Self, Health And Wellness

4 Bold Ways To Boost Confidence And Love Yourself Just The Way You Are

Photo: Pascal B. on Unsplash
4 Bold Ways To Boost Confidence And Love Yourself Just The Way You Are

Learning how to love yourself when you have low self-esteem and self-confidence is hard — but the good news is it's not impossible!

Your self-image is how to picture yourself and all the perceived bad things, like flaws, as well as the good things. It majorly affects your confidence.

So, how do you picture yourself? When you look in the mirror are you exuding self love? Or do you wonder how to stop hating yourself?

Unfortunately, the latter is probably true for you as it is for many women with low self-esteem.

But you can learn how to be more confident and how to practice self love. By following some easy steps, you make this into a habit.

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In a perfect world, I would never write this article because everyone would live shame-free and content in their own skin with perfect confidence in how they look.

Sadly, we don't live in a perfect world, and women swim in a sea of mixed messages every single day.

Ultimately, all of those messages are shame-inducing. Women just can't seem to win ... no matter what you do. And few of us feel truly happy with how we look.

Whether you like it or not, appearance matters, both in society and — quite honestly — to a lot of women, personally. Is it even possible to actually love the way you look? I think so!

Here are 4 ways to boost your self-confidence and love yourself just the way you are, "flaws" and all.

1. Remember a time you felt truly good about yourself.

You once felt comfortable in your own skin and happy with what you saw in the mirror.

What was it about that time that created those feelings? Was it what you wore? How much you weighed? Or was it how you were living your life at the time?

Ask yourself if it is realistic to get back to a similar place. Certainly, you can't turn back your age. It's often a challenge to lose weight (at least in the short run), so you may have to find other ways to love your appearance.

Remind yourself of what brought you happiness at that time and how that happiness led to your confidence in your appearance.

If you don't ever remember a time that you felt good about yourself, then you get to start with a clean slate! Think about recent days in which you felt energetic and happy with how you moved through your day.

Did you eat better on those days? Get a good night's sleep? Exercise?

Studies show that more time in front of the mirror leads to feeling worse about yourself. ​So, think of how you felt about your appearance without overly focusing on the mirror or pictures.

2. Focus on wearing flattering clothes, not the latest fashion.

Some of the trendiest fashions aren't right for everyone. If it doesn't fit well and feels uncomfortable, don't wear it.

Nothing makes me feel worse about myself than clothes that are too tight or styles that just don't feel right on my body.

I'm the most confident when I wear things that fit my body shape well and allow me to feel comfortable and energetic throughout the day.

This doesn't mean excessively baggy or matronly styles, but rather attractive-yet-comfortable clothes that make you feel just right when you slip them on. Please don't get caught up in size anxiety!

Trying to fit into a smaller dress size only makes you miserable, both in the dressing room and moving through your day. The size is irrelevant if you feel comfortable and confident in your clothes.

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3. Shift your inner voice to a gracious and loving one.

If you look in the mirror and say the following kind of dialogue to yourself, "Oh my God, you look fat in that. Your hair is dry, frizzy, and ugly. You have zits. Your eyes are too close together!" not only are you acting like a nitpicking bully, but you're also training your brain to look for the negative.

Studies actually show that an astonishing 97 percent of women will be cruel to themselves when they look in the mirror.

What if you looked in the mirror and found something kind to say to yourself? What if you actually looked for the good instead of the bad?

Science proves that finding the good instead of bad and repeatedly focusing on that will help you form positive habits and reduce both your stress and the negative feelings you have for yourself.

4. Stop judging other people's appearances.

Here's the bottom line: If you constantly notice and comment on another's appearance, you're clearly struggling with those issues yourself.

Judging others is ultimately judging yourself. If someone is too fat, too thin, too ugly, too pretty, then you're likely thinking those things about yourself. If how you relate to the world relies on how you and others look, you're in for a very rough ride.

As you learn to start seeing the beauty in others, you begin to find it in yourself. Start looking for good qualities in yourself and the people in your life.

Those qualities will lead you to love how you look regardless of a bad hair day. I feel most beautiful on the days that I am helping others, focused on my work, and doing things to take care of myself. The mirror can never give me that type of confidence.

You are in charge of how you feel about yourself.

Set your own terms for your appearance realistically and with compassion. Adopt a health and wellness plan that feels right for you so that you feel good — and, thus, look good.

Find the look and feel that are right for you and then love the way you look because of the way you feel. The size of your thighs or the shape of your lips can only look good to you if choose to see them as beautiful.

If you let the world dictate whether you're beautiful or not, you're likely to end up disappointed in your appearance.

When you're in charge of your own vision of beauty, you can truly love the way you look.

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Lisa Kaplin is a psychologist and life coach at Smart Women Inspired Lives. For more information, send her an email.