grown out of my insecurities ... or I'm just simply tired of dealing with them.
Turning 30 doesn't magically come with confidence, though. Maturation is a process, so over the past few years I was very proactive in trying to make myself a better person. That all started with self-love (not to be entirely cheesy).
Here's what I learned about why I'm more attractive, desirable, and amazing than I ever thought I could be, and what I want you to know about how to be happy with yourself, too:
1. Beauty is unique to the person.
Perfection isn't real. Magazines, television shows, movies, brands, and even porn tells a story of beauty and idealism that just isn't realistic or — get ready for this — worth paying attention to.
There was a time when I compared myself to others, and it only led to unhappiness and insecurity. Once I realized that my own beauty and awesomeness existed only in relation to itself (not to others), I was able to feel more confident.
The secret is this: the way we rock our imperfections, flaws and unique qualities makes us hot. If you walk into a room thinking, "I'm amazing," other people will see that, too. You don't have to compare yourself, because literally all you can be is yourself.
2. Outward appearances don't define who you are inside.
When I talk to my friends about the deeper things (self-love, confidence, self-esteem, dating), they usually have negative things to say about how their looks make them feel. You should be proud of who you are as a person: your hobbies, your talents, your compassion, your kindness, your generosity, your work ethic.
These are things that actually make you who you are, so make sure to acknowledge these strengths and let them lead you in life. Your looks will only last so long, and at the end of it all, it's what you brought to the table that makes you beautiful.
3. Beauty transcends society's ideals.
Everyone is gorgeous in their own way. That might sound like a cliché, but the truth is that there isn't one type of beauty.
While the fashion industry might tell us that being a size 0 with super high cheekbones is the only way to be beautiful, the fashion industry isn't everyone else you meet on the street. Remember that beauty existed way before it was defined and marketed for general consumption.
4. Everyone has that special "thing" they do, including you.
What's your unique thing? Mine would probably be my leadership. I love to channel my energy into creating something, inspiring others to join me, and encouraging them to be awesome.
What's your thing? Are you the kind of person who walks into a room and becomes the life of the party? Are you the silent type who listens and offers amazing advice? Are you mysterious, with an innately sensual aura? Those are nuanced, silent things that make you attractive.
Harness your powers, and let them lead you. People — friends, lovers, coworkers — will all notice. And some of them will have a crush on you because of it.
5. Knowledge and experience are sexy as hell.
When you've experienced a lot in life, you've likely learned so many things. Having those valuable experiences, new ideas and self-discoveries is what it's all about. And being able to share what you've learned with the people around you is majorly sexy.
Have you ever said you've been able to travel to multiple continents and learned another language? Did you finish a degree program and land a sweet job? Are you a community leader? Did you discover the key to keeping long-lasting friendships around? Congrats. Those are all sexy things that make you glow.
6. And not giving a sh*t is even hotter.
Guess what screams, "I'm super hot!"? It's the fact that you've just stopped caring about the ideals, standards, unfair measuring systems and bullsh*t that society throws at you. At some point, you discover that perfection is an unattainable idea and that being an amazing person comes from radiating with the cool, calm, "You do you, I'll do me" vibe.
7. You're only human.
Showing your vulnerabilities, weaknesses and needs can sometimes be alluring. Being a human being — real and imperfect, and in need of love and compassion — is better than being a robot. When you're real, you're endearing.
Remember that next time you worry about sounding, looking, and being the best. Knowing when to be real, and when to let that realness show, is key.