To Love Yourself doesn’t mean to be full of yourself. To Love yourself means being a positive person and to live your life in a kind way towards yourself. Photographing women of every size and every age, it is very difficult to find a common denominator amongst them. If you were my customer, one of the things I would certainly say it that you have to love yourself as much as you can. Despite the differences, the lack of a healthy self love is something that group many of the women we photograph.
But what are the steps to love yourself more?
Let go of Expectations
The first thing to be careful about is expectations. They are your enemy and if you want to love yourself, you need to let go of them. We are incredibly good at focusing on what we should be, that many times we forgot to make a reality check. Many women feel they should be taller, curvier (but only in the right parts), with great hair and beautiful eyes.
The reality is that we are so good in building high expectation for ourselves, that when we look into the mirror, we see… just us. Love yourself means understanding and accepting who we are. Letting go of expectations is the first step.
Comparing is bad
Comparing ourselves with others is dangerous. Comparisons often evolve in focussing on what we don’t like about ourselves, using only negative words to describe ourselves. Why do we have this intense need of comparing ourselves? Indeed through comparison, we learn; however, there are healthy comparison and dangerous ones. If you want to love yourself, you need to fight the urge to compare yourself.
It is funny that in a world where uniqueness is the key to success, society pushes us to uniformity. We are organised in groups, and we tend to comply to the rules of the groups we belong to. Truth is that the uniqueness of being ourselves is more rewarding than just “fitting in”. To love yourself, be yourself. Be proud of the person you are, and embrace the fact that you are the only you around.
Listen to the way you speak to yourself
Too many times we are very kind with others, while we reserve harsh words for ourselves. If you listen carefully to the words you reserve for yourself, you will realise that kindness is nowhere to be found in there. We live with ourselves 24 hours every day, and for this reason we think that the way we say something is not important. On the contrary, being kind with ourselves is a great way to build self confidence and to love yourself more.
Listen carefully to the unspoken words you reserve to yourself, and whenever you feel you are being harsh with yourself, just rephrase and be kinder.
One of the things I am practicing lately is the art of letting go. It is an art indeed, and it can be pretty tough to learn; however, once you start listening to your inner voice, and analyse it, you will understand that we need to be compassionate towards ourselves and others in order to live better. To love yourself, you need to be compassionate towards other, and more importantly, towards yourself. Don’t be harsh and don’t judge yourself and you will realise that life will be better.
Pay yourself some compliments
When is the last time you stopped in front of a mirror to appreciate something of you? To love yourself, you need to be kind and compassionate, but to move the exercise further, you should try with some compliments. Forget the sea of negative thoughts about yourself! Maybe you are not matching your expectations, but love yourself with a compliment. Your gaze will certainly stop on some details you won’t appreciate, but just move forward and focus on something you love!
Love yourself, as there is nothing better that the appreciation, respect and confidence we can give to ourselves.